Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Missing Blogger, Horses and Children

There is much that has not been blogged . . . My blogging time has evaporated somehow . . . However, my "vacation" from blogging has been much needed with projects being finished and "real" life taking over.

With low motivation levels for typing at the keyboards I have been a stranger to my journal. But glancing back at previous posts I realize that I may be loosing memories that I want to keep around here . . . so without further adieu I will commence with what I think will be twice a month blog posts to record those things that I think my kids and grandkids might want to see some day. Or not, subjectivity being what it is.

Horses have almost always been in my life. Since as long as I can remember I have been a horse crazy girl. Luckily, I have found a way to indulge my hobby and not go broke in the process. My ancient bridles, I now realize are about 15+ years old. I am sure glad they last.

When I was in third grade I checked out every horse book from the Whisman Elementary School Library. Misty of the Chincoteague, Golden Sovereign, The Black Stallion, all the books by Sam Savitt, and many others. I had horses on the brain but had no horse of my own. Horses create a disease of monumental proportion for some girls to which there is no cure. Obviously I am still afflicted.

The summer after 4th grade I got to lease my first horse when I was about 10 years old. My furry lump of horse flesh was named Hank. Hank was a mutt of a beast, but a great launching point into the world of real horses.

And without the help from a generous patron I would never had the option of riding horses at all. Working at the local pizza place I was barely able to afford my horse dreams at Ramos Ranch where old John Ramos was the facilitator of "equines on a budget" for girls without much money. With his motley string of horse flesh he offered a monthly lease program that cost about 75 dollars. You got a horse and a halter and a bridle with that package. (I did not get a saddle until I was 16...) Then you had to catch your beast in a 350-acre pasture with steep hills and deep gullies. But it was all worth it. That was true character building material - walking 20 minutes to find your ride that is. And to think my horses live in little-mini pastures now. They would not know what to do in 10 acres let alone 300+ ares.

I remember John offering to buy me new riding boots to replace the worn out rubber boots I was wearing with gaping holes around the ankles. He drove me down to the tack store and told me to get the "good" ones which were made of real leather. With my modesty, I could not accept . . . I got replacement rubber boots and felt guilty still. Looking back it probably would have made him happy to get me the expensive boots. I did not get into "real" boots until I made money of my own in my early 20's.

And now that my daughter is interested in horses, I have to decide how to handle her equestrification process. We have discussed that Ella can get a pony when she turns 5. But somehow it still appears that she would have more fun fishing in the water trough instead of riding. I had to work to get to horses. If she really, really wants a pony some how she will have to work to get one.

I can't help but remember that those things I worked for were appreciated exceedingly more than those things I was given. Right? Is that not what is wrong with most kids these days? We all as parents want to have the ability to give everything to our children, but is it in their best interest? I don't think so, and I will continue to battle the principles of what my kids "need" with the conflict of what they "want." How about you?

12 Comments for OSL:

Suzi said...

I also had to work at things, my 1st 10 speed bicycle, a car, a college name a few. It certainly builds character and gives them a sense of responsibility, pride, and appreciation.

IanH said...

Julia, great post and great photos. I would say that you earned your stripes in becoming a horsewoman. I agree with you that all things should not be handed to children on a plate. Responsibility is learned in small things, growing to larger ones when earned. I see too many children given everything, flitting from one to another with no focus and no appreciation.

San-Dee said...

Julia, happy to see you back! It's important to put your thoughts down for the kids because you will forget a lot of what they need to hear/read, and this way they will have the opportunity to learn from you.

I too earned most of what I have and it taught me valuable lessons in patience and prioritizing. We all want our children to have "better" than we did, but better doesn't always equate with "easier". I think you'll make the right decisions, trust your heart.

Sharkbytes said...

Well, hello there, friend! I was horse crazy too. We even had a farm, but my folks said that I wasn't responsible enough... sigh. I was able to take riding lessons in high school, but haven't even been around horses since our horsey neighbors moved 25 years ago.

Pricilla said...

I did not discover horses until I moved from the city to a small island off of NJ. I had a friend who had a horse and I would go with her every weekend and rent a horse. It was expensive but I loved to ride.

Sara said...

Good to see you! My road is a bit different. I was given my first horse at age 8 and it was up to me to train him, ride him and generally care for him. Our horses were similar to your first 300+ acre horse hunting activities. It took some finangling and hiding in hay bales to catch my horse. Lunge lining and trail riding is what we did up until I was 18.

Since then, I've been horseless. Jesse will get a horse at age 8. It'll be a nice Welsh pony and it will be my reintroduction to horses and Jesse's introduction. Pretty sure I haven't forgotten how to ride. I hope so at least.

And yes, I'm rooting a little for Emma to have a horse. *small nudge to Julia* ;)

Mel said...

Glad to see you back here! It's tough figuring how much to give our kids and how much to make them work. If you figure it out, let me know!

theUngourmet said...

My daughter is 14 and has been wanting a horse for years. We are finally moving out to a smaller town out in the country and I would love to lease a horse so she can get started and see how she likes it. :) Great photos!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Yes, raise them up sternly and with love. Yes, make them WORK. Not play-work, either. Get some real work out of them. Pray for snow so that you can dress them in shorts and send them out to play in it. Javohl! I'm not kidding, either. They will then have SKILLS and CONTROL and have a shot at a happy life in a very unhappy world!

Captain Dumbass said...

If my kids want a horse they're definitely on their own.

Mountain Woman said...

I never gave my son everything nor did I get everything. There is a valuable lesson to be learned in having to earn what matters. Glad to see you back.

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

i agree with you, julia and have missed you too! i had odd jobs all while growing up and paid for my prom dress with my earnings. newpaper routes, selling raffles for the church, shoveling snow, etc. it was no fun doing all of that and sometimes one isn't in the mood to do the farm work either but thankfully my work ethic developed as a child turned into a great asset as an adult. i hope she truly wants a pony. so many kids today just get hooked on the electronics. take care!!