Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We're horse owners!
I think Christmas 2009 may be burned into the memory of my nine-year-old daughter. The year she got a horse for Christmas. That's an unbelievably extravagant gift, I know. And not one we made hastily, I assure you. This has been a decision, years in the making.
We've been riding at our beloved Carousel Acres since Emma's third birthday. I think it's unbelievably rare to find out what a child is passionate about and gifted at when they are that young. It sounds kind of strange to say she started riding when she was three, but we felt we could hardly keep her away from horses. She was born obsessed, literally, before she could talk. She had a way, as a toddler, with these huge animals, and she was this tiny little girl. She had no fear, only affection for them, and they seemed to feel the same for her. She started lessons with Mr. Brad at Carousel Acres where she rides Peruvian horses. (These horses are gaited horses, and have a very smooth movement for the rider.) We've been out there ever since.
Subsequently, we've been riding lesson horses for more than six years. Lesson horses are good for a season, but when she started showing at Peruvian shows a few years ago, I began to realize the difficulty with staying with a lesson horse. A lesson horse is used to being pulled, yanked, and basically abused by numerous little riders, learning to reign, ever NOT so gently. They become immune to proper reigning after a while, and I personally grew weary of my daughter on difficult horses, especially in the show arena, where she didn't have a chance on them.
We began to pray about purchasing our own horse to board at Carousel Acres. This is a big financial commitment, and responsibility. We leased several horses in search of the right one. We prayed for many months about the cost, if this was a wise use of our money. Ultimately, we felt that investing in Emma's gift and talent, as she continues to grow and mature, is a good investment. One Dad put it to us simply. He said "Let me tell you the best part; my daughter is fourteen and she doesn't give a second thought to boys." I think that may have sold Rusty! Girls and horses, they are something! A girl who loves her horse and spends her time on a horse, caring for a horse, being responsible for her animal, is time well-spent.
I am so glad that God has given Emma this gift with horses, and we seek to show her how to use all her gifts and talents for God's glory! We talk about this frequently. He's also given us a little "horse community" which is a sphere of influence within out community. I pray God uses us there! As for me, I'm learning more everyday about being a horse Mom. My friend Shannan is a natural horse Mom, me not so much. Everything I know, I've learned over six years time. I'm getting there! On Christmas day, we went out for Emma to ride her new horse, and she rode around the arena while Rusty and I mucked the arena. (Yes, scooping horse poop.) Rusty looked at me and said "Who ARE you!?" I looked at him very solemnly and said "I'm a horse Mom."
So meet Virrenya, the newest member of the family! She and Emma are precious together.