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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HOW DO YOU DO IT? Even though I have 2 (almost 9 & 3), I wasn't able to ride much when my oldest was little, so when I did get a chance, I just had my parents keep an eye on her. So it's like I haven't done this before:?

But now I've got a horse that needs some serious work, and the only time that I can get out by her is after work, and both the kids have to come along. The oldest is self sufficiant (for the most part) at the barn for the most part, but she has her lesson horse to take care of. But my 3yr old who's a typical 3yr old boy (i.e CRAZY, LOUD, & HYPER:lol:) is a whole other story, sigh.

So my question is, what do you do with the younger one? Lock him in a stall with plenty of hay & water, oops I meant crackers & juice & toys:wink:? I'm not one of those parents that like to just let their kids run amuk around the barn and expect others to keep an eye on them, parents like that drive me nuts. But I really need to get working with this horse, but I also want him brought up in a barn (so to speak).

Any suggestions would really be appreciated.
 

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My daughter is 6, so now most of the time she rides with me on one of my older mares that's a babysitter.

If I'm riding client horses or very green youngsters, she plays in the barn aisle while I work in the indoor. (I can see her from the arena) She has a bike in the barn & a muck bucket full of "barn toys" - hula hoop, jump rope, sand toys, coloring book & crayons, etc. I welcome the noise & distractions, good for the horses I'm riding.

When she was younger, I had to work around her "schedule". I'd ride early am before hubby had to go to work so he could watch her should she wake up. I also had a teenage student that would come on Saturdays and while I did my other lessons and rode, she'd keep her entertained and then I'd give her lessons free of charge.

When I was little, my mom put milk crates with holes cut out for our legs on the hot walker and we'd "swing" in circles while she rode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My daughter is 6, so now most of the time she rides with me on one of my older mares that's a babysitter.

If I'm riding client horses or very green youngsters, she plays in the barn aisle while I work in the indoor. (I can see her from the arena) She has a bike in the barn & a muck bucket full of "barn toys" - hula hoop, jump rope, sand toys, coloring book & crayons, etc. I welcome the noise & distractions, good for the horses I'm riding.

When she was younger, I had to work around her "schedule". I'd ride early am before hubby had to go to work so he could watch her should she wake up. I also had a teenage student that would come on Saturdays and while I did my other lessons and rode, she'd keep her entertained and then I'd give her lessons free of charge.

When I was little, my mom put milk crates with holes cut out for our legs on the hot walker and we'd "swing" in circles while she rode.
I LOVE the milk crate idea!! To bad there's no hot walker. Unfortunately, my horses in 2 different places 20 miles apart, yuck. The "babysitter" horse is at my parents, and the "project" is at a friends. Thankfully, the others at my friends barn have been really nice about the whole thing, and I've been told several times to just let him run around, that everyone will help keep an eye on him, but I just feel like I'm taking advantage of the situation.
 

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I always rode with my Mom when I was little....But when I take my little cousins (5 & 9 with autism) I give them a job. I send them with some carrots to the pony pen or the pen with a babysitter horse, or I'll tell them if they can clean all my bridles I'll buy them ice cream :lol:
 

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yeap i do the bribery thing as well my sisters nephews... put the saddle in front of them and have them polish...in about 10 minutes or less they will be bored so i have a bucket of water and have them rub down the shed or stalls or cars :)
if they succeed in keeping busy we get ice cream or chocalate bar after...

but if your 9yo is responsible do you think the 3 yo could help him out with his lesson horse for grooming etc... not sure if thats an option...

but i always have back up...lots of toys in bucket
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hire a sitter and leave em home. Way less stress and you'll enjoy the time with your horse and get way more done in less time. Think about it, how much horse work vs kid watching minutes are you currently getting ?
But the horses soak up all the money:lol:
 

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^ I've thoguht about the above.

I had to have dad watch my now 6 year old. Even now she is too young to be unsupervised. I had to have dad come outsiede last saturday and all i was doing was getting the horses feet shod. What does she find to do, even with her toys and books? Goes to the round pen, gets the whip and starts snapping it. Then she thoguht slamming the round pen gate would be a good idea.

