Five Ways Horse People Are Already Prepared for Parenthood
If you’re a horse person thinking of babies this a must read! If you already have babies, or grown children, I hope you’ll chuckle along with me. I’m only fifteen months into this incredible journey, but I have found so many parallels between working with horses and babies. Here are my top five:
1. Catch me if you can!
Ever notice how the time you’re running late for the farrier is the time your horse walks to other way when you go catch him? Or at home when you need to get the baby dressed and they want to play can’t catch me? It seems with your horse or your child, the more you need them to come, the less they want to. So I change it around, I walk into the pasture partway to the horse, then turn around and slowly walk away, after a few steps I’ll have the horse thinking, “Hey! Wait a minute! There might be something you have for me!” and they follow behind. At home with the toddler, you just change it around and announce, “Bet you can’t catch me!” and playfully run the other way. Your toddler will spin around, laugh, and then they’ll be chasing you. Brilliant!
2. Body Language
Through my years of working with horses and studying their body language, I am comfortable with non-verbal communication. Which is good, because infants don’t talk either! Every baby has their own set of cues you must learn to read, but I found that I was not so frustrated by learning it and loved the challenge!
3. Trailer Loading = Car Seat Loading
Refer to number 1, the more you try to force something, the harder they resist! You’ve patiently taken the time to teach your horse to load into the trailer and that it’s really an ok place to be. Heck, it’s a salad bar on wheels! But try to drag him into the trailer and it’s just not going to happen. When a newborn comes home, you carefully place him into the car seat so delicately and gently. Fast forward a few months and now he’s using every muscle in his body, pushing his legs and arms against the car seat and probably screaming. Did I mention you were supposed to leave 10 minutes ago? Enter: The Car Seat Song. Our song went to the tune of the hokey pokey. Yours can be whatever you like. Congratulations, you just turned getting into the car seat a game and you can get going!
You buy your horse a ball and hanging lickey thing full of all different toys that spin. Your horse will only play with the feed bowl, flinging it out of the stall and you must go look for it every day. You buy the baby really fancy organic, development stimulating toys for little Einstein babies. She only plays with the box.
5. Shoe? What shoe?
If you have owned a shod horse then you already know about looking for shoes in fields. Now you get to look for shoes in the parking lot at the grocery store or up and down the aisles at Costco. Good thing you’re an experienced shoe searcher!
Horse people have learned to expect the unexpected and prepare for every situation. Along with this comes a healthy dose of patience and humility. I hope that you will find or have found your experience in the horse world as helpful as I have!