Little Girl Dreams

When our daughter K was about 8 years old, we introduced her to riding.  Having tried her hand at a few different extracurricular activities, none had really been of keen interest to her.  That is, until she discovered horses.

Our wee girl in early days of showing. #79, with a little butt so tiny, it barely filled her jodhpurs!

Our wee girl in early days of showing. #79, with a little butt so tiny, it barely filled her jodhpurs!

There is something wonderful about watching your child discover something they love, something they develop a passion for.

K & Angel

K & Angel

Given her love of animals, we had a hunch it might be something she would like.

When I think back to that tiny wee girl interacting with this very large animal, it strikes me that there was never any fear on her part.

Being around these beautiful beings seemed as natural to her as walking & talking.

Much of  our daughter’s childhood & adolescent years were spent hanging out at the barn.  It was her most favourite place in the world to be.

While other girls her age were busy experimenting with make up & clothes, our girl loved nothing more than to spend countless hours with other like-minded girls or “barn rats” as they called themselves, shoveling horse poop, brushing, tacking, & haying.

Happily volunteering most of her weekends to assist in the chores of the barn, she developed not only her love of riding, but a deep love & understanding of the equine world in general.

K with Hunter

K with Hunter

The “barn rats” competed on a regular basis in a variety of horse shows.

One of the circuits the girls competed in, required us to travel 2 hours away, which meant leaving the farm at 4:30am to get there in time for a 6:30am warm-up.

Prior to departure, chores needed to be done including feeding & watering all of the other horses on the farm. I think at that time, there was about 26 of them.

Our alarm set for 1:30am, we would sleepily roll ourselves into the car, making a stop at a 24 hour coffee shop on our way to the barn.  I say “we”, as I was the driver.  I was also the horse holder (groom), the cheerleader, the medic, the food supplier & of course, the Mom. It is surprising what a parent will do to fulfill their child’s passion.

Happy, happy girls, preparing horses to load.

Happy, happy girls, preparing horses to load.

Admittedly it was an ungodly hour to get up, but I wouldn’t have traded this time with my daughter for anything. At an age when typically daughters pull away from their moms, I had the unique opportunity to hang out with mine.  To this day, I so cherish that time spent together.

k-jumpingWith her quiet demeanor & her sense of never-ending patience, K often found herself showing horses who perhaps were known to have some challenges.

Working together as a team, success was defined in the ability to get through the course together in one piece. Possessing a calm reassurance and a mutual understanding between horse & rider, the partnership often resulted in a successful day.

One of the most memorable shows for the girls, was the opportunity to participate in the CNE horse show.  Although this competition is no longer in place, it was held in the Coliseum where the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is held each year.

The horse show was smack dab in the midst of the chaos of CNE.  With screams from midway patrons, bright lights, loud noises, and the smells of fast food, it was a teenage girls’ dream & most likely a horses’ nightmare.

The girls slept in a stall for 3 days, supporting one another while they took turns competing, & basking in the frivolity of the CNE.    It was like summer camp on steroids. In a horse stall.  They loved every moment of this experience.

CNE competition. K on Spider.

CNE competition. K on Spider.

During her university years, K continued to ride on a more recreational basis.  Ever resourceful in fulfilling her desire to be near horses, trading work for riding, she always found a way to fuel her passion.

Post university, she took a job working & eventually coaching at a therapeutic riding facility , expanding her knowledge to include the benefits of a rather unique relationship.

One between individuals with a multitude of disabilities, & the miraculous innate sense of the horse transporting this more fragile rider.  Somehow understanding, with this precious cargo on their back, they needed to shed their sometimes stubborn nature, & become the most gentle steed one could imagine.

This only gave K more regard & respect for this often misunderstood animal.

Many people are afraid of horses, fearing their size & their ability to potentially do harm. In fact, horses are flight animals, most likely choosing to run away in fear more so than trampling anything.  You only need to witness a 2000lb horse in fear of something as small & gentle as a butterfly, to know how fragile their sense of domination is.

Sir Charles & K

Sir Charles & K

From those first days of riding when K was 8 years old, she dreamed of some day owning her own horse. About 4 years ago, her little girl dream came true.

