I envy men, who seem to have (and I realize I am generalizing here -sue me!) an innate ability to compartmentalize their lives. Work in this box, kids in this box, any other activities over here in the other box. I'm so envious of that skill I could puke. All aspects of my life intersect and crash all over each other, kind of like the stuff in my closet-- a crazy big mashed up mess of kidshusbandworklifefamilyhorsefriendsblahblahblah that could at any moment overflow and suffocate me underneath it.
I got back into the horse thing because I needed some "Mom" time and missed the joy I'd always felt around horses. However, Mom (solo) time became MOM (with kids) time when first my daughter, then my son, expressed a desire to ride as well. Since then there have been many moments when my mothering skills have been tested, not to mention my patience (iffy at best), sanity (same) and triage skills (better). Watching my kids master the skills necessary to ride, watching them overcome their own issues, and spending time with them at the barn has been endearing, empowering, frustrating, heartbreaking, and joyful all at once.
Frustrating, when I have to ask for the 100th time, "Is that how you bridle that pony?" when they've been doing it for 2 years now. Endearing, when they reach around the pony's neck to hug her and tell her she's the best pony in the world. Empowering, when I see them face their fears and conquer new skills, which gives me motivation to conquer mine. Heartbreaking, when they see for the first time that life inevitably ends in death as one of their favorite ponies succumbs to colic. And joyful, because even when I make mistakes or lose my patience and have a less-than-perfect mom moment, we have those moments (some funny, some sad) of shared time together.
So, this horse thing it ain't what it started out to be, it's turned into something better for me. And thankfully, we're still all in one piece at the end of the day. Well, mostly.