Its always more stressful for you when you have to have them out with you. Especially at 3! If you can, get a sitter, or trade saddle time. Onthe other days, maybe stick to lunging and ground work? Thats very hard.
 

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Are there any preteen/teen girls there that you could bribe with lessons or even a bit of cash to occupy the younger one?
Baby sitter.

It doesn't sound like you own your own barn, where you make the rules, but you are a facility where other people pay for the amenities as well. I'm sure that everyone loves the tot, and would watch him.. but a 3yo is self destructive on the best of days and they are there to tend to their horses, and would not be fully attentive to the child, so unless you can give him your undivided attention (and make sure he's not attempting to kill himself or causing an unsafe situation for others) it's not fair to him, nor the other barn patrons, to bring him.
 

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Hopefully you can post an ad at the barn to get someone to watch the kiddos for you. I'm sure some young girl would LOVE to make a few extra bucks.

I've always had my horses at home so I could go work with them while my kid was napping. When she turned two naps stopped and I had to get creative! I couldn't get my inlaws to help so she was with me 24/7 until she went to preschool. I used to pop a dvd in a portable player and plop her in a rocker on the porch where I could keep an eye on her. It worked, kind of. One day I went out to feed and told her to STAY PUT in the rocking chair. She did but wasps had built a nest underneath and to my HORROR she was stung all over her poor face! It was awful. So my riding and working with the horses halted until I had hub to watch her.

Can you drop the kiddies off at hubs work a few days a week? I do that now when I'm working on a big project, it's only fair and we are partners in this. I've worked a full time job at home since we had her and had to work a lot of long nights after she went to bed to catch up. My daughter is almost 7 now and I'm nervous something could happen to me when I'm with my horses and she'd be alone. Too risky. If someone is around at the barn and I was desperate I'd put them in a stall with a movie and threaten them with their lives not to leave it. LOL!!
 

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Sorry...

You may have to work around your DH's schedule or trade-off with a friend to get some riding time in. It's tough to have a toddler anyway - but it's even tougher (and dangerous) to let him hang out at the barn.

Hope you can find an arrangement that works...

Good luck!
 

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If someone is around at the barn and I was desperate I'd put them in a stall with a movie and threaten them with their lives not to leave it. LOL!!
:rofl:

I have one stall that mine chooses to play in. It's full of straw bales and I have an aluminum ladder stored across the top. She thinks the bales make good steps to the monkey bars. DH also made her a "fort" out of bales in one corner. She reads to the barn cats and colors in there. She's going to be one angry little girl when Lacey gets close to foaling and I start deconstructing her fort....
 
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Thats a GREAT idea MHF! "Now be still kitty kitty, listen to THIS!"

There have been several times I've thrown mine on top of a round bale line where she couldn't get off while I was feeding. She'd climb around till we were done rolling them into the field. I think she was 4 :).
 

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I have a 2, 4, and 7 year old. I board with family where my kids have cousins their own age to play with to keep them out of my hair. It's not as simple as that though. It didn't take long for me to get the impression that the kids were not as welcome as just I was. I stopped taking them with and worked my schedule around my husbands so he could watch the kids. I still take them with occasionally, and those times they have plenty to do, but I never ride if I have my 2 year old. My other two are pretty self sufficient, they know the rules and will just follow their cousins around. I don't trust the 2 year old to just follow, and don't usually ask others to help. Not that I don't think you should, that's just my situation. I use that time to groom or work in the round pen, where he usually just sits and plays in the dirt, and I can walk away from my horse if I need to.

This won't help you at all, but I also have my 18 year old sister living with me now, so I always have Saturday mornings to myself while she babysits. She just started working so I've lost my Tuesdays and Thursdays, but again, I just use those days to work on other things.
 

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I have two little kiddos, 5 and 6 1/2 and I when I can't avoid bringing them I make sure I have snacks and drinks, coloring books & reading books, movies and video games on phone and tablet... so usually they are happy enough to sit in the lounge with all of that while I work with my horse. But when I can, I leave them with my husband, it's just easier and I don't need to keep checking on them and can really concentrate on what I'm doing. :wink:
 
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