Tonight Stuey and I drove out in the pouring rain to the fairgrounds for his first horseback riding lesson with Ms. Rebecca and horse Bob!
|The pre-riding horse brushing routine.|
Even though Stuey is only in first grade, I"ve felt borderline guilty about the fact that he isn't involved in anything extra curricular. Nora has girl scouts and Dance, and all summer Nora had her auditory processing program with me 5 days a week. When I heard of the lessons, it was a gorgeous fall day and the kids and I piled into the car and drove to the fairgrounds to meet the teacher, Ms. Rebecca and Horse Bob.
As a kid I took lessons for maybe a year out at a small arena in Bells Flats. My recollection of those lessons is quite vague-I remember there being a LOT of cleaning out horse hooves with semi-sharp implements and little riding. (I don't know if this is my skewed memory or really how it was. I also remember never being able to gallop or jump after months of lessons. Maybe it wasn't the case, but goes to show how those moments from childhood lessons really stick with you!)
|Learning the ways of the reins and how to hold them.|
In any case, as I watched Rebecca take Stuey through the grooming rituals this evening, it all came back to me...the combing, how to tighten the saddle, putting the bridle on, etc.
Stuey learned about where the horses' ticklish spot is, where to not stand (behind it!) and then we went to the arena where Stuey began riding.
Rebecca has an incredible patience and intuition with kids and horses, which I really appreciate. She taught Stuey how to respond should Bob decide to shake-which he did at one point. Stuey held on for dear life as Bob vigorously shook his body. She taught Stuey about horse body language and how to give Bob nice "atta boy" pets.
|At the end...scoopin' the poop!|
I anticipated sitting in the bleachers and reading my book while Stuey took his lesson. But in the end, I didn't. There was something viscerally very pleasing about watching Stuey go around the arena on Bob and watch Ms. Rebeccas cues to him.
It was nice to be on an outing with just Stuey. As we drove home from the lesson, I didn't ask Stuey questions about the lesson. I wanted to, but didn't. Stuey sat quietly in the back looking out the window at the rain outside. I turned on Pandora and decided to just let him look out the window and "be".
I have a good feeling about horseback riding for Stuey. It will be a skill builder, confidence builder and something I think we'll really look forward to together!