For the last few months we’ve had a second cowboy in the house.
Will began taking riding lessons during Ben’s lesson at Enchanted Acres with Ms. Trish back in August. He really really enjoys it and loves his lesson horse, Splatter.
The cool part of it all is that that both Ben’s and Will’s teachers work together for part of the lesson. Both horses are in the ring and the boys get to play games while in the saddle. Many of the games are “hide and seek” sorts of activities where they have to maneuver their horses to different parts of the ring to look inside different containers for objects (puzzle pieces, different colored balls, play fruit/veggies…). There is turn-taking, information exchange, and social interaction involved all while learning how to ‘steer’ with the reins, communicate with the horse, and stay in the saddle!
We love that Kelly and Trish offer up this combined experience for siblings. It’s great for Will who loves to do anything Ben does, and it’s also great for Ben to have a partner to interact with. I love that the combined lesson doesn’t require me to be in two places at once, and that the relationship piece we work so hard for in Ben’s remediation can be supported in this, one of their favorite activities.
There are parts of the lesson that are not combined and it’s so amazing to see your children interact with other adults, apart from you. Will listens intently to instructions from Trish and seems eager to please. He is much more reserved and almost shy during his lesson, using a voice so soft and low that he needs encouragement to ‘use a big voice’ so the horse can hear him. Trish has Will change positions in the saddle in order to strengthen muscles and encourage proper technique. This jumping pose, however, sort of freaked me out.
I’ve been assured there will be no jumping for many years, yet–that three-year-olds only practice position. Phew.
Ella Rose enjoys having me all to herself while we observe the lessons, and even felt brave one afternoon and requested to ride Star–Ben’s really tall lesson horse. Thank God she’s too young for lessons. I don’t think I could handle three of them in the saddle. At least, not yet. She is pretty darn cute in her boots, though.