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Is this level of obsession normal?

(28 Posts)
Annahibiscuits Sun 14-May-17 23:39:12

Dr1 is 12 and has been riding since she was 4. She has always totally loved it. We have changed stables as her needs changed, so we have been to 4 over the years. Been at the most recent one for approximately 7 months I think, she helps out all day Saturday (8am to 5pm). I've just signed loan agreement for a horse as she has showed consistent commitment and interest.

But she's OBSESSED. It's great that she has a passion, I recognise that. And I am pleased that it's a healthy outdoor activity and she's learning lots of useful skills. But, she speaks about nothing else. All conversations end up at horses. She does no other activities and has no other interests. She much prefers to hang out with friends at the yard and hasn't much interest in her school friends, outside of school

I used to ride when I was younger and I understand the enjoyment. But, I didn't have the bug like this. I'm just looking for reassurance really, because I know people DO get 'obsessed' with horses.

What do you think? Go with it? Or enforce some computer game playing/hanging out with non-horsey friends?

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 15-May-17 08:29:01

My dd is like this .., obsessed from the age of 3 but she didn't get to ride properly until her 9th birthday (combination of nearest riding school only taking children from 8 and then a bit of a muddle about where she was on the waiting list) so I had constant horse obsession without the riding hmm

She's now been riding for 5 and a half years and the obsession has only grown - she spends all Sunday at the riding school (different one from where she started) and is doing her BHS stage 1 so is currently there on Saturday afternoons too. She's also found a riding school which specialises in dressage within walking distance from her school so takes herself there once a week for another lesson as well.

Like your dd, she can talk for hours about riding and horsey stuff and never gets bored... she's not particularly outgoing and doesn't really fit in with the 'cool' crowd at school so would much rather hang out with similarly obsessed girls at the stables.

She swims and runs as well, and writes stories (about ponies) and draws a lot of intricate pictures of animals in her spare time. I'm just going with the flow at the moment as it keeps her happy

Annahibiscuits Mon 15-May-17 13:08:54

Thanks noits, that is reassuring. Although, I see your dd has other interests. Maybe I should gently enforce that, as a condition of continuing to ride.

Butkin1 Mon 15-May-17 14:56:41

Yes DD (14) is super keen as well although she's not that bothered by hanging around with the ponies but all she wants to do is have lessons and compete them. She's now up to 5 ponies although one will need to go after her exams next week and another one will go at the end of the season.

All her free time is taken up by chatting on social media with her horsey friends and she only has a small group of non horsey friends (all class mates who put up with her horsey chat).

She is super competitive though and plays hockey and athletics for the town as well as all school sports. However she knows that riding comes first and she's fine with that as it is her number one priority.

Ladyformation Mon 15-May-17 17:18:54

I was like this from 6 until I left school. Bit of a wobbly patch around MH issues when in 6th form which helped to break the connection a bit but still did horsey jobs every university holiday etc.

I look at so many posts on here about family time, doing activities together, not knowing what to do with holidays etc and I don't recognise my childhood/teenage years at all - I spend every weekend and every holiday (and from 14 upwards every evening) at the yard or competing. Mostly had horsey jobs and when I didn't all the money went on horses anyway.

Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing. It made me who I am and I was so happy. As long as she's happy, it's such an amazing obsession to have!

now I have to work in London to make enough money to be able to go and do that again, boo

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Mon 15-May-17 17:31:52

Well there are worst obsessions to have Annah!

I do wonder, though, I know a family like this who are obsessed with horses - literally speak about nothing else apart from horses!

I'm a bit biscuit whenever I see them. It's so bad that I try to avoid making eye contact, because you just know you won't be able to get away, and the conversation will be so dull.

Annahibiscuits Mon 15-May-17 17:44:06

It's fine if you hang out with other horse obsessed people though!!

Occasionally, I ban her from horse talk, to give us a break. She sits in her room because she can't do it!!

Yes lady, it makes dd SOOooo happy. I can see that

I think what worries me us if she grows out of it, like so many do, there will be a massive empty void

britnay Mon 15-May-17 18:05:44

horses > boys, FACT! ;)

Annahibiscuits Mon 15-May-17 18:27:01

Yep! Which was one of my motivating factors for introducing her to horse riding in the first place....thinking ahead wink (and its paying off so far)

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Tue 16-May-17 08:07:59

This was me. To be honest it still is. im also obsessed with my husband and son but I can be having a serious conversation with my husband and I'll suddenly think of a bit or a feed that might work for one of the horses and I'll just randomly talk about that. It drives him mad blush if it's your passion it is all you think about

TheWitchAndTrevor Tue 16-May-17 12:04:36

This was me I was obsessed by horses from about 2, I would live and breath horses and would regularly bug the horse owners in the village if I could help out I didn't care what, tack cleaning, grooming, mucking out...... when I wasn't helping out or having a weekly riding lesson, my friend (also horse obsessed)and me would play being horses and set jumps up in people's paddocks. Or pretend our bikes were horses.

By 11 I'd fallen in with a family who helped persuade my parents to let me loan a horse. Then worked at yards and had many horses of my own.

Don't count your chickens re the boy situation though, after 14 I found just enough time to have them as a side obsession winkgrin

I think it's normal for some people.

