Eight things horses have taught me about parenthood – So far 


Smiley meets his littlest sibling.
Smiley meets his littlest sibling.

My little daughter is only 3 months old.  Over these months, I’ve been thankful for the lessons and experiences that my life with horses has given me.  They sure have come in handy!  Here are some parallels I’ve noticed so far:

  1. I’m used to my body being used as someone else’s handkerchief.  Spit up is less gross than horse boogers.
  2. I know how to go over another creature daily and notice problems. Is this baby/tendon hotter than normal?
  3. I understand non-verbal communication and how to watch for signals that the tide is about to change. A fist that unclenches is similar to a horse licking and chewing.  That’s the time to try something new.
  4. I can accurately apply a salve to a wiggly creature.
  5. Less is often more. Don’t overstimulate the baby or over face the horse.
  6. I have experience with worrying to varying degrees. My horse has put me through a lot of worry with his health problems.  Vets have told me on two separate occasions that I should consider euthanasia.  These experiences were absolutely horrible, but did help me temper my anxiety when my daughter had a predicted fever after her vaccinations.  I wanted to freak all the way out, but I didn’t.
  7. I can make a big deal out of a small victory. Did my horse finally make a transition without bracing against my hand?  Woohoo!  Did my daughter do 30 seconds of tummy time without crying? Yippee!
  8. It’s about the journey.  I enjoy the hours of caring for my horse, hard work, responsibility, and dedication that it takes to have a thriving and happy horse.    All these elements are needed in caring for a baby, and I’m glad I have some sort of experience. 

Many of you have been parents for much longer than I have.  What are some similarities that you’ve encountered between horses and children?

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