KD Stable
202 Thomas Hill
Lee, Maine 04455

Ride with Pride

Celebrating 13 Years in

Operation Accident Free


Click here to Email KD Stable                           Only 15 minutes from Downtown Lincoln
Introduction to Horses 101 Lessons - $25 weekly
Saturdays in March and April
see our events page for details

Home      Writings by Deb
Horses and children can be challenging. Anyone who has ever dealt with a horse can understand what an understatement that can be. Combine horses and kids and life gets interesting really quick. Long ago, don’t want to date myself but I didn’t have grey hair then, as I sat relaxing on the porch swing at the ranch in Colorado, I saw my son, around 10 at the time, leading his horse to the house. Normally, he would have been riding on the horse and the horse did have a saddle on his back. The son was a little bent over and holding his stomach, like we do when it hurts.
         Remembering the start to the day, I know he was going to the main house to play “cowboys and indians” with the rest of the ranch kids and he seemed to feel fine then. So I just sat and waited while he tied his horse to the rail, came through the gate and then walked right past me without a word. I can hear some people already thinking, what kind of mother wouldn’t rush to see if her child was alright!! I suppose that is what most mothers would do. But, there is a different culture to life out west, where everyone is held accountable for their actions. One household rule was that if you got hurt doing something you shouldn’t be doing, then that was your punishment. Not to say that if it were truly a hurt which had to be handled by a doctor that I wouldn’t take the boy in, but a hurt now and then as a wakeup call is what teaches someone to be responsible and make better choices.
        So I sat on the swing, enjoying the day and waited. Mind you, I thought of going in and finding out what was what. I wanted to go hold his hand and say everything is alright, but not knowing the whole story, I thought it best to just wait and see what would happen. Within minutes the boy came back out, walking fine, no longer holding his stomach and sat beside me stating.” I knew you wouldn’t care.”
        That was some statement to have a child throw out there. So I replied,“Well, how did you get hurt?” And he told me a tale of the game of riding horses up and down hills, through loafing barns, etc., until he got wiped off by something he tried to go under. He concluded the tale with the statement that since he wasn’t suppose to be riding where he was, he took his punishment like a man.
        What I learned about my son that day has stuck with me ever since. Not that he can take pain. Not that he did wrong. But that he did not have to tell me what really happened. He could have chosen to make up a story and tried to reel in some pity from me. Instead, he told the truth, without being asked or prompted, stated what really happened, took responsibility for what he did wrong and accepted his “punishment.” Ever since that day, I have respected my son for who he is. I think that day I saw the man he was to become and liked him a lot. Oh, we still banter back and forth, argue over stupid things, but in my heart of hearts, I am proud of who he is. I respect that he helps with the foster boys and tries to set a good example for them. I enjoy that when he returned to Maine last year, he didn’t question why the boys were here, but treated them like family, good or bad, and just accepted them.
        Although it is easy to love our kids, biological, adopted or foster, liking them is the part that can be hard at times. I like my sons. They know I love them, but liking them means I let them make mistakes and take ownership of them. I can’t keep them from making mistakes, but I can help them learn from them. And if they really irritate me, well, those 16 horses in the barn create a lot of stall cleaning opportunities and cleaning stalls is a good way to work off energy.

KD Stable

202 Thomas Hill
Lee, Maine 04455