But as time went on, her relationship with the people at the farm began to change...
Over the past year, the owner of the farm and several of the other girls who work there have not been treating Kara so nicely. We're not sure when, why or how things started to go south.
At first, it was just something that happened occasionally. Kara would be excluded from group barn events like barn sleepovers and helping with camps. My daughter became really good at covering up the hurt this caused her. She still loved riding and felt a certain connection with her horse.
Then it became more frequent.
The barn owner would yell at Kara for minor things. The other girls began posting team outings on Instagram that Kara would see.
As time went by, I watched the pain that this caused my daughter. She had to balance her love for the horses with the cruel treatment she was receiving. It was killing me!
Then, on Sunday, Kara had had enough. She found out there was another sleepover at the barn that she was left out of and she decided it was time to stand up for herself and not let people treat her so poorly. So on Sunday, she made the very difficult decision to quit working at the barn and to leave the horses she loved. She went to the barn, got her riding gear, said goodbye to the horses, and gave her notice.
As her mom, I was so proud of her for standing up for herself, but my heart also broke for her as well. She loved riding and loved the good times she spent at the farm.
Now, we are in the process of finding a new farm for Kara to join. I'm sure that the right barn will come along and Kara will ride again. I'm also sure that she will remember what it felt like to have had enough and how empowering it was to speak up for herself.
As her mom, I know I will.