Balancing Act

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If Savannah had it her way, she would be at the barn every day from the time she gets out of school until it is time for bed. Her head and heart are 100% full of all things horse. I admire her passion and commitment to her sport, but I also worry. I can’t help it, I’m her mom.

I worry that she needs to find balance in her life. What if this horse thing is just a phase? Will she have alienated all of her other friends when she is ready to do something else? How much time do I need to make sure she focuses on school work each week? How much time is too much time at the barn?

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If your child sticks with this riding thing, you’ll find that the demand on their time becomes more and more from all angles. Savannah’s in 4th grade this year which is a huge shift in her academic rigor. She’s had a significant increase in homework and the content is more challenging. She’s also reached a point in her riding where it’s very important for her to be consistently riding 2-3 times a week, all year long. I’ve also encouraged her to remain active in things that she started doing before horses took over our lives. She’s still in the same Girl Scout troop that she started with in kindergarten and still takes weekly piano lessons.

I am finding it very hard as a parent to know when and what is best for her when it comes to activities. I’m sure all parents feel this way at some point, whether its horseback riding, hockey, soccer, etc. It seems that in today’s world kids are all in with whatever sport they choose. I strive to try to make sure she is well rounded as much as I can. She still enjoys her other activities, so we make it work.

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Savannah knows that as long as her grades stay acceptable, she can continue at this crazy pace. We maximize her time as best we can. The ride to the barn is about 25 minutes each way. She is often doing homework, reading or studying while we are in the car. She is naturally an early riser, so piano practice is typically done before school. If all of her school stuff is done for the weekend, I have no problem spending extra time at the barn. Right now, that is where her heart is pulling her. I love to see her eyes light up and the smile on her face any time she is around her pony. Eventually all those other things may fall to the wayside, and it will be ok as long as she is happy.

- Bobbi Bires