I have five children, ages 10, 8, 6, 4, and 20 months. I love them to death and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. I love my horses but in no way does that love compare to the love I have for my 3 girls and 2 boys. Before I had children of my own I remember my Mother telling me that I wouldn't be able to understand how much she and Dad loved me until I had a child of my own. At the time I didn't believe that as I loved my parents and brothers and sisters as much as I thought anybody could. When I held my first child in the hospital for the first time, I realized what my Mother had meant. Horses are wonderful. I spend hours and hours caring for them and using them. They have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I would however give them up in a second if it meant choosing between them and my children.
Fortunately for me they love the horses as well. Teaching my kids to ride and watching them fall in love with horses and the mountain trails and the animals has been incredibly fun and rewarding. The little ones certainly can't ride like the older ones do and I still have some rides that none of my kids are up to yet, but they will be soon enough and then who better to go with than them?
I have the best wife ever, she takes terrific care of the kids and I. I work really hard to give her a break whenever she needs one. I wish she would take more as we have a blast when she isn't home to keep us in line, but she doesn't want to miss the party either, so it can be hard to get her out with her girlfriends sometimes. Really I am glad she isn't wanting a break all of the time and that we can spend lots of time together.
Horses have actually really helped our family. My kids have responsibilities with feeding, watering and caring for the horses and other animals. It has been great to work with them and teach them the value of work.
Work is often long and stressful. I really enjoy the time I get to spend when I get home talking to my children while we chore. Even my youngest little boy gears up and heads out to feed. Often he'll end up putting on one of my old hats, one of his sisters pink gloves and another's boots or something but he certainly isn't going to be left behind.
Horses and Kids can definitely both coexist and thrive.