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Can babies and horses ever mix?

(16 Posts)
Blackfellpony Thu 06-Apr-17 08:50:09

Just a discussion really as I am now horseless for the first time in my life.

Has anyone managed with young babies/toddlers and horses?

If so how?!

Is it always a case of giving up until the children go to school shock

Booboostwo Thu 06-Apr-17 16:05:22

It depends.

I have horses at home but they live out so I am less tied down to a strict routine. I managed to check on them, give hay, etc even with a very young baby, but to ride I needed someone to look after the DCs. I know of some people who have very settled babies, the baby will sleep in the pram while the parent rides...none of mine were like that! I was also very cautious and never happy to lead/handle horses with the baby in a pram or sling, but I know of other people who are less worried.

When my DCs were babies I only rode when I had someone who could look after them so I went from riding two horses 6 times a week to riding one 2-3 times a week. At 12-18mo my DCs started doing some mornings at nursery so things became easier.

Winters are tough. Between the bad weather and the sick DCs there is hardly any day left to ride. I have also adjusted the riding I do to schooling and very short hacks, there is no time for more. I compete 3-5 times a year whereas I used to compete twice a month!

Pixel Thu 06-Apr-17 17:28:09

My friend managed to look after her two horses (both living out) despite having two sets of twins close together, but I have to say she never got to ride!
If you are horseless it would probably be better to look for someone who wants their horse ridden occasionally than get one of your own as you would get more chance to actually get in the saddle.

That said, you do find ways and means once the children get a little older. Dd used to go to a playgroup a couple of mornings a week and it gave me just enough time to nip off for a quick ride. Nowadays if it's school holidays my mum will sometimes come along to the field and watch ds so I can ride. Or you can perhaps find someone who will watch your children while you ride in exchange for a free ride on another day. It all depends on a lot of things.

snowpo Thu 06-Apr-17 21:02:17

I had mine on assisted diy with kids 11 months apart. You just get through it! I had a sling they went in when I mucked out, turning out etc. Then progressed to pram for turning out, then double pram. Ahhh the memories are flooding back! Hardly ever rode though. As babies try & do jobs when they sleep. Worst bit is when they are toddling off finding forks, diving in water troughs, climbing towers of hay. Everything takes 3x as long cos you have to watch them.

snowpo Thu 06-Apr-17 21:12:22

My horse was old lady though, she'd been with me 16yrs so wasn't going anywhere. My gelding went on loan, I wouldn't have done it with him.

horseylady Thu 06-Apr-17 21:28:36

Yes. I have 4.5 and 18month. Work 4 days a week still ride 4/5 times a week. Horse on DIY.

Blackfellpony Fri 07-Apr-17 06:30:36

Horseylady how do you get to ride grin

My friend had 3 under 5 and 2 ponies and I think she's superwoman.

I am half tempted by a nice 4 year old than can have an easy few years while I do the baby thing but then the sensible part of me says madness!

Booboostwo Fri 07-Apr-17 11:48:03

horselady shock kudos to you!!!

Wallywobbles Fri 07-Apr-17 12:22:14

My sister used to get up and ride before her husband left for work - I imagine it was only possible in the summer. Neighbour rides with a headlight in the dark mornings - but always the same route across the dunes and back along the beach.

Holland00 Sat 08-Apr-17 15:35:22

I always say if you want something badly enough, you'll find a way.

I somehow managed working FT, and 4 DC's with 2 horses in full work, plus backing a youngster. I would be on my first at 5:30am so I'd finished by the time anyone in the house was awake. All on DIY.
They were my sanity, the part of my life where i wasn't just Mum.

Ironically now my DC's are older ( youngest is 8) i ride less, as they compete/pony club etc.

Pixel Sat 08-Apr-17 18:44:51

Ha yes, Ds has ridden today, I haven't!

Doublechocolatetiffin Sat 08-Apr-17 21:12:31

I'm a sort of, I have two horses and an 18 month old. I always manage looking after them (even if it's box rest and 2x mucking out a day). They are out 24/7 in the summer but in during the winter during the night. They are kept at home which makes things much easier. I often chuck them out in the morning with my DD in the pushchair, then do the mucking out when she naps. Bring in is after she's gone to sleep.

It's the riding bit that I don't manage so well with. Theoretically I ride in the evenings when my DH is home, realistically more often than it I'm shattered and I don't!

It was easier when she was smaller, she slept for longer and was feasible for her be in the pram whilst I rode. I'm sure I'll get better at riding more regularly now the weather is nicer, well that is if either of them were sound! It's definitely possible, just hard work.

ToneDeafHamster Sat 08-Apr-17 21:32:24

I rode my horse all through my pregnancy and was back in the saddle 7 weeks after giving birth. I did put him on full livery for that time though. I used to stick the baby in a sling and muck out, and DH would take her so I could ride a couple of times a week. Then I moved him to a yard that has 24/7 turn out 365 days a year (like hen's teeth around here) so that made life much easier. He is gone now, poor old boy, but I now have a yearling, which is for me and my DD to share eventually, and I also have an old mare on loan to potter around on. My DD is nearly 3 now, she comes to the field to help feed the ponies, but will stay with her Dad if I am riding. Although she loves sitting on my mare. I don't have much time, and riding is just once a week at the moment, but I spent a few hours with them today, grooming and messing about and it was lovely. It can be done!

Northernmum12 Mon 24-Apr-17 14:06:20

I went from 1 horse when I was pregnant to 3 by the time baby was 6 months old. All in full work and on DIY. Plus working part time after maternity, admittedly with horses so slightly easier.
Baby used to sit in his pram in the indoor whilst I rode or lunged, we also had a walker to help with fitness and husband rides as well so he would ride a couple of days a week. As baby got older I would bring snacks and a portable DVD player and toys and he would play with them while I rode. Now he's nearly 3 and loves to help out with them, has his own set of tools and is pretty good about staying away from legs etc. We now have 5 horses and are thinking about baby number 2!

horseylady Mon 24-Apr-17 21:27:17

Yes they can. You just need to be super organised and have a fairly supportive network.

I get up before everyone and do the horse, go to work, do the horse then pick up the kids. Some days it doesn't work. I also make sure I work one long day at work and so wouldn't ride.

Yes I ride less and don't compete as much as I used too. But horses keep me fairly sane!!

kitkat321 Fri 26-May-17 22:59:31

It's nice to see so many mummies managing - I ended up selling my saint of a horse when dd was 1 1/2 - I was working full time and struggled to get the balance right - when I was at the yard I'd feel guilty about being away from dd and when I wasn't spending much time with the horse I felt guilty about not spending enough time with him - he used to be all I really cared about and I was always riding and out competing and I never really adapted to the change and never found the right yard where I settled (we relocated just before dd was born).

Weirdly I don't miss it - I sometimes miss him but he has a fab new home - but I don't miss the commitment - slogging through mud to go catch him, riding in the pouring rain in a flooded school or dodging the crazy traffic we used to meet our hacking.

I sometime wonder if I'll ever go back to it although dd is already a bit pony obsessed so I might get sucked into it again someday!

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