May 11, 2005

First Horse Rides

Yesterday we went to a great horse field trip. We visited a horse farm with several other families, I think we had about 14 children there. The kids learned some facts about horses including different body parts, reasons for their behavior and how to read the body language of a horse. Then they all took turns brushing the horses, learning that there are three different types of brushes to use, combing the tail and mane, touching the bone in the tail (I did not know they had a bone there) and finally riding the horses!

It was both Rhiannon and Ciaran's first time on a horse, Sirah stayed with friends from our support group, and they both loved it, their grins were so big! Ciaran was one of the first to ride and Rhiannon waited patiently and was second to last! They each got two turns on the horses, each turn making several laps around the ring. The first time they learned how to mount a horse, basic commands and just got used to it. The second time they had the opportunity to trot and they both really liked that!

At the end of the class each child had the opportunity to name three parts of the horse and then they received a certificate for either a free lesson or free trail ride. They were very excited for this as well.

I would say overall it was one of the best field trips we have done this year. The price was reasonable and the rewards were worth it. At times it was challenging for Ciaran to wait or for Rhiannon to make the right choice not to run around even if others were but they did very well overall.

I was especially proud of Rhiannon who was extremely patient waiting her turn and letting others go ahead of her. She also was protective of her younger brother when at one point children were telling him he was too young to play with them and then she helped get him involved and negotiate activities so that he could be involved in a fair and reasonable way. To be honest at first she did not realize what was happening but as soon as I pulled her aside and showed her that Ciaran was crying and she found out why she rectified the situation immediately. It was interesting because the situation involved older boys but she was not too intimidated. It was one of those moments when you just love your kids and how close they are.

I'm not sure how much longer we will be able to avoid horseback riding lessons, they both liked it so much. This summer though all that is on our "classes" list is swimming lessons. Anyway if you have the opportunity to ride horses for a field trip, do it, it was a great time!


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