Support System.

I found out that C's mom is/was an equestrian.  I ooh'ed and aww'ed over this fact and then promptly realized that the progeny of equestrians who turn out to be equestrians might not realize how good they've got it.

This isn't a bitch-fest.  So I'm not going to mention how my folks stopped being involved with my equestrian pursuits (including shows) once I got my driver's license.  I won't mention how my father has met only once the horse I've owned for eight years.  My mother?  Twice.  But she is one of the few that has actually mounted said ponykins.


I will say that my parents paid for lessons for nearly a decade.  I can't begrudge them that because it absolutely set the foundation for my future bay thoroughbred gelding obsession and ability to sit a dirty mount.  And fox hunting.

So this made me think of the others who help us when our biological family isn't horsie-inclined (does this coincide with my in-laws visiting tomorrow?  yes.).  You know what, this probably also coincides with the loss of my boss, who most recently said, "Oh, you're getting up at 5:30 in the morning in order to treat the abscess your horse has, clean up, change clothes, and make it on time to work?  You know you can come in late if you need to."  Okay, maybe fewer words.

So, who helps you?

I've come to rely a lot on my BM to cut the shit.  We talk horses and problems and we make jokes.

L and I talk horses every. single. day.

D will listen to horse problems.  I'm 99% sure that if I became destitute from vet bills, he would help.  And he occasionally remembers to ask how my ride was.  Oh!  And 1) he helped muck stalls for like three years and 2) I can occasionally sucker him into taking photos.

I still reach out to OR and The Eventer to ask questions and seek advice.  Vice versa.

And C, because she wore breeches to a grocery store.

And, finally, I surround myself in horsie blogs.  It really helps to read the issues and joys that other people have.  To just know that other people like me are out there and I can reach an electronic finger out.

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15 comments

  1. I can relate. My mom is more supportive than my dad, but aside from finances they have never shown much of an interest. I rely on horsey friends!

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  2. *hugs*
    My mam got me started in horses as her family were involved and the family farm is where I spent my summers as a kid (hello Nancy's home place too). My sisters ride when they come visit as does my mam from time to time she joins me for a hack in the woods.
    I have a coupe barn friends although we don't hang out as much as we used to and my old school friends & work colleagues ask after the ponies but don't ride or come visit - understandable as I'm a controlling a-hole when it comes to my girls. I think i understand now why I spend so much time stalking equine blogs *blush*

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  3. My parents have absolutely zero interest what-so-ever. It's always been one of the things that makes me sad. Even if they have no interest in horses, they could have at least made an effort for me...my dad came and watched me ride once when I was 12. Other than that I've always been in this on my own (mentally and financially). That is why I take great joy in my barn family!

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  4. My parents were incredible supporters financially but I don't know that either fully understand the obsession. My mom still treats me to things like a new helmet and help when vet bills are overwhelming which is amazing and so appreciated.

    Then I of course have all of my lovely blogger friends. L is the best for calling when you're on the verge of tears- ie Thursday night...

    And the new guy is turning out to be pretty damn awesome about barn time, lending an ear, and taking pictures so well see :)

    My barn family is much smaller at this barn but I know everyone is helpful and supportive and most would lend a hand in a second if there was an emergency. :)

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  5. My parents were (and still are) supportive of my equestrian pursuits, for which I'm very grateful. Johnny is, too, though his knowledge of them is pretty basic. I rely on my real life horse friends for moral support, advice, and ideas, but the equestrian blogging community is great, super super great. Such a depth of experience and diversity.

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  6. My mom came to a horse show once... and sat in the car the whole time. My dad came a couple of times and even videoed once, but that was it. Neither of them are at all interested. Back in the days when they used to drop me off/pick me up from the barn my mom never even got out of the car (too dirty and it smelled?) and my dad very very rarely got out. They paid for very little too, I worked off half of board and all my lessons/trainer fees for shows. They paid half of board and whatever my office bill was at shows (never much because I never showed rated growing up). My first horse (the only one I owned as a kid) was paid for with what was, up to that point, my life savings. They just aren't really animal people and especially not horse people. They sometimes ask me how the horses are doing or how a show went or like a picture here and there on facebook, but that's the extent of their interest/support.

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  7. Nice. My parents also quit doing anything remotely horsey when I got my license. Instead of holding that against them, I just remember how the fact that they were clueless forced me to be a better horseperson. They never helped prep for a show, so I learned to do it alone. They didn't buy me fancy horses, so I learned to kick ass and take names on my lease horse. They didn't have endless funds, so I learned to work hard for what I wanted from a very young age.

    And hey. My mom has started coming out to the barn and horse shows now that I'm grown. She still has no idea what's going on, but she's supportive and wants to be involved in my life and I'm happy to have her along.

    I think I want to do a post on this.

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  8. yea... i can relate too - not much support from the immediate family. i'm fortunate to have an excellent friend from a previous barn, plus some trainers at my lease horse's barn who are my age and lots of fun.

    it's kinda crazy how often the horse habit strikes people with no previous connections... in any case, hope you enjoy the visit from the in-laws!

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  9. I am very blessed to have two parents who love horses, and shows. I also grew up with an incredible barn family. I don't take that for granted, but thank you for the reminder that I am indeed lucky.

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  10. My parents don't really get the whole 'horse thing'. They try and support me as best as they can, and I'm so so SO grateful for them lugging me up to the barn at 6 in the morning (45 min drive) and watching my lessons on occasion, I know I can't complain but there's still really no one to 'talk' to about the ups and downs of horses, I've come to love my barn family like my real family for this reason. Thanks for the reminder that I do have a heap to be very grateful for :)

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  11. I'm in the same-ish boat parent-wise. My parents paid for and took me to lessons as a kid 1x a week. My dad has seen me ride 5 or 6 times in my 20 years of riding. I think he may have kind of met Griffin and Q once? From a distance? Like far far away *points to my horses*, "Those are mine" kind of thing? And my mom thinks it's cool I ride and does her best to come watch when she can, but I do think she thinks I'm a bit crazy with the money I spend pursuing horses. She always tells me how beautiful they are though.

    If I were really in dire need....? Um my parents would probably throw me money, but it'd have to be BAD. I'm pretty much the lifeline for my animals - especially the horses. Which is one reason I don't take more risks with my job/moving/etc.

    Man, good question. Really got me thinking on a lot of things...

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  12. I'm in a different boat - my mom is horsey - very dedicated dressage rider but she could care less about my equestrian pursuits. Its kind of heartbreaking, and something I deal with all the time. Friends, very good riding friends, blogs, and what not are what keep me going :)

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  13. My parents have zero interest and it's something I've always paid for/worked for/organized myself. My mom is all passive aggressive about it - says she is allergic and has been known to make a scene if she thinks I've been near the horses prior to seeing her and thinks excellent dinner conversation = how horses are stealing her chance at grandchildren ;) luckily my husband is awesome, as are all the wonderful friends I've met over the years :) I actually wouldn't change a thing.

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  14. This is so true. I have a horse friend that I grew up with and we have a Facebook message between the two of us that is just constant and has been ongoing for years where we post back and forth about everything horse related every day. I talk about the minutia of every single horse thing with her because if I didn't, who else would I have.

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