This has to a relatively short post since I am flying to Houston (don't even ask what the weather is going to be like) to teach a Pony Club clinic. Now few sane people would willingly fly to Houston in June to teach outside in 95 degree temps with predicted showers as well. Why do you ask am I this insane. The kids, I love teaching the kids and many pony clubs across the country need to fly in upper level instructors for camps and preps for the upper level ratings.
So after reading Laura and Francesca's wonderful posts about Laura's precious gift to her son (I do think that Laura lives in paradise) and Francesca's love for her new man Qrac, I was thinking about how important it is to share our passion for these amazing animals with everyone who will care to listen. It does seem to me (and I realize this is going to make me sound old) that so many of this generation of teenagers lack a single minded passion for anything; except for the girls and boys I know who are involved in horses or other sports. I think that in this world of instant gratification, endless TV and video games, and mindless hours on the internet; that there are more young people preoccupied with brainless posts on facebook and twitter then they are with anything else. I have a niece who just turned 18 who spends more time posting on facebook or texting her friends than she spends committed to anything else. It seems that these kids lack goals and a passion for anything and are so self absorbed with themselves, gossip and soap opera-like trivial postings that they can't see past the end of their own noses.
I think that the greatest gift that Laura has shared with her son and that Francesca has shared with her daughter is more than just a passion for nature and horses. It is a passion for someting or anything other than themselves. The time that Laura shares with her son will be a beacon in his heart forever. I know that after nearly 2o years after my father's passing, my heart still smiles when I think of the times we spent together around the horses.
So that brings me back to why I am crazy enough to go to Houston in June, I get to share my passion with kids ranging in age from 10 to 25 and hopefully teach them a little something along the way. I stress education even for those who plan to be professional trainers because 1) nothing trumps education and 2) it is very hard to be a trainer and a back-up plan is never a bad idea. But most importantly I stress the importance of being responsible guardians and simply treasuring their relationship with their horses. Competition and Pony Club ratings are great for some but certainly not an imperative and not necessary to be a good horse person.
What Laura has with her son and her horses, long trail rides in beautiful country is better than all the blue ribbons in the world. So I challenge all of you to share your passion with a young person. I take my role as a mentor very seriously and believe in the adage of "it takes a village to raise a child." Everyone who participates in this blog are amazingly passionate about horses, writing and other things so share.