Sunday, October 20, 2013

Horse Mom

Do you use this term?

I never liked it.  When I first became a horse owner people started referring to me as Harley's Mom. For some reason, this made me uncomfortable.  I was not his mother.  His friend, owner, trainer, companion, partner, but not Mommy.  That just seemed weird to me.  After more than six years of not referring to myself as Harley's Mom, I walked up to him the other day and said, "Mommy's here!"

Oops.

It was definitely a slip from saying this to our daughter when I return from work, but saying it to Harley didn't seem so wrong anymore.  Maybe it was because he had a rough week with his allergies.  Maybe it was because I am a Mommy to a human baby now.  Maybe I have just gone soft.

I take care of my horse.  I make care decisions for him.  I pay for his "daycare".  I set boundaries for his behavior.  I worry when he is not well.  My heart sings when I see him.  I love him even when he is not perfect.

Okay.  I guess Mommy fits after all.  But, eventually, we are going to work again, Harley.

Are you a Horse Mom?

One of our most recent photos together.

22 comments:

  1. I feel the same as you did. I never refer to myself as Shy's mom. Some people call me that and it just feels strange. I do all the same things as you do with Harley, the love, the care, the money. Not sure why it feels strange, but it does.

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    1. Looking back, I think it was the role of Mom that didn't sit right. I was only a daughter then. Maybe it's the same for you?

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  2. I've used the term before, more as a joke. I'm not a mother, obviously, but I act as almost a second mom to the kids at my house a lot, so I guess it's almost a reflex.

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    1. Caring (and kindly scolding) go hand in hand with mothering, so that makes sense. Not that I am any sort of expert at less than five months in!

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  3. Nope, not me...I'm their "lady"

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  4. yes I am a 'horse mom'. I too couldn't find another term that seems to fit.
    and wow, you look good for just having a baby!

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    1. Why thank you!

      It fits especially when a horse looks at you like "take care of me". I swear it's a look.

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  5. Great post! No, I am not his mom. I am not one to anthropomorphize. I think a lot of women are only able to have horses before or after they have children, and the horse fills that nurturing void that women have. That's not a bad thing. It causes the "Horse Mom" title.

    I think of myself like Connor's favorite coach and he's my best athlete. He gets room, board, tuition, the best care in the world and his every need attended to in exchange for showing up for practice 4 hours a week and the occasional game. I love him, he's my world, but he doesn't see me as a mom so I won't look at him like a child.

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    1. Hmmm. Sounds very familiar!

      My perspective has definitely been changed by the experience of having a baby, but it has caused me to embrace the term of horse mom. There is definitely not an empty void and I really don't think there was before either. Maybe I am just confident now that no one will think I am playing baby with my animal. ;)

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  6. I am a horse mom. Lord knows I worry as much about Simon as my mother probably worried over us! Okay, maybe not quite as much :)

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    1. It is difficult not to worry about a horse. How very mom-like of you!

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  7. I've always defined horse moms as the mothers of kids who rode -- taking the kid to the show, helping with grooming, cheering them on. I guess I was thinking of an extension of "soccer mom". Since my kids weren't interested in riding, I never thought of myself in those terms. And using your definition (which is just as valid), no, I don't refer to myself as mom with the horses -- although Brett does call himself "dad" with his.

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    1. How could I forget the Horse Dads!

      I get the soccer mom comparison. Since I am not at a competition barn, I don't see too many of those.

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  8. Well, I'm a fairly new empty nester, so I think of myself as Freddy's Mom. I don't think it's weird, I enjoy nurturing him (I have limits) and in return I get unconditional love. I can honestly say he's my best friend. We have a lot of very one sided conversations. He'll never tell...It may be a little anthropomorphizing, but what the heck.

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    1. Dogs are wonderful that way. Freddy makes a great little family member, so why not?

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  9. I don't call myself a horse mom either. I guess I consider myself their friend and caregiver. They do act like a bunch of five year olds sometimes though, thats when I'm the disciplinarian. Personal slave comes to mind too. Between grooming, feeding and cleaning up after them it's sort of like having seven rowdy kids in the house. I just might have to give the term horse mom a second chance!

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    1. All that cleaning! Seriously. That's Mom stuff.

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  10. I am definitely a horse mom...however I don't think I can say like the ones above that Olivia doesn't think of me as her mom- because she totally does. When you raise an orphan foal that you bred and brought into this world, you feed them formula and then teach them (literally) to eat grain and hay and in turn the horse thinks they're a human... you definitely become a horse mom. I will always be her mom and I love the title. I will never be a mom to other horses like I am to her but I opted to save her life and take on the role as Mom when she didn't have one so I will scream and shout that I love being her mom because it's the most rewarding thing in my life :)

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    1. Wow! Your enthusiasm is overflowing the comment box! That sounds like a very exciting journey with Olivia.

      I would imagine there are some special challenges involved when your horse thinks it is a human. The Big Mare that I used to ride was an orphan and got into trouble.

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  11. Oh, yes, I most definitely am. And a dog mom and a cat mom. And a mom to six children ... one almost 21! :) This was cute.

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  12. Thanks for stopping by, catching up, and all of your wonderful comments, Margaret.

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