Thursday, February 20, 2014

Caution ... Horses!

My daughter has been a little crazy for horses since she was very young ... she takes after her mom ;)

The pony rides were her favourite rides at every country fair, my sister with the horses was her favourite place to visit because she could hang out with her cousins and the horses all day.  We started going to the Royal Winter Fair just for the horse shows. 

The riding lessons started when she was about 10 or 11. 

We stayed with a stable until things started to go sour for one reason or another, and then searched for something new.  Each stable fulfilled a need for a while, so I never felt I wasted time and money at any of them. 

She learned a lot from each individual horse too, not just the instructors.  Not every lesson was an easy one.  Some days were not all smiles ... and some days I could barely watch when she was on a difficult horse.

She's had her share of spills and bruises.
There've been other heartbreaks along the way.  Two of the horses that she had become very close to were lost.  One (below) to a head injury when he fell on ice  ...

... the other lost to blindness (who could not, understandably, be kept on at a jumping stable).  How I wish I had a place in the country at the time they had to say goodbye to him.  He was a real sweetheart and very young (below).  But as with any business, especially with animals, sentiment very often has to take a back seat.  But it was most difficult to learn his fate when there was nothing we could do to help ... a heartbreaking day.

With all the riding lessons, horse shows became the next natural step. 

And with horse shows come the ribbons.  Now horse show ribbons are so gosh-darned fancy. 

Any kid could come in dead last, but with a fancy ribbon for fifth place, they would feel they'd won the championship.  The smiles on the kids faces when presented with a fancy ribbon is priceless and worth every ride. 

My daughter has never really been one for all the horse trinkets like some girls.  Her room was never decorated with a horse theme, she never wore clothes or had a blanket with horses printed on them ... she just likes the real horses and the riding.  She'd rather buy horse gear, and she does have quite a collection of trendy saddle pads and she likes a good expensive riding boot.  I'm actually glad that this is her way, because then we don't have a room cluttered with junk.  But the ribbons!  What to do with a tote full of ribbons?! 

trust me, this ain't all of 'em
She displayed a few of the really nice ones on her bulletin board, but they're great dust catchers, and start to look tacky real fast.  So she's been checking on-line to see how other people display their ribbons.   She came across a very cool display in a shadow box frame.  The girl who had it (and sorry I don't have a link for it on my computer), had actually purchased the framed ribbons at auction for $100.  My daughter just had a birthday last week, and when she came home for Reading Week, she and I went shopping for her birthday present.  Michael's Craft Store has a great selection of shadow box frames, and with a 40% off coupon (yay!!) we picked up a nice big frame (16" x 31").  She got to work on it as soon as we got home, and this is what she put together ...

As I told her, "Once you frame something it becomes art", and so it has.  I think it looks really cool.  The memories encased behind glass are many.  A lot of good times, but there are also memories of when things went sideways on us.  Some show days the horses wouldn't cooperate ...


Some shows it was the weather ...
The most difficult shows were the ones when my daughter wasn't cooperating :[
But we had a lot of laughs too.  What's not to love when you have to get up at 3 a.m. to drive to the stable ... load horses & tack onto trailers and all drive off to the shows to stand out in an unprotected field all day long holding onto horses (the sweet Newfoundland Pony above tried to bite my arm all day long and finally succeeded).  But the excitement of getting first & second place ribbons! ... the thrill of a championship! ... well, those memories are all timeless in this frame.

One of my best friend's mother passed away a couple of years ago.  I had a chance to speak with her mother just a few months previous, and we talked about horse show ribbons.  She didn't believe in packing them away, she felt they should all be displayed with pride.  She told me "Every ribbon you see there (and they are displayed throughout my friend's house) represents every hour of hard work that you went through to get that ribbon."  She was talking about the hard work of both the rider and the mom.  She'd been a "horse mom" to my friend for probably 45 years, so she knew what she was talking about ;)
I quite agree with her, and am very happy that my daughter has found a great way to display all her hard-earned ribbons.  Although it seems the shows may be finished (for now), she still continues with jumping lessons with the horse club at university.  I'm so glad she's able to keep up the riding and hang out with the horses that she loves so much!
Sleepy horse after a long show day
Ah! that's better ... Champions that day :)

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. What a fantastic lot of memories you must have both built up together over the years Wendy. Your daughter's idea of how to display her beautiful ribbons is a great one, and as you say, it then becomes art and is something that she can display in her future homes over the years to come to remind her of those happy times you spent together. She has done a really great job of arranging them to great advantage!! xx

  2. Wow Wendy! This story touch my heart. I know you are so proud of your daughter and I know she is proud of herself to for all of her hard work. What a accomplishment!!
    I think her display case is awesome!!!! I am going to spread this idea to one of my friends. Her daughter is in gymnastics and that girl has a tons of ribbons and metals....lovely idea!
    xx Shari

