Anyone who knows my middle daughter, Karenna, knows that she loves horses. The equestrian passion was ignited for her when she was three years old and watched the movie “Spirit” about a wild stallion. She went on to watch it daily for the next few months and whenever we would see a real horse in our town, she would beg for me to pull over so she could see it up close and neigh at it. Horse fever, man! She had it bad.
This was such a new concept for me. I know lots of girls love horses but I kind of just thought they were a whole lot of work and money and also they smelled like poop. Slowly, though, I came to see horses through her eyes and my own city slicker perspective was replaced with a similar child-like wonder at the beauty of these creatures. They are so majestic and lovely. (I still think they smell like poop, though.)
She started taking lessons from a dear friend of mine and the passion has continued to blossom in Karenna’s little horsey heart. She loves brushing the pony, riding her, she even whistles while she works when she mucks out the stall. (See? POOP.)
Not surprisingly, Karenna has been asking for her own horse. We are torn.
The list of pros and cons is one we have weighed out many times, and I am intimidated by the cost, the responsibility, the risk of my kid getting injured, etc. I know NOTHING about horses so the thought of owning one freaks me out a bit.
That being said, I see the delight and the empathy and responsibility that caring for a horse can give to a child and I think, hmmm… maybe we will just go for it and take the plunge and get her a horse.
Any horse lovers out there who had a pony as a child? Was it the best thing ever?
I’ll start with the caveat that I’m not an animal-lover, so take that into account:
I say start with a plant where Karenna is fully responsible. If that thrives move to a goldfish. Then a hamster. Then make her responsible for both dogs (walking, bathing, feeding, etc). If all that goes well, for at least a year each, then maybe, maybe consider a horse. Otherwise you are just adding more to your plate (and pocketbook).
Nicole Kloos says
I grew up with a similar passion for horses. My family lived on 6 acres of land and when I was young my father fenced off a section of land. For three summers we boarded two horses from a nearby ranch, which gave me the opportunity to ride often and to understand the responsibilities involved with owning a horse, without the longterm commitment that my parents would have had to make if we purchased one. I still have the fondest memories of being able to walk out my front steps and go see the horses. As I grew older my interests broadened to playing the piano and to sports, so I’m glad that I had the flexibility to explore other activities and not feel obligated to care for my horse, so they never became a burden. Horses are fantastic creatures; they also require a TON of work. All the best with your decision, and either way you can be proud that you are giving her the exposure she loves through riding lessons.
I don’t know a thing about horses, but I say go for it. Passion + responsibility. She’ll thank you forever.
eeek! you are brave and a good mom and you have a healthy happy puppy dog, so…. I’m pretty sure you are able to do it! I can’t do any pets any more. All I see when I look at them is POOP. I just can’t take that sh!## any more! Plus putting down pets when they are old or injured haunts me. I think I’m more of a people person. Too bad for my kids I guess.
Sara Lanthier says
I didn’t – I used ‘rental’ horses all the time and was so jealous of the girls who actually had their own. My friends daughter is 20+ and is still as horse crazy as when she was little… I say GO FOR IT
it is good to see she doesn’t just want a horse, she realizes that it comes with a ton of poop! 🙂