Sunday, April 10, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 10

How does your family and friends feel about your riding.

Well. This is certainly an interesting topic for me. I'm very lucky to have almost all horsey friends and we have a lot of fun together. We go to shows together, trail rides, and a couple of us board at the same barn. It's great that have friends that don't mind when you smell like horse, have slobber down your shirt or wear your breeches in public!

My parents are a somewhat different story. As much as I love them, I'm pretty sure that they're not completely sold on the whole horse thing. I'm so very grateful that they finally gave way to my begging for a horse because I can't imagine not riding now, but I also feel that they wish I did a different sport.

Partially it's because they don't feel like they really fit into the horse world - they don't know all that much about horses and the general perception of horse owners is that they're crazy (though I must say this is true a lot of the time!).

Also, I'm very independent so I don't really need that much support even though I want support. This is very different from my brother who needs a lot of encouragement. For years my parents hauled me to shows and lessons, but that kind of dwindled as I got older even though I still couldn't drive. If they didn't feel like taking me to a show, I didn't get to go.

My parents don't really like to go to horse shows so they don't usually come watch me unless I plead with them, and usually it's only my mom. I really wish my dad would come watch me sometime, but he rarely does.

Every time I buy something for my horse or I need to have the vet out, my parents complain. They don't understand why I need this new thing or why my horse is seemingly always hurt. Their answer is to sell the offending horse. They wish I had one horse or none at all.

I guess I'm just a little bitter because my brother also has a sport, but it's just really different for him. He does sporting clays and is actually very good, placing among the top in the state. My parents (one or both) take him to shooting practices roughly once a week and a competition once a week. They've gone to Nevada and Washington as well as all around Oregon for competitions. He has 12 guns (I think) and generally is very supported in his endeavors.

This is why I don't understand my parent's adversity to showing horses. Sure it's expensive to own multiple horses, but it's also expensive to own multiple guns, plus the shells, entry fees and travel expenses. I'm sure showing horses is still a lot more expensive, but really they are pretty comparable. My parents complain when I consider driving a couple hours to a show and staying overnight (even when I'm with others, not alone, and heaven forbid I ask one of my parents to go with me!) though it's not a big deal to fly to Nevada and spend a week there for my brother's competition.

Sorry, that's my little emotional rant. My parents do love me and they do support me, but I just wish for a little more, you know? I want to have their full support, I want them to encourage me to show, I want them to want to come to watch me show. But nobody's perfect. Someday I hope that I can show them that what I do is important to me and that I'm actually good at it and that they'll be there to watch me. 


  1. That sounds extremely frustrating and totally completely unfair!! I am lucky to have parents who have always been extremely supportive of my equestrian career, even though they were both totally broke and when I was in high school I had to work bussing tables to pay for my horse's keep! For years when I was a kid, my dad worked fixing fencing, building sheds, and driving tractors at the farm in exchange for my riding lessons.
    But to fully support your brother's sport while dragging their feet to support yours is really, really unfair... have you talked to them about this?? Sorry to "butt in" but I was really moved by your post... I can only imagine how this makes you feel!!

  2. I know how you feel, well sought of anyway.

    My mum actually knows a lot about horses, although her and I differ somewhat in our opinions on horse care. I KNOW that I am in the right on this one, because I research the subjects EXTENSIVELY and my mum has always had the attitude of "she'll be right, mate!". It drives me crazy sometimes, because even though I don't live with her she always makes fun of me for being so pedantic about their care and facilities. Although, we do have MOST of the same opinions on riding and breaking - she likes to rush through it a little more than I do, I like to take things nice and slow, but she has been doing it for a LOT longer than me, so that's probably why.

    My dad is a different story, though. He used to ride, when he was young, but I get the feeling he doesn't like me riding. Everytime I fall off he has something to say about the horse I was riding, and it's never nice. I broke my toe once, by stubbing it on a couch and when I told him it was broken, he instantly said "That didn't have anything to do with the horses, did it?"

    I've learnt to just keep that kind of stuff to myself.

    My boyfriend owns a mare, though and we have pretty much the EXACT same opinions about their care, although I think that may be because I taught him just about all he knows and he only got a horse because of me =)

    So I can't really talk to anyone about my horses except my bf, because my dad gets all funny about it, my mum thinks I'm ridiculous and my best friend has no idea what I'm talking about or why I'm talking to her about it.

    I do have one friend that has loves talking about horses and we agree almost completely on everything, but we don't get to see eachother very often - so I come onto the internet to get my 'horsey fix'.

  3. Thanks Jenny. I've kind of tried to talk to them about it but they're really defensive and I'm not really the confrontational type. And it's not that they don't support me - I mean right now they're paying my horse's board and feeding my two pasture puffs at home, but I just want more of the emotional support part of it.

    Megan - It can be hard finding horse people who share your views! Horse people have to be some of the most "traditional" people I've met! They like to follow their way, how they've always done it.