After much searching, she purchased a 9-year-old thoroughbred named Charlie. Like so many she has worked with before him, Charlie is a work in progress.

He has his own set of issues but then, most of us living beings do.  What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in his ability to love.

Regardless of his shortcomings, he basks in the glory of being accepted & loved, knowing that if he is having a bad day, it will not deter the bond he shares with our daughter.  I suspect the feeling is mutual.

Riding, along with the simple pleasure of interacting with horses, has become K’s passion, her means of exercise & her therapy.

We could not have foreseen all those years ago, the impact those first few riding lessons, would have on our daughter.

scan0057

 

The bond that is unique between human & equine. A bond that runs deep, offering both partners much reward.

Discovering what you love is key to finding fulfillment in becoming the person you are meant to be.

Regardless of what your passion is, it has the ability to make us feel whole, feeding our souls & perhaps giving us the opportunity to realise a dream come true.

Hugs,

L

 

 

 

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44 Responses to Little Girl Dreams

  1. Lovely post. Your daughter was a lucky girl with a mother so devoted to helping her find her passions and lucky now that she took that over and makes her own dreams come true!

  2. Paul says:

    Wonderful story, great pictures.. Thank you for sharing.

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you for reading Paul! The picture of her with the #79 on her little backside is one of my very favourites to this very day:)

  3. Jodi says:

    Beautiful all around!

  4. karen says:

    The wonderful devotion as a mother and the passion of a child…lovely xo

    • Lynn says:

      Karen, thank you for your kind words. As parents, we encourage our children to try their hand at different things, in the hopes that they find something they love. K finding horses was a win win for both of us as it gave us many, many hours to spend together:)

  5. Your daughter will never forget those days. She will always remember your commitment and love. You were the driver, groom, cheerleader, medic and food supplier. Most of all, you were an amazing Mom to a youngster with a passion.

    • Lynn says:

      How kind of you Bruce. I think these are treasured days for both us, filled with so many memories of time spent together. Some were stressful, like the time we sat in a hospital room for 8 hrs after a bad fall, thinking she fractured a vertebrae in her neck. Thankfully, this was not the case! There were a few of these but the good times far outweigh the stressful ones!

  6. Sue Slaght says:

    So beautifully written Lynn. What a wonderful opportunity you presented to your daughter. To spend all that time with her was a gift although it couldn’t have always been easy. Thank you for sharing this lovely look inside your family.

    • Lynn says:

      It’s funny Sue, my Dad was a horse lover from a very young age, something I have often thought our daughter, somehow inherited from him. It just seemed so natural for her.

      The bonus for me was in sharing this experience with her at a time when so many girls wanted nothing to do with their mother.

      Thank you for always lifting my heart with your lovely comments. It makes sharing these stories just that much more special.

  7. joannesisco says:

    Lucky is the person to discover their passion in life … even luckier to find it at a young age.
    … and lucky the mother to watch that passion develop in their child!! ❤

    A beautiful story and I love the pictures that accompanied it … especially the last one.

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you Joanne, that last one is one of my favourites too. It speaks to me of the beauty of the relationship between rider & horse, capturing a sense of serenity & quiet.

  8. martha monti says:

    What a beautiful testament to the relationship between a girl and her horse(s)! These majestic creatures have enriched so many lives through the ages…..what a privilege for a mother to be able to share this passion with her sweet girl:)

    • Lynn says:

      Martha, I am so grateful to have been able to share in this passion with K & get to come to know & understand this amazing animal. She would tell me stories of when she coached a group of riders at the therapeutic riding center that would just warm your heart. They are incredible beings, that is for sure! Appreciate your kinds words my friend!

  9. Coming East says:

    Such a wonderful story, Lynn. How wonderful that something that started in childhood continued to have such a great impact on her whole life.

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely words.

      She has been very resourceful over the years in ensuring she can ride. For her, it is like going to the gym. By simply be in the company with horses, it relieves her stress, at the same time as a means of exercise.

  10. What a beautiful story, my daughter owned a hose since she 8 and I agree he life lessons from that experience cannot be duplicated. When she had a bad day or her stress was high her horse could provide a release like nothing else. We recently had to rehome our beloved friend as my daughter is heading to university and cannot give him the attention or time he deserves but it is a friend, relationship and memory like no other.

