Because My Daughter Grew Up With Horses ©
11/15/12 - By Tracy Meisenbach
Every so often, we come across an article about horses and why we love them that we want to share. This is one of those articles. We loved what the author said, and the values it embraces. Since we are all horse lovers at heart, we think you will agree! A big thank you to Tracy for allowing us to share her beautiful words with our fans. Tracy originally wrote this article for her daughter, Amy, on her 16th birthday!
Because My Daughter Grew Up with Horses ©
By Tracy Meisenbach
|Tracy's daughter, Amy, and their filly "Paris" at BreyerFest in 2006!|
While watching my daughter ride today, I took time to reflect on the young woman my daughter had become and the choices she would face in the future. As I looked at her I could see the athlete she was, and the determined woman she would soon be.
I started thinking about some the girls we knew in our town who were already pregnant, pierced in several places, hair every color under the sun, drop outs, drug addicts and on the fast track to no where, seeking surface identities because they had no inner self esteem. The parents of these same girls have asked me why I "waste" the money on horses so my daughter can ride. I'm told she will grow out of it, lose interest, discover boys and all kinds of things that try to pin the current generation's "slacker" label on my child. I don't think it will happen, I think she will love and have horses all her life.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has compassion. She knows that we must take special care of the very young and the very old. We must make sure those without voices to speak of their pain are still cared for.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned responsibility for others than herself. She learned that regardless of the weather you must still care for those you have the stewardship of. There are no "days off" just because you don't feel like being a horse owner that day. She learned that for every hour of fun you have there are days of hard slogging work you must do first.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned not to be afraid of getting dirty and that appearances don't matter to most of the breathing things in the world we live in. Horses do not care about designer clothes, jewelry, pretty hairdos or anything else we put on our bodies to try to impress others. What a horse cares about are your abilities to work within his natural world, he doesn't care if you're wearing $80.00 jeans while you do it.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned about sex and how it can both enrich and complicate lives. She learned that it only takes one time to produce a baby, and the only way to ensure babies aren't produced is not to breed. She learned how babies are planned, made, born and, sadly, sometimes die before reaching their potential. She learned how sleepless nights and trying to outsmart a crafty old broodmare could result in getting to see, as non-horse owning people rarely do, the birth of a true miracle.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she understands the value of money. Every dollar can be translated into bales of hay, bags of feed or farrier visits. Purchasing non-necessities during lean times can mean the difference between feed and good care, or neglect and starvation. She has learned to judge the level of her care against the care she sees provided by others and to make sure her standards never lower, and only increase as her knowledge grows.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to learn on her own. She has had teachers that cannot speak, nor write, nor communicate beyond body language and reactions. She has had to learn to "read" her surroundings for both safe and unsafe objects, to look for hazards where others might only see a pretty meadow. She has learned to judge people as she judges horses. She looks beyond appearances and trappings to see what is within.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned sportsmanship to a high degree. Everyone that competes fairly is a winner. Trophies and ribbons may prove someone a winner, but they do not prove someone is a horseman. She has also learned that some people will do anything to win, regardless of who it hurts. She knows that those who will cheat in the show ring will also cheat in every other aspect of their life and are not to be trusted.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has self-esteem and an engaging personality. She can talk to anyone she meets with confidence, because she has to express herself to her horse with more than words. She knows the satisfaction of controlling and teaching a 1000 pound animal that will yield willingly to her gentle touch and ignore the more forceful and inept handling of those stronger than she is. She holds herself with poise and professionalism in the company of those far older than herself.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to plan ahead. She knows that choices made today can effect what happens five years down the road. She knows that you cannot care for and protect your investments without savings to fall back on. She knows the value of land and buildings. And that caring for your vehicle can mean the difference between easy travel or being stranded on the side of the road with a four horse trailer on a hot day.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned that color, sex, and age do not establish a horse's, or a person's, intelligence, ability or value. She has learned that only personal actions can tell you the merit of each individual, all other labels are put on things because of snobbery or fear by narrow minded people. A good horse has no set color, or age, or sex, neither does a good person.
When I look at what she has learned and what it will help her become, I can honestly say that I haven't "wasted" a penny on providing her with horses. I only wish that all children had the same opportunities to learn these lessons from horses before setting out on the road to adulthood.
Written and copyrighted January 21, 2008
U.S. Library of Congress #TX0007159977
By Tracy Meisenbach
All rights are reserved by Tracy Meisenbach, this article may not be reproduced, disseminated, published, or transferred in any form or by any means, except with the prior written permission of Tracy Meisenbach.
