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4kids 2 ponies - Moaning husband 😳

(22 Posts)
4rylou Sun 06-Oct-19 18:53:54

Just wondered if there is anybody else as crazy as me. I have 4 kids ranging from 15 to 5 and the middle two girls both have ponies. We are not loaded but its doable however we can't really afford assisted livery so we try and keep them out as much as possible. I work full time so and husband works away during the week. One of the ponies as done his front suspensory so he's been on box, he's almost fully recovered and we are bringing him back into work but it's been crazy trying to hold everything together, whilst being at the yard twice a day. My husband has no sympathy as he thinks I bring it all on myself, which I'm inclined to agree with and he has nothing what so ever to do with the horses.
Both my girls do riding club and a bit of pony club and we really love it. I love horses and the girls get so much out of it so I really so not want to give it up but my husband hates it, he hates the time, money causes quite alot of tension.
I'm spreading myself thin with everything, i run between work, after school club, homework, ckeaning, cooking washing and rushing to the yard. My daughter is 13 so she gets on and does a lot by herself but it's still hard work. I don't really know what I'm asking here, just wondering if I'm the only crazy mother here 🤯 x

notquiteruralbliss Sun 06-Oct-19 19:18:12

No you are not the only one.

When our 4 DCs were younger, we had 2 ponies ( living out on land behind our house) plus my retired mare and her foal. It was all very low key but incredibly hard work.

10 plus years later, only one of the DCs still at home rides. We still have one of the original ponies plus the foal (who is now 16). We’ve also acquired 2 more horses, and have 2 foals due next year. Horses are by far our largest expense. Tell your DH that 2 ponies is nothing.

Vanhi Mon 07-Oct-19 12:46:09

As a child I was obsessed by horses and ponies. My mum tried to support me in this but my dad deeply resented it. I sometimes wonder if my life and career would have been different had he been more interested. I don't blame him or resent it, as that would be pointless. However, it is part of a list of my dad's behaviour that is off and which, taken in total, I find pretty unforgivable.

Yesterday I watched a documentary about the showjumper called Snowman. Bought for $80 off a meat truck when on his way to slaughter, Snowman dominated the US jumping scene in the late 1950s. His owner had 8 children and when one of them was seriously injured in a riding accident his wife said "it's me or the horses". The horses won.

I'd keep going OP. It's such a great thing to have in your life.

Teddybear45 Mon 07-Oct-19 12:48:32

As the ponies belong to your daughters they should be the ones managing and taking care of them. If they can’t then they are clearly shouldn’t have them.

Bodear Mon 07-Oct-19 13:13:59

@Vanhi I’m not sure choosing animals over your spouse is a good thing?

robynadair Mon 07-Oct-19 13:17:57

I think it's really difficult to be in that situation. I had horses most of my life and my parents and then husband were supportive. Husband didn't ride but came from a horsey family. My last horse died at a good age a couple of years ago and I didn't replace him as I was facing extensive back surgery due to a non riding accident with extensive rehab. Although I knew horses were our major expense I was still taken aback by how much better off we were once I'd stopped. I do plan to take it up again but think it's time to spend money on other things we both want for a while, pay down the mortgage etc plus my back is still a little fragile. Maybe to get perspective from both sides ask yourself whether there are things you're not doing as a family due to the horses (both time and expense) and whether that's fair to all and how you would feel if your husband and other 2 children were spending as much time and money on a hobby and maybe a compromise can be made?

inwood Mon 07-Oct-19 13:42:51

I agree that yes you are taking on A LOT!

My concern would be the older and youngest one, are they not interested? Can you fund both time and money to interests for them? Absolutely not a criticism, I was a horsey kid, although didn't have my own, my younger sister wasn't and she really resented it.

Vanhi Mon 07-Oct-19 14:59:21

@Bodear the problem is when a partner/ spouse demands "it's me or them". In the case I mentioned, the horse's owner had grown up around horses. He made his living from teaching riding and competing. So when someone says "them or me" they're asking you to give up a fundamental part of yourself and to change as a person. I couldn't do it.

If you just see animals as an add on or a minor unimportant hobby I can see how this seems bad. If you realise how fundamental they can be to your identity, you'll know why it was a bad idea to make that demand in the first place.

GothMummy Mon 07-Oct-19 15:16:01

I have two ponies, two kids and work etc, run ragged to be honest but I think it's worth it. Hope your pony with the suspensory injury recovers well.

meetthewildes Mon 07-Oct-19 17:07:05

We have five under five and are contemplating a pony... not quite sure how the logistics will work out yet and are thinking it may need to be assisted livery/working livery, because I work very full time almost two hours from the house. The oldest two (four) are very keen although haven't been riding long, the middle two (three) are desperate to start - and I kind of figure that with five children, at least a couple will inevitably stick with it for long enough to justify owning?

