|Elizabeth on Sabrina with me on Toby.|
I know quite a few moms who have been riding all their lives. Their daughters discovered horses through their mothers and it was only a matter of time before they were both riding. Many of these women now keep their horses at home. Horses have always been a priority for them so when they realized there was a need to support more than one horse, they built barns. Oh how I wish 15 years ago when we left the city I had opted for land and bucolic bliss over suburban convenience. I'm now stuck in the town we live in until my kids graduate from high school so putting horses in my back yard is not an option.
If having horses in your backyard is an option, it's a great way to make riding more accessible for multiple family members. With horses at home you save money on board and have the convenience of being able to ride whenever you want (unless it's winter 6 months of the year and you live in New England with no indoor). Just having Elizabeth's horse at home would mean she could ride while I cook dinner! But beware! Having horses at home is a huge commitment. I won't go into all the gory details but just a few of the things I've discovered one needs to consider when keeping horses at home are enough to put most people off. Among them are manure management, insurance, never ever being able to go away or paying an extra $1000 for barn help to be away for the weekend, being the one to wake up to feed the horses 365 days a year and the one to do night check the same number of days no matter the weather, state of your health or other things going on in your life. Perhaps at this point it is just as well that I can't have horses at home since I'm pretty sure I'd be in over my head!
|Elizabeth on Pumba with me on Nugget.|
When we bought Elizabeth's horse last fall my husband assumed we would share the horse. I know a couple of other moms who are looking for horses to share with their kids. And my two cents on this topic is that is doesn't work, at least not for us. It certainly can work depending on your goals. For our family, we have chosen to support Elizabeth's riding goals. Those goals are pretty lofty and require her to ride often. Our horse works 6 times a week. We try to have our trainer ride her once a week which leaves 5 rides for Elizabeth and me to split up. Well, if I'm lucky, I can have one. And that is definitely the way it should be. Quizz is Elizabeth's horse. This is Elizabeth's sport. They need to work hard in order to be ready for Pony Club certifications and horse trials.
|My favorite view - of my daughter on her pony|
through the ears of an awesome horse!
since my daughter's horse has had so many issues - expensive issues - I don't think he will ever be willing to own two horses. The most I can hope for is that another horse will come along with an owner willing to lease him or her out a couple of days a week. Some day, when Elizabeth needs an upper level horse and Quizz has finished doing her job with Elizabeth, I will have my turn. Quizz and I will live out our twilight years on the trail together. Until then I will get my horse fix living through my daughter - watching, trailering, grooming and paying.