09/05/2013 at 4:32 pm
this is beautiful and its so true every child, teenager or young adult that has a horse does go through this stuff. I can honestly say that when i was a child i always wanted a horse. I didnt care what horse as long as it was tall and i was able to ride it and learn with it too. My parents always complained about the fact that a horse costs too much. granted they had just bought a trailer home and paid for it to be put on a 5.6 acre property. I still wanted a horse i never gave up through my teen years my parents decided well we'll get the girls a goat to see how well they can handle taking care of a barn animal. I did take care of the goats especially my baby boy bambi a black and white nigerian dwarf mix pygmy wether. There was some nights i neglected to feed him and had my parents do so because i was either too lazy or too tired, or there was always some excuse. He passed in february 2012 a day after his birthday. I regret not taking care of him like i should have because i knew he was going to die that day he was having issues standing and kept stargazing. However it was a good lesson for me and it prepared me for the responsibilities that i would take on when i was to buy my first horse, a horse needs watered daily, fed three times a day if not on pasture, and worked with daily and FINALLY! im paying 250 a month for my own horse a buckskin mare named Sunset's beauty. Shes not purebred and i have so much i want to do with her but before i do that we must set our boundaries and trust in place. I work with beauty everyday or at least when the weather permits me too, i always water her no matter if its hot or cold, and some days ill go out and groom her but she hasnt gotten to the stage where she just stands there and lets me haha. I can honestly say that for a 4 year old mare everyone told me not to get her but she ended up being totally worth it. She has potential and that is what i love in a horse. Having a horse has really helped my life so far. I do agree every child who feels they want one should be able to exerience having one even if its just in a riding school. :D
11/19/2012 at 11:47 am
Great great story, I didn't have the opportunity to be "raised" with horses but always wanted one! Breyers were the next best thing to owning my own, I didn't get the chance to live somewhere where I could own a horse until about 6 years ago. My husband had never ridden a horse and I was worried about him "buying" into the idea of owning some. After many hours of talking about it and what it would take to own and care for them, he dove right in, and we both have never looked back! I want our grandchildren to experience all the joys of horsemanship and the story above shows just how rewarding the experience can be! We have them around the horses as much as possible to get them used to them and how to communicate with them and become "one" with the animal. It makes my heart flutter when my mare reaches down toward my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter to sniff at her blond hair, and how my granddaughter looks up and takes her muzzle in her tiny little hands and kisses her. I'm always a little nervous when they do that but it makes my heart melt! I cannot wait for them to grow up together and get to understand each other! It will be a wonderful experience that I missed out on as a child, I am glad that I will be able to give that experience to them! Thanks again for the wonderful, wonderful story!
11/16/2012 at 9:51 pm
This is Amy (the girl in the above photo, all grown up!). I've had horses all my life and they are indeed a great way to learn how the world works. Horses can teach you a lot of things, and I'm amazed that after all I've accomplished with them so far, I've still got so much to learn.
Sant, my mother and I went to Breyerfest two years in a row to represent the Appaloosa in the parade of breeds showcase. Alongside Lil Ricky Rocker and the Georgias, my mother and I took Paris, her mother Heiress and our younger stallion, Vader the first year, and returned the second time with Paris as a yearling and another mare, Peso and her foal by Vader, Jedi. We also managed the Appaloosa Horse Club Booth and oversaw giveaways of Appaloosa-marked breyers that had been donated by various Appaloosa Horse Club Members.
The Lurker Says:
11/16/2012 at 8:16 am
Too little, too late for me!
But, yes - a wonderful story and Amy was very privileged to have been raised that way! As for me, my mom bought me a horse AFTER I became interested in boys - in particular, a boy she did not like. I loved my horse but she sometimes served as a method for me to go visit my boyfriend, rather than to distract me away from him, like my mother had planned. If she had only known..!
The Lurker Says:
11/16/2012 at 8:07 am
Real horses to Breyerfest?
Sant, I was wondering the same thing when I read the caption under the picture. Anybody know?
11/16/2012 at 12:16 am
All of it is so true
I agree, horses are great teachers, I don't have a trainer right now, but I don't need one, I already have one-my mare. She lets me know if I'm off-balance, giving wrong commands, how to communicate with horses, and after riding her for six years, I understand her, there is only one problem with her teaching me: I learned how to ride on her, and she knows what she can get away with-even if she only gets away with her "tests" for a few minutes. You know you understand your horse when you can tell what they want, when they want it, if somethings wrong, and what tricks they're thinking they'll do next.
11/15/2012 at 7:59 pm
Wait a minute.... you can take your horses to horses to BreyerFest?
11/15/2012 at 7:43 pm
Its a great example of what horses can do for people. I've been riding horses since I was seven, and I don't think I can stop. My parents thought it was something I'd lose intrest in(my dad actually tried talking me out of riding and doing tennis or something), but I've only become more obsessed with horses(like I have with breyers) and I now have two horses, and am schooling second-level(I started dressage lessons a year ago) I'm only thirteen and I'm already training horses ground manners, and will start teaching my cousins soon. I am also already planning to go to an equestrian college-not sure wich one yet, but it has to have dressage-and I was excepted in the National Junior Honor Society(I can't participate know because its in California and I have recently moved to Washington) and unfortunetly, my friends who don't ride horses, aren't doing so good in school(I don't blame them, I'm truly not a huge fan of school, but I read a lot-especially Greek mythology). I can't imagine not riding horses.
11/15/2012 at 5:43 pm
Yes so true and not just girls, boys with horses also learn similar values.And children with horses also maybe have the parents who understand and listen more.??We need more of this in the world!!!
Fox Valley Stables Says:
11/15/2012 at 5:26 pm
It's all so true. Beautifully written.
11/15/2012 at 3:38 pm
That's awesome! What a great story!! Thanks for sharing.
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