I think it is probably every parent’s dream to have their child discover their passion early on in life.
But what happens when they do…and it scares the SH!T out of you?
We tried ballet… nope. In hindsight, I’m not sure why I thought a kid who detests all but the brightest most flamboyant hues of pink would agree to dance in neck-to-toe pastel.
We tried gymnastics… nope. I believe her opinion was, “I’m tired of showing my butt cheeks to the world.”
Then she rode a horse. A real one. A really really big one. And completely fell in love.
It started out totally OK. How adorable! She is walking around in a circle, attached via lunge rope to her trainer! Insert mommy paparazzi camera sounds here. Then she got better. ALOT better. She started walking on her own with her lesson horse. Then trotting. Then cantering around one handed. Then she entered a dressage competition and competed against all adults.
Her trainer asked her, “Where do you want to take your horsemanship skills?”
“I want to go really fast and jump really high.”
WHAAAAAT?! My mommy bells and whistles started going off. She was 7 at the time. I mean, come on, are you really asking my 7-year-old what she wants to do with her passion?!
She was. And my daughter meant it. My daughter mucks stalls, feeds horses, moves them from stall to pasture and back. She picks hooves, lugs saddles bigger than she is and showers horses that weight literally 20 times more than she does. She does all of this for hours on end, day after day because she loves it. Every dirty, sweaty, glorious moment. Her ability to focus and her level of responsibility has improved so dramatically that some days I forget she is only 8.
So what do you do when your kid falls in love with eventing, a sport that is considered to be the most dangerous sport in the Olympics?
You buy a really great helmet, and when she starts jumping… a really great airvest, and you hold on for the ride.