  3. Wow! What a fantastic piece of personal art great for you and your daughter to gaze at it with pride! Every picture tells a story! Fabulous!
    Ali x

  4. Wendy, your daughter has done a wonderful job with that frame and has indeed created a work of art! You both have many happy and enjoyable memories connected to horse riding days and all that that entails, and I was really touched by the sadness contained within this post too. Thank you for such a lovely sharing of your special Mum/Daughter/Horse Friend times. Hugs, Joy xo

  5. What a wonderful way to display the product of all her hard work! Such wonderful memories and beautiful photos.

  6. Gorgeous rosettes. I love that they are all encased en masse in a beautiful display, bringing to mind many memories that both you and your daughter have shared throughout the years. Horse riding and all that goes with it, teaches one so many, many perspectives about life...the sad times, the happy times, the drudgery, so many things that encompasses the living of each day. Such a lovely post!!

  7. She is so beautiful and I know you are proud of her. I love the shadow box for displaying her ribbons! Now she can really enjoy them. What accomplishments for her! WOW! I love seeing her on the horses....what beautiful photos! It's so nice to hear of a young person that takes such pride in what they do. Sweet hugs, Diane

  8. wow that is allot of ribbons-nice way to save and enjoy them too. a nice sport

  9. Wendy, a wonderful post. I so enjoyed seeing your daughter's journey through the years, with her beloved horses, all the hard work and dedication that such sports entail, both from the participants and their support team, parents, siblings, trainers, friends and family. Whether you're a soccer mom, hockey dad or gymnastics grandma, it truly is an effort on everyone's part. Her pretty ribbons are a testament to her passion and ambition.

    Happy weekend!


  10. What wonderful memories you and your daughter must have from all those years of horse shows! Given a bit of time, even the not so pleasant memories have a way of smoothing themselves out and turning into fond ones. I love the ribbon shadow box. What a great way to display her hard-earned treasures!

  11. It's a lovely post, lots of great memories to look back on.

  12. That is very cool! First off, a lovely post. And the shadowbox is a great way to display all those pretty ribbons. They definitely should not be packed away so I am glad she now has an organized way of displaying them. I loved horses when I was little. Only rode a few but at the age of 12, a friend and I decided we were going to write a book about them and collect any scraps of horse related material we could, even mane hair from the fences, which we did. We sat in her closet on the floor and typed away on an old typewriter. One of those manual ones, of course. :) Fun times! Best wishes, Tammy

  13. Hi Lovely Wendy, apologies for being absent this week but it has been a busy one. I your photographs Wendy, your daughter is just lovely, just like you, you are so alike. I love the frame with all her ribbons on - so artistic and colourful. Hope you are keeping well and happy, will be catching up with your posts over the next few days. Big hugs and loves

  14. Oh I so love this Wendy!!! You know she looks like a natural on those horses! And the story of the horse biting you and getting up early...oh what moms do in the name of love! Look at all of these memories and I have yet to see ribbons displayed as beautifully as this! My goodness! Please tell her it is stunning! I should pass this on to my niece who is a swimmer with a ton of ribbons! Like you absolutely looks like art! Love it! What a proud mama you must be! A wonderful weekend to you friend! Nicole xoxo

  15. If only horses that can no longer race or see can become therapy horses. It's wonderful when our kids have something in their life that brings great joy. Horses are really gorgeous creatures. I think the shadow box display is a great way to showcase the winnings.

  16. Your daughter is very accomplished. I've never ridden a horse, but I think I'd like to try. Your daughter is very pretty, and she looks very much like you.

  17. What a lovely post. And you took me right back to my own horse riding days. It all sounded so familiar. How the 'horse bug' managed to bypass my two girls I have no idea ... I'd rather been looking forward to being a 'horse mom', but older daughter was a gymnast and younger played the violin so it was all gym meets and youth orchestras for us. One bonus ... it was all indoors! I'd bet your girl has more ribbons in her future yet x

  18. Wow what a great post. You could talk about horses all the time and I would never tire of it! I LOVE HORSES! My heart is still broken from having to sell my horse when I got divorced! Alas, I have not been able to get another one since. I rode flat saddle as I was learning dressage. I'm so glad your daughter found a great way to display all those ribbons! Now they are a box full of memories displayed for all to see! :D
    Hugs my dear friend,
    Beth P

  19. What a lovely post. I enjoyed seeing the photos of your daughter and all the horses. The shadow box is a great way to display all those beautiful ribbons.. Great memories.. Have a happy day!

  20. What a lovely post and a wonderful ribbon display. It's so colorful - and it is art!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment, it's nice to know when you've stopped by! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...