by Mary Paine
The last time I posted I was in a mild (OK, maybe not so mild) panic over reaching the deadline on my current work in progress, a contemporary fantasy titled The Grimoire. I'm happy to report that despite a bout of positional vertigo, the manuscript is moving forward again. I have three new scenes completed and a rewrite of a chapter, but the pace still isn't fast enough. I'm hoping by the next post (assuming my vertigo is tapering off) I can claim at least three additional chapters completed. Keep your fingers crossed for me as the deadline to have the manuscript ready for the conference I'm attending is the third week in May!
I may be at a professional crossroads, but my daughter is at one as well. I'm hoping the members of our Equestrian Ink family will weigh in on this one. It's a problem shared by many people in the horse world. My daughter is now seven and completely horse crazy. She has firm plans to become a veterinarian and though many kids change career plans by the time they reach adulthood, in this case I believe she's serious. Her unwavering dedication to animals has sustained itself since she was a toddler. I bought her an enormous dollhouse and she named her toy horses 'The Doll House Friends' and they took over the house!
She's done very well at walk trot, but recently, although she still loves animals with all her heart, she's expressed an interest in new areas of sports. She wants to try softball, tae kwon doe, soccer, and cheerleading. What she hasn't yet figured out is that there are only twenty-four hours in a day. To let her try all the new areas she wants to explore she will have to take a break from riding.
I've had friends share several different opinions with me on this. Some say that it might be best to wait until she's older and stronger with more leg to advance in her riding anyway so this is the best time to explore other options. Some friends have questioned whether she's too young to begin jumping, although I've seen many children her age in short-stirrup cross rails classes through the years. The mom in me pictures her going head over heels, literally, so I'm leaning toward waiting on cantering and jumping, but I might be overprotective.
I know some parents continue their children riding every year, but limit the hours riding or the number of shows attended to make sure there is balance with other activities. I've talked with parents who have a different opinion on the matter. The say if horses is what the kids love, then the kids have to realize the hours involved and that they may need to forgo other activities.
Personally, I'm in a quandary on this one & hoping for some more of the good advice Equestrian Ink authors and readers have been gracious in sharing in the past.
Happy Riding, Everyone!