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Posts Tagged ‘horsebacking’

As a homeschooler, this “end of school” time of year feels stranger each year the children get older.  What is it we are ending?  Are we going to stop learning and reading for the summer?  Of course not.  We will put aside formal math lessons, history lessons and other curricula that is more “schoolish.”  We are all hooked on reading aloud (almost done with Tolkein’s four books, I hope they remember it because I’m not doing it again!)  so we’ll keep that up.   So much of what we do is related to learning (just like in all educated families – homeschooling or not) that the line called “school” is getting more fuzzy for us.  We don’t have the dramatic transition that school families do.  Most of our friends are not homeschoolers (there aren’t many around here), and most of my kid’s friends go to school.  My friends who send their children to school have shared that they are relieved school is over, now they can relax from the schlepping, homework and busyness that surround it.

Since we school at home, what is defined as “schoolwork” and what is a really fun project (like my daughter learning to design and sew 18th century costumes for her doll) is something we are sorting out.  If I call it “school” I get groans, if I say, let’s learn about the stars this summer and go to a planetarium – I get excitement.   For us, I guess summer is more of a fading of some formal studies in favor of projects and spending more time outside with the animals, farm and garden chores, an occasional camp for the kids and a family vacation trip thrown in somewhere.

Still, my kids want some of the same rituals school kids have.  Since the school kids around here all have a “last day of school” party,  I bought a box of Lucky Charms cereal (probably the 2nd time that sugar “breakfast” aka dessert has been in our house) to celebrate.  For our school party, the kids inhaled the evil cereal, we picked more snow peas, played with chicks and gave Flynn (my much fawned over horse baby) a bath.

He's white! It will last about 15 minutes.

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Decisions reflect how we see ourselves.  The decisions we make tell volumes about us.  I bought a horse six years ago that turned out not to be a good match for me temperament wise.  I worked with her, hired trainers, read books, asked people’s advice, etc., etc.  I was told she would settle down when she got older, that she just needed more ground work and other well intentioned advice.  I thought about selling her and moving on time after time but always seemed to find a way to talk myself out of it (by trusting someone else’s advice).  All the time I really didn’t enjoy her much of the time and never took her anywhere to do anything.

Finally, a few months ago (with my husband’s no nonsense counsel) I declared that I was done with trying.  I was going to look for a calm, smart, willing horse.   After scanning hundreds of email ads, talking with people and visiting some horses, I found Flynn last week.  I had thoroughly checked out his breeding and history and when I met him I had a great gut feel about him.   I was still anxious about my judgment though, after all, I had made the decision to get the mare.  I called my husband and blathered on excitedly cautious about this and that and his good points and his liabilities and he said with characteristic simplicity, “Just buy him.”  I will always remember how he cut through my jumble of fear and excitement with that simple statement.  I whooped and hollered and bought him.

Now that I’ve had Flynn for a week, I can’t believe I put up with the mare for six years.  At only 4 years old, he is calm, tractable and all around a pleasure to be with and learn with.   Why did it take me so long?  To use an acronym a client once shared with me, it’s an AFGO (Another F____  Growth Opportunity).   It made me aware of how we sometimes make decisions and tolerate things for not very good reasons.  Pay attention to your decisions, what you tolerate and what it says about you.

Flynn, my new love

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