Thursday, April 18, 2013

Raised in a barn......

"Raised in a Barn"  I am sure is meant to be a derogatory comment meaning that you do not have the manners to travel in polite society, however I disagree.  When I think of "Raised in a Barn" I smile proudly and say as a matter of fact I was raised in a barn. Let me tell you what it TRULY means .....
I try to live my life by these lessons and teach my daughter and riding students the same thing. These are all important things that when practiced will carry you far in life.

You learn Responsibility- Caring for something other than yourself. Horses require a 365 day a year commitment. Horses must be fed and watered, stalls cleaned, horses groomed,  jumps to paint. There is always work to be done around the farm. 

You learn about Friendship- you will make friends at the barn that will last a lifetime.
Brook Acres Farm Equestrian Team

First Horse Summer Camp at Jumping H Farm

Jumping H Farm and Celebrity Farms showing

Showing at TTC Best Friends were made from these days

Back Many Moons Ago

You learn Compassion- No horse ever chooses to be neglected. Sometimes you make the choice to step in and make a difference, because it is the right thing to do.

The Day We Brought Ruby Home.

You learn to See Past the Surface. - That with TLC and Time anything is possible.

Ruby 18 months after we brought her home winning ribbons at local horse show

You learn about the Value of a Dollar- There is nothing quite as sweet as saving your own money to buy a new saddle.

Genna's purchase of her first Saddle with her own Money.

You learn about Humility- It's not always about winning the ribbon- sometimes it's about just staying on your horse
Genna learning to jump Reba Bareback.

  You learn to Take Pride in a job well done. - This was a mother's proud moment.
Genna's First Blue Ribbon Walk Trot Canter

You learn to Explore Your Boundaries- Some of your greatest adventures will be achieved while looking through the ears of your horse.

Genna riding Tonka leading a trail ride.

You learn Patience- When working with young horses it takes time, consistency and work.  It makes the successes all the sweeter when you finally get it right.

Tonka finally jumping with Genna riding Bareback.

You learn about Fashion-Pretty is not always practical, Comfortable or cool.

You learn about Disappointments - Sometimes you have to choose whats right for the horse even when you have worked hard to get to the show.

Tonka ended up tweaking his pastern while warming up for their first dressage test. Knocking them out of showing for the day.

You learn about Great Friends- Someone providing a Plan B so you can show when your horse gets injured. 
Genna showing Roman's Celebrity (Owned by Mike and Ginny Taber) instead of Tonka for her first Dressage Test.

You learn about Sportsmanship- Some of your greatest friends will be the people you compete against every weekend. 

 You learn that life is full of Hard Knocks- Not to mention the ground is hard. You either learn to get up and dust yourself off and remount or take the long walk back to the barn. (There is a story here)

It was only a sorta long walk back to the barn to catch Blue.

You learn about Love. There is no greater bond than a little girl and their horse

 You learn about Heartache. Losing a horse is like losing a best friend.

Genna's first real partner in crime her pony Reba.

You learn about Freedom. The wind in your face as gallop through an open field.
Genna galloping Reba through the field.

You learn about Accomplishment. There is no greater feeling than riding a horse and knowing you have put all you have into the very moment when everything goes right.  

Genna's first jumping show. She was so afraid she would forget her course.

     You learn about Partnership. You can tell your hopes, dreams, successes and failures to your horse and they will love you just the same.
Genna giving Tonka some pony love.

You learn that Every Horse is Different and has something to TEACH you- Much like meeting new people. Each person and horse has his or her own personality, strengths and weaknesses. Acceptance of those strengths and weaknesses will carry you well in your life's relationships. 


So you see every time you go to the barn, every time you put your foot in the stirrup, hop on your horse bareback, groom your horse, clean it's stall, you learn about life. Every horse you encounter will touch your life in some way, much like the people you meet. So the next time someone complains about the time you are spending at the barn, or your worried about whether you should get your child involved in horses, just know there are LIFE LESSONS to be learned and shared.

Mom, Me, and Genna

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Reflection... I think I'm on the right track

As a parent you want to raise your children right, but right in whose eyes? In the current culture we live in there are so many theories about the "Right" way and the "Wrong" way to raise your child. To punish or not to punish, corporal or the time out corner. Everywhere you turn there are fanatics on all sides. I decided long ago that I wanted to raise my child(ren) in the country, specifically on a farm. Away from the hustle and bustle where children could play, be outside, and enjoy nature. There are drawbacks to this of course but I feel the positive influence of being raised on a farm with a solid work ethic, knowing that no matter what the weather there are animals that need and depend on us for their care and well being. Putting another living creatures health and well being ahead of your own wants. Empowering our children to make decisions based on what they have learned from us as parents. For our child(ren) to be held accountable for their choices, positive and negative, would serve them well in the "REAL WORLD". I would like to think every parent strives to teach their children right from wrong with positive influences to back them up in these teachings. As our children grow up and hit those pre-teen and the dreaded teenage years it is nice to see some small reflection in them of what they have been taught. Not one prodded out of them because they think that is what we as parents wants to hear but an honest moment of clarity that you get, just a fleeting glimpse even they don't realize it. I was blessed with such a moment this week. My twelve year old daughter Genna is studying poetry in school. One of her assignments was writing different types of poems. All of her poems are good but this one touched my heart. With her permission, I will share her poem with you now. I have made plenty of mistakes as a parent. This list is way to long to write, however in this single season of her life I think I am on the right track . I could not be more proud than I am right now. The assignment was to write an "I AM" poem:


I am country and a girl
I wonder how the world naturally revolves around the sun
I hear my favorite country song at school
I see God everywhere
I want to see the true in people
I am country and a girl
I pretend there aren't any limits
I feel loved
I touch peoples hearts
I worry about the drought during harvest season
I cry for fallen soldiers
I am country and a girl
I understand I can't have everything I want
I say God is real
I dream about owning my own farm
I try my best in everything I do
I hope you get whatever you want
I am country and a girl
written by Genevieve Huttar 1-24-13