Riders Parents’ Corner - Note 1
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Riders Parents’ Corner - Note 1

I was teaching/coaching Pony Club riders today in the rain/sleet and biting cold it occurred to me that there was one group of people there who don’t get nearly enough help/support/praise/thanks/credit and general bigging up.
You get your tired child/grumpy teen out of bed and help them to prepare their pony/fire-breathing horse whilst they are whining that they wanted more/less/different breakfast/sleep. You manage somehow to hitch the damned trailer, squashing your thumb/foot in the proccess, whilst taking a call from the teenager/husband/wife/slightly sick child you left in bed who wants to know where you are despite the fact that you told her/him you would be early out.
You load the equine (finally) and get to the rally/training/show/event to discover the girth is at home. Tack borrowed, you deliver your child to the arena/field/cross country course/competition and hand them over to the instructor/coach/knowledgeable other/whatever, quite frankly by then you don’t care, all you can think about is your frozen fingers and coffee!
You then spend the next hour/2 hours/day avidly hoping your child remembers to sit up/keep hold of the reins/bend the pony left/speak/focus/stay on......... and dying to tell them (you know you can’t because it will take their focus from the session/coach/round) as they go past that you are so proud/want to strangle them/could hug them for trying so very hard/need to kick/it’s their fault not the ponies and why don’t they smile........ You wish the coach/judge/steward would focus more/less on your child’s issue/strengths ......... You try to shut your eyes to the fact that your pony/lunatic/prized oldie is fatter/less able/smaller/less talented/less flashy/cheaper than the others........
Take it from me and every other coach who works with your child that we think you are, forgive me for the Americanism, AWESOME!
  You are your child’s (in no particualar order) chef/driver/advocate/cheerleader/psychologist/provider/shoulder to cry on/pony buyer and keeper/groom/banker/loving supporter and so much more........
So do yourself a favour, cut yourself (and your kid/s) some slack, worry less, remember it’s supposed to be fun and please, don’t compare........Because take it from me (parent of one rider now at Uni and one who makes his living with horses) that childhood does not last long and to keep some sanity you need to .............

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