    • Lynn says:

      It is such a special relationship. That must have been so difficult for all of you, your daughter in particular. I hope that you were able to find him a wonderful home.

  11. Ingrid says:

    What a wonderful story. There’s nothing more special than seeing your child grow into a beautiful and productive adult. And sharing all those special memories together is a wonderful bond. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  12. EpicGran says:

    Beautiful post. I too was a horsey girl – they are so much nicer than boys! 🙂

  13. Lynn says:

    Ha! I think my daughter would have agreed!

  14. Carolyn says:

    I remember those days! This was beautifully written and brought back a lot of memories. I’m thrilled to see I made the photo selection 🙂 I guess I never really stopped to think about how much you Barn Moms put up with from us. All the early mornings, and the “hold my horses” and the “I need something to eat” we were very lucky girls to have moms that cared not only about us, but our fellow barn rats as well. If my mom wasn’t around I could count on you (or any of the other awesome moms) to grab my lunch or hold my horse while I went to the washroom. So all these years later. THANK YOU! You ladies gave us some of the best memories a kid could have. ❤

    • Lynn says:

      Ah Carolyn, your beautiful comment was such a wonderful surprise to see here. Writing this post brought back to many great memories for me as well, remembering you girls & the many, many hours we all spent together. So many funny memories & stories shared together, not to mention the love of the horse. Thank you for absolutely warming my heart with your words & for taking the time to write them!

  15. I really look forward to your post so have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks for the great reads, I can always relate to your stuff. http://campthatsite.com/2015/04/25/v-versatile-blogger-award/

    • Lynn says:

      I love that you can relate to my posts, it is such a big part of why we write, to engage others & hope that we touch readers through sharing our stories.

      I so appreciate the nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award & the shout out for my blog. I decided when I first started blogging not to participate in awards, mostly because I didn’t want to burden anyone in having to pass along the nominations. I hope you understand.

      Thanks again, for your kind words, for reading & for sharing. I am so grateful to have met such wonderful people through writing!

      • I can see why you decided that. That was the first time I had been nominated so I thought it would be fun to participate. It took a lot of time so I think I will will follow your path.

  16. LB says:

    K will treasure this post as it tells the story of her love for horses. It also tells the rest of us about her work ethic and skills.
    What a lovely story, Lynn.
    My son, too, loved horses and they filled a big part of our lives from age 7 to 14. He was without exaggeration, the only boy in the barn 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      Thanks so much Laurie. Our barn also had one boy, the girls tolerated him. What’s so funny is he grew up to marry one of the barn rats. They now have their own horse & continue to ride together. So sweet!

  17. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks. Very heartwarming! Thom.

  18. pieterk515 says:

    It’s great to see how parents and teenagers bond. Gives me hope for mine…hehe.

    By the way, there are some beautiful horses in those pics of yours…Oh and the humans, I probably have to add…

    • Lynn says:

      So many parents will tell you horror stories about the teen years Pieter. I honestly found them to be some of the most fun years to experience with our children. If you can keep an open mind & remember what it was like to be that age, you will be just fine.

  19. You unfold this story so wonderfully and the photos are great – especially the last one! I share your daughter’s lifelong love but never had the means to purchase and support a rescued horse until last year…for my 60th birthday. It’s never too late!

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you so much. Spending this time together over the years, was such a gift for us as mother & daughter. She was always very resourceful when it came to her riding, trading work at the barn for riding privileges. She acquired her Charlie a few years ago, making her dreams of owning her own horse, a reality. He has his issues but the bond they share is so special. I am so glad you never gave up on your dream! Wishing you many wonderful years together!

  20. This is a very touching and endearing post Lynn. And it confirms what I’ve suspected about horse people: either you are one, or you aren’t one and there’s no in between. The lifelong love of horses that your daughter has takes a level of passion that only comes with years of experience and devotion. Charlie sounds like a fun challenge to keep your daughter’s equine dream alive. ~James

    • Lynn says:

      James! Thank you for upt kind words. This one definitely came from my heart . I honestly can’t imagine how her life would be without them in it. It is as natural as breathing.

      Charlie has come leaps & bounds since spending time with her. The bound they have formed is an amazing one to watch 💛

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