I talk a lot about my mom in this blog. She and I share a friendship and a passion for horses that is unbreakable
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t another incredibly important element to all these stories, about a man who has been just as supportive of me and my equine companions as my mom but in so many different ways.
I love my dad with all my heart and I’m so grateful for his support over the past 33 years (and counting) of horses in my life. He’s never said no to anything horse-related (save for that 3-horse slant I’m still begging for!). He has tolerated endless conversations diagnosing lameness and proper supplements, or dissecting each step of a flat class. He even took the next inevitable step (perhaps, gave in?) and realized that it was just easier to become a cowboy and ride horses on vacation than to sail boats.
A man who fed my pony Astro his first beer.
Someone who built me a set of jumps for my backyard pony when I was young so I’d stop stealing his coolers and rakes, and another set when I was an adult to teach a western horse to jump.
The cowboy who owns more boots than I do and wears Wranglers with pride.
A dad who either understands what it means, or fakes it really well, when I say we “split-legged over the in to the combination then missed our change.”
Someone who likes to ask me if I used my “double twisted kimberwick” this weekend at the show.
A guy who cried along with me when I lost my Mouse and vowed to help me find my new best friend, whatever it took.
My dad is really truly amazing. He’s watched flat classes, hunter rounds and jump-offs til’ he was blue in the face. He can tell you why most show hunters are bay or chestnut but thinks that is stupid as his tastes run a bit more to the loud (dare I say, garish) side of things. He had a horse that he rode English and jumped but nowadays prefers a good mustang that can climb a mountain.
When I say that he has tolerated conversations about horses, I mean that for the past 33 years of my life that is about all my mom and I have talked about at our shared meals, during every car ride and on each vacation. He never complains because he sees how happy it makes us both. He appreciates and celebrates the bond we share with each other, with horses and encourages us to some day open Brown Horse Farm – my ultimate dream. While he may not want to stand around in the dust all day watching endless hunter rounds or to clean stalls on Christmas morning, he understands why that is so important to the two of us. For that I could not be more grateful.
Beyond all that, my dad has always always always supported my riding career and knows how much it is my life. I won’t go in to the show ring – or into an important interview/meeting/event – without my lucky bracelet or earrings that he made. And I know he is just as proud of my accomplishments as my mom is and loves the mid and post-show updates equally. Well, at least he likes the final call when I’m too tired to ramble on much longer about my awesome horse!
So thank you, Dad. I love you so much, your support means more to me than you could ever know. I appreciate that you have made so many sacrifices for me to have these opportunities in my life that have helped shape me into the woman I am today. I promise that you never have to watch another flat class ever again!
Now, about that 3-horse gooseneck slant with living quarters…! 🙂