One of the great mysteries in my life is how to balance horses and parenting. For some parents with a great local support system, this is not so hard. I have always lived far from family, and my husband and I work opposite shifts, so I had to find ways to ride AND parent at the same time. Through months of trial-and-error, these five ways are how I manage to get in the saddle and entertain my kid at the same time.
What to Do When Your Ride Goes Wrong
Every time I saddle my horse, I start each ride with a clear goal in mind. I visualize my ride going well. I plan patterns and activities that keep my horse’s mind active. However, sometimes despite my best intentions, my ride goes wrong. How you respond sets the tone for future rides and teaches your horse what to expect from you.
How did I end up in Sahuarita, Arizona, owning a horse boarding facility? My journey certainly is not in a straight line – more like switchbacks on a mountain. Generally in the right direction, but with lots of ups and downs and reversals along the way.
My local news keeps reporting that cold and flu season has officially started, but I have not had a cold since 2004 and I have never had the flu. My lifestyle gives me plenty of interaction with germs (8 years as a waitress put me in direct contact with lots of germs!) but I stay healthy. My daughter attended daycare for the first 2.5 years of her life, and she has had ONE cold ever. Some of this might be good genetics, but I believe our good health comes from good habits.
As equestrians, we get so little time to ride in the winter, so do not let illness slow you down. These are my tips and tricks to staying healthy through cold and flu season so you can spend more time at the barn.
21 Gift Ideas For Horse-Crazy Kids
Ever since I rode my first pony, a horse was at the top of my holiday wish list, and every year my parents shot down my idea. Now I am a mother to a horse-crazy kid, and even though I would happily buy her a horse every year for her birthday AND Christmas, my husband is not quite on board with that idea. So, instead, I find horse-themed gifts for her, and she loves them almost as much as a real horse.
For the horse-crazy kid in your life, here are 21 gift ideas to fuel their passion for all-things equestrian.
The Real Cost of Owning a Horse
When I was five years old, my great-grandmother took a trip to Arizona and sent me a postcard. On the front was a Navajo girl with her horse and dog, and my great-grandmother wrote to me that kids here are very poor and may only have a horse and dog and few other material things. She said this was very sad, but I looked at that postcard and thought that the girl on the front was very lucky because she had a horse AND a dog, and I wanted a horse more than anything.
My parents always gave me the line that I could not have a horse because we could not afford one, but I really think I they did not let me have one because they were not horse people. They never denied me ways to fill my love of horses, and I had regular opportunities to ride and fuel my passion. I was one of those kids who traded chores in exchange for riding lessons, so I learned early on how much care a horse requires. What I did not learn until I bought my first horse in 2003 is how much a horse actually costs.
This is what I spend on my horses each year and the costs you should budget for before you buy your first horse.
Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.