Or perhaps that's my argument because - as referenced by @vanhi - horses have always been a fundamental part of my identity, even when I no longer had access to them! And it's definitely easier to justify buying one for them than for me. Horses have always brought me such joy; I'd love to share that with my children in a more deeply involved way than just watching their lessons (which is also lovely, but very limiting). I think we'll wait until the three-year-olds have a chance to get into it too, by which time the boys will have had a solid eighteen months of weekly lessons, and if they're all still keen we'll go for it.

Interested to read the perspectives of other pony-owning parents before we make the leap!

GothMummy Mon 07-Oct-19 22:47:37

It's lovely. And my nearly 14 year old son is so obsessed with his pony and my horse that we are breaking in that he has no time to get caught up in teenage troubles, so that's a winner....

LaPufalina Tue 08-Oct-19 06:49:14

Haha @GothMummy my dad bought me a pony for my 14th birthday for exactly that reason blush didn't tell me though, I just thought I'd worn him down over the years!

Trewser Wed 09-Oct-19 08:31:48

Ignore him.

CampingItUp Wed 09-Oct-19 08:41:21

From 13 onwards I worked in the stables where my pony lived to help cover the costs.

Whole weekend days spent doing leading rein for beginners classes, mucking out etc.

I did all the early morning feed / hay / breaking the ice on the trough before school every day, travelling to the stables / field by bike.

How is your 5 year old affected?

Trewser Wed 09-Oct-19 10:00:32

Your dh can do things with the other two while you are doing horses. Works for us!

4rylou Thu 10-Oct-19 19:04:03

Thankyou for your comments.
Both my girls get so much out of it they would be devastated if we have up. They are only 10 and 13 so although they do most things themselves they still need supervision. My 5 yr old son likes riding every now and then but doesn't want to hang about whilst we do chores. He's just started football so he's not just sat at home. I do feel guilty that my older son doesn't get as much time and money spent on him. But he doesn't go without, he has all the clothes etc he wants but I think I've actually spoilt him because I feel guilty and it's actually backfired 😳.
I just find it difficult to balance, maybe it's a case of if I knew then what I know now I would of kept it a bit more low key 🙈.

Trewser Fri 11-Oct-19 07:22:31

Why can't your DH do stuff with the boys?

Maneandfeathers Fri 11-Oct-19 10:13:23

Mine moans about it constantly, mainly the cost.

I’m not sure what the answer is bar ear plugs blush

MoobaaMoobaa Fri 11-Oct-19 11:21:18

it's hard work, but if it's working (although tiring) then he doesn't have a say, he's not around during the week to do school pick ups drop offs/ cooking/ cleaning ect... so he can't moan, everything is done for him.

I suppose crucially though is there money left in the pot for him to have a hobby? or money for him to take the non horsey DC out with when he is home? I could understand a little better if it is a case of nothing left for him.

Cherrypies Sat 12-Oct-19 13:52:08

Thank you Vanhi
Not heard of the Snowman before. Just watched the documentary, what a horse! Beautiful and facinating watch.

leckford Sun 13-Oct-19 17:01:25

I pay for my two out of my own money, however one will have to be pts soon due to multiple problems. If husband objects too much and it causes a split this will be a mega problem. I have seen this happen on my yard, do you have your own money from employment?

Frouby Sat 19-Oct-19 12:35:42

It's difficult.

When dh and I first met I had 1 pony on DIY livery. And 1 dd. At Peak Pony we had 3 in full livery. I say full livery but it is on a mtes small private yard, she does the basics twice a day, I just turn up when I feel like it.

Now down to 2 as we lost our old pony a few years ago. Dd (15) has decided she doesn't want to ride anymore but ds (5) is pretty keen. Have a highland that was bought for me and dd to share, and a section a that was dds and is now ds's.

Dh says he doesn't mind us being at the ponies. I go mon to fri am to ride, ds comes every weekend 1 day and now some afterschool activities have finished, will probably come once or twice a week after school. Dh doesn't mind as long as it doesn't impact him I have found. Which gets on my nerves. Occasionally I have a strop and say he is being a knobber but I am really lucky in that I can fit in 2 hours a morning without affecting work.

He would be more arsey if I was DIY I think. He was when I just had 1 on diy. Luckily our full livery costs similar to diy so no point in rocking the boat. Though eventually I will possibly move yards to a diy yard closer to home with better hacking, which may cause issues.

I do think if it's impacting too much then something has to give. Either just have 1 pony in assisted or full livery or maybe spend less time at the yard. I know when I go I can get done what I need to in an hour or so. Realistically I am there 2 hours messing about, chatting or doing daft stuff.

Does he have his own interests? We have a big allotment which dh loves, I sometimes piss off to the yard and leave him pottering there. He is a fucker for wanting us to all be together at the weekend though. And then I feel a cow for not wanting him to come to the yard as he's a nuisance and gets in my way and wants to chivvy me along.

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