At the tender age of 3, we enrolled Madison in dance.

It was my idea.

What Mom can resist the thought of their little girl becoming a ballerina?

Dancing lasted about 4 years.

She then tried her hand at music theatre.

Gymnastics and cheer leading.

She is currently taking voice lessons and loves it....BUT

 when passion burns deep.. Yeah

Just look at that smile!

Her passion is English Riding.

No tu tu's. No stage.

Just her and a horse.

After my Daddy surprised her this summer with a private lesson.


So today she spent 9 hours on a horse. ouch.

She found her passion.

And made a few new friends along the way.

I'm new to English Riding, as is she, but you would never know it.

I guess when you find your place, it just fits.

Oh, I don't know how long this love affair will last...

I just know lessons are less expensive than a Thoroughbred.

And I know this little girl will sleep good

Have you found your passion?

This little guy is not one of mine..ha!

Although he is cute.

To be honest, I'm deathly afraid of horses.

Go figure?

xo susie


  1. I am about 11 years into the horse adventure with my daughter. Someone once told me that I would be glad when she was a teenager and she wouldn't let boys take up too much of her time because she needed to spend time with her horse. They were right :).

  2. I love these pictures, you can tell she loves riding! My brother and his family have horses and my dad was a "horse" man; I too am deathly afraid of them. I tried to ride once and was so afraid I never got on again.


  3. She looks like a natural! My daughter has always loved horses- and still has big plans of buying one and keeping at Pa-pa's house! I really wish there was somewhere around here that had lessons- she'd spend all day on a horse, too!

  4. Our baby girl just took a break from gymnastics and wants to try this. She was introduced by a friend who also does this at her school. We'll see...she loves horses but is terribly allergic! The only thing that seems to help is a big ole dose of Benadryl but then she's so sleepy she's practically falling asleep in the saddle!

  5. Oh, wow, we have even more in common....
    My oldest, Katherine, started taking hunter/jump lessons when she was about 8. There began her passion. We have had a whirlwind with horses. We bought her first one when she was 14.
    Not to discourage you but finally after a compound fractured broken arm, a concussion, and a broken collar bone, all in seperate accidents, she has finally given up horseback riding. She just obviously is prone to accidents on horses. We still have our first original horse but sold the rest. We love the original horse, Ginger, and she is now a pasture ornament.
    Like you, I am terrified of horses but love them from the other side of the fence.

  6. I've been tossed off the back of a horse a few times in life and I no longer enjoy them. I leave that to my sister. Glad your baby found a passion. That's so important in life to really love something and enjoy doing it.

  7. We just sold my daughter's pony this summer after having her for eight years. It was one of the hardest things we have ever done but she had grown to big for her and wasn't able to show on her anymore. She rode English and competed in Hunter/Jumper shows.

    I know once our daughter started to ride, there was no looking back. She was hooked. The barn becomes their second home. Riding is an amazing experience and I wish your daughter much success.

  8. I got my horse for my 12th birthday. I was so hooked. Now I raise daughters in the city and I'm a soccer mom. My oldest two play in the band and take art classes. I love that they have found their passion but some days I wish it included the spending hours in the barn. I miss it.

  9. Your daughter looks so cute {and tiny} riding the horse! You must have been so proud! I took riding lessons with my daughter when she was about 8. She hated it, I loved it!! lol!


  10. Madison looks extremely elegant riding that horse! Pray she keeps her interest in horses for many years....instead of boys!! had

    Loved your post about your deer camp week-end! So beautiful....are you itching to decorate that cabin when they get it built???

  11. Go Madison! One of my favorite things in the world is the nose of a horse - and the smell and feel of their breath when they investigate their human friends.

  12. Hey Susie!!! Were also in Baton Rouge and my daughters have taken riding lessons on and off and are now begging to get back involved with horses. Where does your daughter take, if you don't mind me asking?? I would like to find a place for them that comes recommended!!!! Pictures are gorgeous by the way!!!!

  13. So adorable! what a pretty girl she is and how wonderful she has found her passion at such a young age!

  14. Susie,

    I just about grew up on a horse, showed English and have the trophies and ribbons to prove it! :) I've also been an instructor. Get her a copy of the Horseman's Bible and a 4H horse club to join. The book is a common sense guide on what to do and especially what NOT to do with an animal that weighs over 1,000 pounds. Horses are a life time responsibility that should not be entered into lightly, but with great forethought and sufficient funds to do things "right". They have an average lifespan of thirty years if well taken care of. The purchase of the horse is the CHEAPEST investment in this venture. It's the upkeep that's expensive!

    Your Friend,

  15. Oh man, I could write a book on this subject! My daughter was 9 when she had her first (English) riding lesson and 20 years later she is still as passionate as ever about passionate that 2 years ago we bought a 30 acre horse farm in the country so she could make horses and giving lessons her full-time occupation. What an adventure it has been!

    I totally agree with the first comment from Eilis... horses are a wonderful, wholesome diversion from some of the not-so-wonderful things teenager girls can potentially get into. All through my daughter's middle school and high school years, her friends were all really nice "horse girls" and I ALWAYS knew where she was...the ONLY place she ever wanted to the barn, of course!

    Although horses are an extremely expensive hobby, this seasoned "horse mom" would advise you to try to indulge your daughter's horse passion as much as you can. The rewards will far outweigh the many hours or loads of money you spend on horses.

  16. These are great photos. Reminds me of my 10-year-old daughter, whom I think may just end up on a saddle as well. After seven years of dance, she's ready to move on. Nice post!

  17. Susie,

    Remember when I messaged you about my cousin that lives in West Monroe, LA? She also knows about the Duck Commander. Her son also developed a huge passion for English Riding but got out of it after a couple of years because of peer pressure from other males in his area. Well, they are moving here (Houston) in May and he's excited to start back up since he will be living among males that do English Riding also! Wanting to get my daughter involved in horse riding also. Passions are so important! Go Madison!

  18. How awesome. :-) I found my passion in the very same thing. ....and at 28 years old, I have to admit.... just thinking about horses can still bring tears to my eyes. Love them! I own a 10year old grumpy Thoroughbred and love him with everything I have. It's amazing what a the outside of a horse can do for the inside of a (wo)man. :-)

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