Sunday, April 7, 2013

Balancing family and showing

I have two children.  Maddie which is ten and Brysen who is four.  I'm finding it really hard to balance between the two.  Its very difficult to take Brysen to the barn when Maddie rides because he wants to get into everything and also he doesn't sit for very long.  Taking him to a horse show is a real job.  I can't keep track of him and help her at the same time.  It can become very unsafe.  Our family has become divided since Maddie started showing horses. She and I head off to horse shows while Brysen and daddy spend the weekends at home.  I love the one on one time I get with Maddie but I'm starting to miss family time.

How do you balance your time between showing horses and family?


  1. A comment from one of my facebook readers:

    Safety comes first. Your son needs to stay home with Dad. The family has to come together on this. You will also need to find time to spend with your son while your daughter stays with Dad. Your son is only 4 and will not understand anything except big sis seems to be getting more attention. As he gets older, he will be able to be involved in 4-H and other things while your daughter rides. Showing horses is a commitment and the entire family needs to buy into it or you will find your self pulled in multiple directions, tired and unhappy.

  2. I don't know how it is with a "horse showing family" but I know that when the two older boys were in basktball - two different programs even - that it wasn't easy with Andrew. Thankfully, their games were only an hour. But it was a little stressful, especially when games were close together and we had to split up. I can't imagine doing all-day or all-weekend shows!!

    A while ago, we had been involved in a bible study at church that talked about Simple Life book. It was interesting because basically, it said that the things that make us busy aren't all BAD, but that as a family, we need to prioritize what we do. It's not easy giving up things we love, but it doesn't help if we're so busy every day and weekend and don't have that quality time together. I'm not saying to give up the horse life, but it might be that you have to carve out extra time during the week that makes up for the time lost on the weekends.

    Good luck with whatever your family decides to do!

  3. Great advice Carrie! It's nice that I get to be with Brysen all week. That helps make up the time I'm away.

  4. My family kind of dealt with that as I was growing up. We got into horses when I was about 12, my sister was 10ish and my little brother about 6. Since he was a little older than yours, he was able to come along to the barn and stay out of trouble mostly. He loved playing with the kittens and exploring. He rode a little and showed leadline a couple of times. As he got a bit older he decided skateboards were more his thing, but was still "dragged" to horse shows if my dad wasn't home that weekend. He volunteered for our Saddle Club and handed out ribbons at the gate, which he loved. My mom also payed him a little to do this so he really loved it. Once he was old enough to stay home alone, that's what he did. My mom made sure to also pay enough attention (and money) into his hobbies, which eventually became snowboarding and soccer mainly. That way it seemed more fair.

  5. I had that same challenge, been taking my son to horse shows since he was 4. We were lucky enough to show with some other families that also had children, and would work together to make sure the younger siblings were supervised by a parent, while mom helped the older with necessaries. Then we went together to watch when they were in the ring, to show "support" for the showing sibling. Then it was back to playtime, between classes. Finding another family, or families that you can work together with is wonderful. I did not have the option of leaving one at home with dad, it wasnt a safe environment. So we made it a day for both kids, in different ways. We had special toys and games that were for 'show days' so he had something to look forward to.