Family Time

Posted in: Ranch Life

Are we having fun yet?  Photo Credit: Rachel L. Larsen

Are we having fun yet? Photo Credit: Rachel L. Larsen

Family time on our outfit usually consists of work of some sort.  When you live for your work, as my husband does, you are successfully sharing your passion with the people you love and as a bonus they’re free help.  Despite good intentions, days of family togetherness on horseback can go from pleasant to miserable at the drop of a hat.  A bad day can be the result of  weather (too hot, too cold, too windy), uncooperative cattle, or a lack of snacks and beverages.  However it shakes out, a bad day is hard on kids.

After a few bad experiences, we make a concerted effort to share “light” days with our son.  At nine-years-old, he’s traveled more horseback miles than I care to calculate.  As a result, he is both unenthusiastic and surprisingly good help.  While trailing a small herd of cattle to water and fresh pasture with my belligerent helper today,  I reminisced on my experiences as a nine-year-old cowgirl.

I was equally disgruntled with the early morning wake-ups and “working” with my parents.  I hope I was as half-as observant and helpful as my son.  He is a quick study, capable of spotting sick cattle, and has a knack for being in the correct spot.  As his parents, we take his inherent ability for granted.  Despite our best efforts, we struggle with making work fun and tend toward nagging, rather than complementing.

As I was reminiscing today, I recalled how my mother handled this parenting situation.  Although she was a competent horsewoman and cowgirl perfectly able of teaching me these skills, Mom recognized my need for outside influences.  She facilitated my relationships with equally capable horsewomen whose teaching styles differed from her own.  As a parent, I recognize the wisdom in her actions.    In our household, the time has come to find a mentor for our son.  A horseman, who can share their knowledge in the spirit of fun that we as parents lack.  Maybe spend family time at the bowling alley from now on.


Posted in: Ranch Life

About Rachel Larsen

Rachel Lohof Larsen is a fifth-generation rancher, mom, wife, cowgirl, and blogger. Originally from Montana, Rachel has a BA in Environmental Science from Colorado College. She and her husband, Guy, bring a sense of integrity and a strong interest in sustainability to all their pursuits....

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