My name is Chris and I am the middle aged father of a 12 year old daughter named Jamie who has held on to a passion for horses ever since she was 5 years old. We finally bought her the lesson horse she'd been training with a year ago this past Thanksgiving. It was to be her Christmas present.
I work out of town two weeks of every month so was up at work for 2 weeks between Thanskgiving and Christmas and she had to make a decision to put the horse down due to multiple fractures from slipping on the ice 2 days before Christmas. It was pretty traumatic for her, but she was very brave and knew the vet was correct in his opinion that it was the best choice to make for the sake of the horse.
Anyway, I knew enough about humans, and a bit of residual knowledge from my brief stint of horseman back as a kid, to remind her that she owed it to the rest of the "herd" over at the stables, to not stop loving them and careing for them even though her prescious "Cookie" was gone. We made her help with the feeding every day after school from then on. Eventually her heart healed and we got her another horse, obstensably for her mother, but before long she and Satin (the new horse) were inseparable. We stil tease her with the fact that its her Moms horse, but we all know better... Satins not "our horse" or anyones for that matter, instead, Jamie is "HER girl". Between the two of them, they were reserve champions in barrel racing at the state championships last fall. Not a big thing by standards "down there in America" but enough to make this father proud none the less.
We are on the verge of purchasing another horse now, but can't make up our minds what is the best way to go. Satin is ideally matched for Jamie and her love for barrelracing probably for the next several years, but she's also very tolerant of my wife's riding ability as well.
One train of thought would have us getting a more athletic and younger horse for our daughter to "grow into" and have my wife keep Satin, with the daughter still able to ride and compete on her as much and as long as she wants to.
Another option would be to try find another horse (the clone of?) like Satin, for my wife to ride and form a new bond with, one with the mellowness of personality and tolerance for a lesser experienced rider.
As an aside, I'm struggling with a faint thought in the back of my mind on my own behalf as well. I've always been an avid hunter and outdoorsman and have invested fairly significant amounts of money in Airplanes, boats, remote cabins, 4-wheelers, and so on, in order to pursue my love of the Alaskan wilderness. Now I'm starting to find myself torn between my kids passion (which seems to have become a shared passion with her mother, my wife, as well) and mine.
My own father loved hunting and fishing about like I do, but I recal he never cared for my passions for hockey and baseball. I don't want my kid to have those kind of memories of my and her relationship. I'm thinking on starting riding lessons again myself, dumping the airplane, and getting myself a good ridign horse and samll pack string. I have a feeling the girls would be a lot more inclined to head out into the wilderness with me if they could bring their horses, than they are if I try getting them to leave the horses behind and fly, or boat out into the woods.
Anyway, its quite a departure from my "internal combustion engine" reliance, but I'm certainly entertaining the idea.
Santa brought the girls their first horse trailer for this Christmas... they got to break it in yesterday helping our daughters trainer move a "rescue horse".
Happy New Years to all. I hope you wont mind me asking a ton of questions as I work through these issues?