Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Better late then never - An Ode to Dads
As it would have it - I totally forgot to give a shout out to my pops on Father's Day!
But really, isn't that the life of an equestrian's father? To sit on the sidelines, get none of the credit and still have to fix the truck when it breaks down on the way home from the show.
My dad and I are WAY too much alike. I got my height from him and my need to argue. We've butted heads many a-time - I even remember being VERY young and asking my mom "Why don't you divorce him?" (I had no idea the extent of what divorce was, and luckily she didn't listen. They've now been married 30 (mostly) happy years!).
While I was growing up, my dad was a high-school teacher, and the sole paycheck for our family. When other people would ask how he could shell out so much money for his daughter to ride horses around in circles when he really didn't make that much himself, he would say "Well, I guess it's cheaper then rehab." :) Ever the optimist...
He taught me to be frugal, that horses can survive being horses, that I can't cake my horses hair with showsheen and that a show-stall aisle way is as good of place as any for a quick nap. He would stand in the rode at the Springfield State Fairgrounds because he wanted to see the tornado that the radio had said touched down as the rest of the parents took shelter. I guess he needed some excitment in his life other then watching me trot in circles for hours on end.
He was the one that said, "I think this eventing stuff looks way more fun then what you do now (hunter/jumpers)" and so I was hooked. Soon after, on a rainy day trail ride, he took off through the mud ahead of me on my pony. When I expressed my fear for galloping in those conditions, he said "If you're gonna be an eventer, you'll just have to get over it" and took off again. I learned. He even helped me prepare for my first 3-day by racing me and my horse who wasn't the most keen to gallop on (he would then make fun of me about his 'trail pony' beating my eventer :) ).
He was never classically trained, nor did he ever compete, but instead rides because he wants too and he makes it thrilling (none of that slow trail riding for him!)
I think he's always thought what I do - and spend all my money on - is a bit silly, BUT he also has only wanted to see me happy, so he doesn't say TOO much.
And secretly he's pretty darn proud too...