Giving up after baby(10 Posts)
And then really really missed it!
I sold my pony at the end of last summer. He was difficult to handle and couldn't cope with competing and went to a fantastic hacking home. I was in the process of searching for my next show pony when I found out I was pregnant.
I will be going part time after the baby is born, have 2 large dogs and 3 cats to deal with as well as baby and not much support so decided to put the search on hold which I was upset about at first as I'm not sure what to do without a hobby as such! Dp is not horsey and works 50+ hours a week and financially we will struggle until I go back to work full time so I couldn't really afford another for the forseable future. I could proberbly manage a happy hacker but would have no spare money to compete or get lessons etc. I also couldn't afford full livery so that is out of the question.
Has anyone else given up for a few years? Did children make it less miserable? At the moment I am missing it and am very bored but I am told this will change when baby is actually here.
I wouldn't want a part loan etc as I am only interested in competing and producing a specific type of pony and don't really have any interest for just hacking/riding anything hence why it would be more sensible for me to wait for a few years until I can get exactly what makes me tick.
Basically has anyone else had children and then returned to horses after, how long was the gap?
I think you just have to wait and see how you feel when you have your baby. I don't think anyone imagines horses will take a back seat before children arrive but generally they do and you might find you don't have the drive and enthusiasm you had for it before. One problem is having child free time to enjoy your riding/horsey time. You won't to have the time to 'do' ponies as you did before and the pressure of trying to fit everything in can be stressful and can mean you resent the horsey jobs.
If your husband is working all week, you are working PT and looking after baby the rest of the time, realistically how long will you get to ride/compete look after ponies?
I had 3 horses when I got pregnant, 1 went on loan, 1 went to grass resting livery the old lady stayed with me. I kept her on assisted DIY and maybe rode once a week if I got time, just hacking. Looking after horse wasn't so bad when babies slept in car or sat in pram, its when they become toddlers its more difficult, everything takes 3x as long because you have to stop them falling on a fork, drowning in a trough, etc.
6 years on I have 2 kids, still have old mare and maybe ride twice a week. I miss charging around XC courses but now I can't just take half a Sunday to compete, we need family time, kids have parties, clubs etc at weekends.
However, keeping my horse gave me an escape and some me-time. And it really didn't matter if she was ridden or not so I was really lucky with that.
If you have ponies that need consistent work and producing, honestly I would wait.
I have an 11-month-old and shared a pony until I became pregnant. I was also very involved as a volunteer working with horses at a charity. I thought I would return to volunteering and riding quite quickly, but other than a few visits to say hello I have just been too busy with DD. That is partly because she had severe reflux, fed frequently and didn't nap well, and I returned to work part-time (i'm a nanny and she comes with me) when she was 4 months old. However I have been surprised by how little I have missed it as I enjoy being with her so much. I do intend to get back to it when she is a bit older though.
Worth keeping an eye out for a part loan - I have part loaned a medium dressage horse for the last 5 years, get to compete and do as I like basically on as many days as I want
Have horse, and toddler (and new baby!!) I still compete though not as frequently and I ride 4-5 times a week. Horse on DIY. not sure how everything will pan out when I return to work later this year but I would miss the means to escape. Even if a lot of my riding is a 20-30 minute hack/schooling session.
I used to show hunters at county level. My last show was with a 5 week old baby in tow and I realised I had gone nuts! I've done the odd bit of competition but only at fun level - local XCs, a bit of lower level showing, etc, but if I am being honest I can't really be arsed to put in the work. I don't miss spending my time scrubbing a nearly 18hh grey heavyweight, or trying to ensure that I jog the cob's mane on the right day so his neck is at its best on the day of the show, or spending hours playing them a tape of rounds of applause so they wouldn't freak out at the clapping if they won.
Instead I go hunting. I can get up and decide whether I want to on the day, it is so sociable, and you are still out on the horse. I went yesterday and was out for 5 hours. Me and the horse had a blast!
This will be the first year I will have had both children out of the house during the day since I started my family. I've decided I'd like to get out competing again a bit more this year - I did a few lower level Trecs last year with some success, and I'm also hoping to have a pony worthy of showing with a child on board (vetting is tomorrow - fingers crossed!)
Unless you have a very, very supportive backup team you just can't compete at high level with small babies around. But the fact that I have spent the last few years charging round enjoying myself have been invaluable - both for the social contact, the exercise and for keeping my hand in and riding skills current. I would probably go mad at home with young kids and no way of blowing off the cobwebs.
I wouldn't discount a loan or share - once upon a time I had real difficulty finding a sharer for my big hunter. His size out a lot of people off. But The sharers I had were able to take him out showing and to dressage competitions, as I was pregnant and not able to ride him myself. I eventually sold him, and the current owner hasn't been able to show him as she has 2 babies of her own now but her sharer took him to county shows and RIHS this year and also contended HOYS qualifiers too. My current little horse was used as to whip in bloodhounds from by a recent sharer, and led hound parades at county shows and countryside race days.
There are plenty of decent horses out there to keep your hand in with if you decide not to buy another one straight away. One thing I am fairly sure of though - it would take and exceptional person to duck out of the horse world for a few years and re-enter it where she left off.
I gave up when DS was 6 months old, as I found I just couldn't fit it all in. I went back to it when he was about 3, and started preschool. I found then I started to have some free time, and felt the need to fill it. I didn't miss it too much while he was small as he needed me so much, and that took up all my time and energy. I would be lost without it again now.
I would try to keep riding if you can though, although I appreciate you said you don't enjoy just hacking. That was my big regret, that I stopped riding entirely. I was surprised how hard I found it when I took it up again. it took me a good year to get back to the level I had been before.
I fell with DS about the time my gelding was ready to retire, so that worked well. He was boarding at my parents house, so in theory I could still jump on occasionally when I visited, but my sister lived there with her baby as well, and she made it difficult (read impossible) for my folks to watch bub while I rode. When he passed away, I was horseless for 15yrs. My advice would be to do whatever it takes to keep riding!!!
Ooooo- Backinthebox- did you get a LR pony? With or without plaits? May be standing next to you in the ring!
I stopped riding when I thought I had miscarried. Had been competing when 10 weeks pregnant following which I bled for 3 days. I know it was a coincidence but it did worry me. Said baby is now nearly 10 and I can count on one hand the number of times I have been on a horse since.
A combination of work, house moves and three children has kept me away. I do regret the years away from horses but am looking to go back when my youngest starts school (he is 4).
Am very nervous but excited. Will be looking for a share on a happy hacker! Am sure my muscles have vanished, probably with my courage, but we shall see.
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