My son, now seven, has rarely shown any interest in horses. He had a mini – Timothy, but due to a lack of interest on my son’s part and a love of children on the mini’s part – we leased Timothy out to a family with two girls. My son wants him back, but at this point is too big to ride Timothy and Timothy is very happy with his current charges and living situation.
We tried again last summer with E.’s pony, Rio, who is quite possibly the mostly saintly governess type horse ever (he is technically a horse at 14.3). We borrowed Rio for a few weeks last summer to see if my son could ride and to let a couple of the younger lesson riders get to play around on him. If my son had shown any interest, I could have justified keeping Rio. However, he showed about ten minutes of interest total.
We used to ride together on Liberty a/k/a the family cruiser. I tucked my son in front of me and we rode on a bareback pad. It worked pretty well and Liberty chugs along like an econo-van. I had to fold a sheepskin pad up to make my son’s “tucus” more comfortable. Once he was too big to ride in front of me, the rides stopped. It was time for him to ride his own horse. My son also maintains that he knows how to ride and does not need lessons (this is a common theme – he also believes he can play the piano – only his grandmothers believe that one).
Last night, Connie and E. hauled over to trail ride Tas and Ries. E. wanted to do more than walk, however, I did have my son talked in to trying to go along prior to that. We stayed behind and while I was tacking up Whitman, he announced he wanted to ride Whitman.
“She’s not ours and her owner will not be out tonight”
So we tacked up the cranky Morgan who then proceeded to be a model citizen. His young rider spent a little bit of time trying to lap the arena by himself (as an accomplished, knows-it-all rider would do). After a few minutes of realizing Webster was going to do nothing but follow me around while I put jumps away, someone was willing to allow me to teach him. I was grinning like the Cheshire Cat having waited several years for this. You have such such delusions about teaching your own child to ride.
I have done so many “kiddie” lessons that I can pretty much run through the script and it was funny to catch myself sliding into the practiced tones and happy voice I use with first timers. My son seemed amused by the different tones. It is a lot harder to not get frustrated with your own. Right at the beginning of the ride he dropped the reins and bolted for the mounting block leaving Webster to step on the reins and reef his head up – surprisingly the reins/bridle did not break. I lit into my son over it, whereas another child I would have simply discussed that mistake and not yelled at them. Interesting. We did all of the balance games and he thoroughly enjoyed the “funky chicken” dance. My husband was baling the field above the outdoor and enjoyed the show.
My son found out that riding could be competitive – and you could win ribbons! I immediately was daydreaming of taking him to shows and Pony Club and so forth. Fantasy Land was quickly dismantled by the realization that he would have to trot and that ended that.
“Mom – can I be done now”.
It was fun while it lasted.