Three daughters, two horses and one befuddled daddy.

November 4, 2011

I’ve never lived anywhere else but the city of Chicago. Save for college, I’ve resided here my entire life. Not the suburbs, mind you: Chi-ca-go. Even now, raising three little girls.

So, here’s the ultimate non sequitur: Why in hell to do I own two horses? Three guesses, three answers: Camille, Colette & Lily.

While all my daughters ride, Camille is the prodigy. Honestly, I do not know where she got the DNA, having lived most of her young life in a doorman building on Walton Street next to the Drake Hotel. There are horses there; they pull shivering tourists around Water Tower Place and up Michigan Avenue: servile beasts, indifferent as prostitutes.

As fate would have it, Camille’s best friend at school comes from a southern family –a family with many dollars and horses to spend them on. They keep their ponies on ranches in Michigan and Montana. Nice, right? Well, they’re nice people. They might even be considered gentry. And that’s where Camille got the notion she could actually OWN a horse as opposed to just ride them on vacations and such.

My horses (Coco & Yours Truly) are kept in a barn 35 miles from our home in Chicago. Hawthorn Hills by Lake Zurich. For the record, their upkeep is larger than my current mortgage, and then some. Each of these ponies cost as much as a new Honda Civic, fully loaded.

Also for the record, like a lot of people, I am currently “between jobs.” Unlike them, however, I own…TWO FREAKING HORSES.

Today I found out one of them is gimpy and requires an MRI. What’s that gonna cost me? In addition, I’m being told (maybe sold is the better word) that Camille needs to upgrade to what they call a “green pony.” Fitting moniker, given that it will cost twice as much as the last one.

That’s my dilemma as I sit in a suburban Starbucks a couple miles from the barn. Do I burn money we don’t have on yet another pony or do I say no and teach my daughters about life’s rough patches?

I know these are high-class problems -I’m blessed to have them- but they’ve drowned me today, like the relentless rain outside. It just won’t stop. Yet, I also know tomorrow the sun will come out. Maybe I’ll even get a job along with that new pony.

5 Responses to “Three daughters, two horses and one befuddled daddy.”

  1. Kelly RGF said

    Gorgeous ponies and girls! They are very lucky to have such a supportive dad. That’s a hard decision to make. Maybe you could keep the current one a little longer, or find some other compromise? Good luck with your job hunt.

  2. Tracy said

    Horses are a great opportunity to learn a lot of lessons. When my father found himself between gigs, my trainer took me on as a working student (I was 12) — something I did off and on through college. She also put together a free lease deal with a fancy green pony (who was also crazy; that’s another story). I rode whatever came through the barn until I was 15 and my dad came through on the promised horse. He was able to write the checks for about two years before I went back to mucking stalls. I had Ruthie until I was 28 and my own financial situation forced me to give her up. It’s even harder when you’re a grown-up.

    Consider a lease or your daughter can brainstorm with her trainer for a creative solution, if buying an upgrade isn’t in the cards. For kids that really want to do it, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  3. John King said

    It’s been a year today that I haven’t worked for a weekly paycheck.

    Survival of the fittest, right?

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