I did have a 10 year break though. But have a horse again and work with them again.

Frouby Tue 16-May-17 12:13:14

Wish I had this problem with dd who is thoroughly 'meh' about the ponies we have.

I was your dd. Completely normal I think. Just nod and smile, change the subject if she is waffling a bit and let her enjoy it. Agree that boys will come later but for noe make the most of an innocent obsession.

My dd has never been that interested despite my obsession. She will waffle for hours about clothes or make up tho.

TheWitchAndTrevor Tue 16-May-17 12:13:20

This clip keeps cropping up on fb.
I can't help but watch it every time, remembering hours spent eating carrots and messing around in a field grin

www.dailymotion.com/video/x2oz5aa

Ollivander84 Tue 16-May-17 12:19:48

My dad likes to refer to it as a phase. Except it started age 4 and I'm now 33... grin

Iamastonished Tue 16-May-17 12:28:29

I know a mother and teenage daughter who are obsessed with horses to the point where the house they live in needs loads of work doing because all the money is spent on horses, the marriage has broken up because they were always at the stables, the daughter has lost friends who aren't interested in horses and her education has suffered because she doesn't spend enough time on homework/revision. They both have a one track mind and don't seem to get that you can be interested in things other than horses.

I find this kind of obsession unhealthy.

User06383 Tue 16-May-17 12:31:50

Totally normal. I've been obsessed with them since I could talk. 30 odd years later I'm still obsessed.

It's a great thing to get into, teaches you hard work, commitment and selflessness.

I can't imagine doing anything else with my free time. It makes me so happy.

User06383 Tue 16-May-17 12:41:01

She'll find horsey friends, I've met so many good friends through horses, I have no other hobbies and I've never wanted to do anything else.

Scaredycat2016 Wed 17-May-17 07:53:34

From the minute I could speak i was horse mad....all I talked about was horses, constantly. Much like your daughter haha! When I was 17 I lost a horse and decided to have no more to do with them so I had a break for a few years. I got back into it in my mid 20's....I'm now 30, have 6 of the things and have reverted to my teenage years where all I talk about is horses 😂 I would say it gets better as we get older but it doesn't lol. Seriously though, I wouldn't change it for the world. Over the years they've been my best friends, my therapists and everything in between xx

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Wed 17-May-17 08:54:23

Oh Scaredycat, that's a lovely post. Totally get about them being therapists!

I know a teenage girl, and when I see her going off on a hack, I remember being that age, with all the teenage angst and insecurities that can sometimes be overwhelming, & am in awe of how fantastic that horse is for her her mental & physical health, her sense of self worth & confidence, how that time away from technology and peer pressure and noise even is a very beautiful thing for anyone to have in their lives. Not to even mention how sociable it is, and how many friends of all ages & walks of life she has made along the years.

Iamastonished Wed 17-May-17 19:00:55

It's interesting that everyone who says it is OK are all horse mad.

I can't imagine being that obsessed with anything. I have plenty of interests and enjoy doing a wide variety of things, but I don't think I could be so single minded about anything that it would rule my life

Thecontentedcat Wed 17-May-17 19:14:16

I'd go with it, if you try and put a lid on it it will just get worse, I speak from experience grin it's a great sport to get into, but it is much more than just a hobby. I think it is the female version of cars or boats or footie, no one says they are unhealthy. Boring maybe!

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Wed 17-May-17 21:23:27

The contentedcat football is probably the nearest equivalent, but it doesn't come close - for those with own pony/horse at least.

It is all consuming, so much so that it makes playing football a couple of times a week look like taking a little nap grin.

When I think of all the hours of physical work (not to mention the expense) that you have to put in, not just relaxing & sitting in front of the TV watching your team with a beer, but actually grooming & mucking out in the wind, rain & snow; exercising your horse when you're shattered after a full day at work, or when you're so ill that you shouldn't even be at work, never mind lugging barrels of water in a wheelbarrow up to the field.....

Ah the joys smile

Football??? For wimps!!! wink

TheWitchAndTrevor Wed 17-May-17 21:36:08

I agree with arsenal I've always seen it at an inbuilt nature passion.

Obsession makes it sound wrong, it's a way of life, everything about horses just sets every sense into happiness.

Scaredycat2016 Thu 18-May-17 07:49:41

I think the thing with horses is that it isn't a hobby, it's a lifestyle choice. You can't just pick it up and put it down as and when you please, just the same as you can't just decide that today you won't walk your pet dog or feed your cat because you have a different hobby to pursue on that day xx

Thecontentedcat Sat 20-May-17 23:29:10

Hi arsenal I have had several horses, ridden professionally and competed at national level both on my own horses and other people's. So I speak from experience. The only thing that stopped me was injury. I do know people that are just as obsessed with cars (they are professional racing drivers) and football (they play(ed) for England) to say that other sports cannot be all consuming is rather naive. I wasn't really talking about kids that play footie in the park a couple of times a week, anymore than I was talking about once a week happy hackers. For all the people who make it to the top in sport there are thousands that share that level of passion but don't have the luck, resources or talent to make it. But that level of commitment unites them, and it starts in childhood.

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