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.
This is a great post, Terri. In my research for a paper on why girls and women become passionate about horses, nearly every person mentioned a mentor or someone in their past who shared their interest. And if not us to do this now, then who? We all know, in our hearts, how wonderful it is to be involved with horses, and how empowering it is for young women to be around horses. And today especially, with so much technology to otherwise occupy young people, it's so important to share our knowledge, our joy, and our passion. Bravo to you for doing so, and encouraging all of us. Great stuff! And it does take a village . . .
Thanks for the kind words, Terri. They hit home, as my son and I just got back from a trail ride. I do hope that he will always remember riding through the hills and woods with me, and that those memories will bring him a smile. (I'm glad you think I live in Paradise--and I do love my home--but I was careful not to post photos that show the many overgrown bits that need mowing and/or weeding--just so you're not too jealous.)
Hi Terri, I hope you will post a follow-up on your time spent in Texas and any interesting stories. I love to read about horse-crazy girls and those who inspire them!
Hi Terri, I wrote you a super long comment last night, and then went to post and the computer said no, so I lost it all :(. Anyway, I really enjoyed your post, and totally agree with everything you say about so many young people lacking a passion in life these days, and spending far too much time in front of their computer screens. A friend of mine is at a loss with her 19 year old son who is interested in nothing at all, who doesn't know what to do with himself, has no desire to do anything with himself and simply loiters the days away with a group of other kids his age. So sad. I've been lucky that my daughter shares my passion, and that my son has a passion of his own, skateboarding. Unfortunately, my son is currently in hospital following reconstructive ligament surgery yesterday morning after a skateboarding accident a few months ago. But he's raring to get back on his skateboard and, hopefully, be rigorous with his rehabilitation and physiotherapy.
I also hope for a follow up on your trip to Texas. I hope it wasn't too hot!!!
I'm so glad that you are willing to brave hot, hot temps to teach PC kids. I owe my life to PC! I have so many fond (and OK, some not so fond) memories of Pony Club instructors and events. Hooray for Pony Club!
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