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Sunday, May 29, 2011

When a Horse met a Boy.

As parents we must be genetically wired to share as many of our interests with our children as possible. The one-of-a-kind that no one else could appreciate. The goofy and yes, the quirky ones too. In return, our progeny are also wired to roll their eyes and begrudgingly oblige us with their presence. But eventually, as is my case after 20 years, they come around. They finally see what you have seen and make that connection on some level to something you have held close.

One passion from my childhood always stands out and seems to rise to the top: The love of horse. During that time my family always owned horses. I took them for granted because they were always there. Constantly needing food, grooming and exercise. I wasn’t aware of it at the time but I was slowly and incrementally building life skills. I like to call it the development of ‘horse sense’.

A few years back, a close friend of mine reintroduced me to the world of horse. It was there at an annual AQHA Quarter Horse show in Oklahoma City that it struck me. One of my parents passions, what I thought was an obsession at the time, had been reawakened within me. The timing was perfect.

Here I am now with children of my own and multiple passions. How do I share even one of them and make that connection? First, there is my love of sports. Our kids are all on sports teams and occasionally I coach one of their teams, so check. Then there is my love of art. Most of my children have shown the inclination towards art. We regularly make art and go to museums, sometimes spending the entire day taking in as much as we can. And then there is the horse. Recently awakened and still somewhere in my heart. How does that fit into our lives and why should I care?

There are many reasons to encourage your children’s love of horse. Horses help us build character and teach us life skills like responsibility, patience and self-discipline. I recently found a great article “How Horses Build Character” by Caterina Tadlock on The Ultimate Horse Site. Caterina reviews nine ways a horse can build character and she explains how the time children spend with horses “make a tremendous difference in their lives… making them happier and more successful individuals.”

So the journey begins or in my case, continues. I encourage you to think about what a horse can teach you and how your life can benefit from them. I will do the same and capture as much of it as possible here on The World Horse and on Twitter.

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