Not a born horse lover
|May 16, 2017||Posted by Melinda under Being Mom|
I wanted to ride the pony.
Problem, they were playing polo in the arena.
It was the night that Matt flies and so Fig was along for the metaphorical ride (but as we will see, not at all game for an actual one).
On Daddy-flying nights the most efficient way to ride is to plunk down Fig in the awesome solid-sided arena, saddle up my awesome doesn’t-usually-spook-at-the-careening child old mare, and work on some arena skillz.
Not possible tonight, and having just retrieved Farley from mare camp I really really wanted to ride.
So I settled on a questionable plan.
Put fig in front of my on the saddle and go for a very very short orchard trail ride.
After coordinating the dance of how to get myself AND the child in the saddle through an elaborate mounting block dance (“you stay there…no YOU stay over there….OK we’ve got this….oh Damn….child of mine, get back on the mounting block, no seriously I WANT you to climb on the 3 step metal object, Farley I don’t have words right now – JUST STAND THERE” etc etc) we took off…at a very slow walk.
Fig has been on Farley with me once in the arena. Over the winter we did a lap in the arena bareback. I’ve also given her some solo rides (with me having a secure grip on her pants to discourage any baby suicide attempts) around the arena.
She doesn’t have a high tolerance for riding. She loves being at the stable. The whole horse part of the equation? Not her thing.
I was hoping that the novelty of being on the trail, in a saddle, experiencing the sustained rocking walking would buy me some time. See? It’s like being a stroller but better!!!!!!
7 minutes into the ride.
Fig: “Get Down!”
Mel: “Nope. Not happening. See the end of the Orchard *just there*? We will turn around there and maybe I’ll let you walk back”.
Fig: “GET DOWN”
Fig: *kick kick kick of fat little legs and….SCREAM*
Farley (twisting of the head): “Huh?”
Is now the time to mention that it was my first time back on Farley is 6ish weeks?
“Farley! your job is to march calmly forward at a walk. Do it!”.
Fig: *sob sob sob*
Mel: just shoot me now
Finally we reached the turn around
Farley: “Let’s jig home!”
Mel: Stick a fork in me I’m done.
So we all dismounted (which is WAY harder than it sounds with an 18 month old in your arms even on a short horse) and I started the quarter mile walk home with a child in my arms and a pony on a line.
Half way home….I suggested that Fig might want to get back on the horse while I held her into the saddle a la with the pants grip.
She shrank back in my arms away from the pony and screamed “NO”.
A born horse lover she is not.
PS – I know a bunch of you are going to suggest that I should start with short rides and make it a positive thing yada yada yada. We do – I mostly keep any horse contact short and sweet, I truly don’t care whether she ends up loving horses or riding. Regardless of her choice she’s going to have be tolerant of stable time but there’s no pressure to make it “her thing”. This trail ride was an experiment, born of desperation, and retold here because I was highly entertained by the whole thing.
Want to consider a partial swap sometimes?
I put my daughter on the horse and I can’t freaking pry her OFF without a bloody meltdown and tantrum. And when we even GO to the barn, if she’s not allowed to GET on the horse, 98% of the time, she screams and yells and has a walleyed FIT that she’s not allowed to get on the horse. It’s exhausting. And why she’s generally left at home.
Ah! I totally hear you!!!! I’m actually sort of hoping my child isn’t that endorses because it just makes my horse life so much simpler and because horse time is generally “me” time. If she wants to hang out with a chair and a book that’s fine by me! I actually think would be really cool if she ends up loving running.
I’m so torn! I see these Mother/Daughter duos out at endurance rides, and a part of me wants that SO BADLY. But, on the flip side, endurance weekends are “my” weekends away from home and family and all that goes along with it. Where everything is done my way and I don’t have to tell someone how to do it my way. It just gets done.
If my kid wants to pick up running, more power to her! I keep attempting that Couch to 5K thing, and I do enjoy the first few weeks…but after that, it just seems hard. And I keep freaking out and backing off. 😐
I find that’s the problem with those plans. Sometimes what is on the schedule just isn’t right, but if you don’t have the experience to make up your own plan it’s hard to just do it without one.
And I hear all these people who do endurance as a family talk about how fun and for filling it is, so I feel kind of selfish not wanting to give up my thing, and maybe if there was two of us I would get to go to more rides but I’m just not sure what would make me happier at this point.
Endorses = not that into horses. 🙂
Just out of curiosity, how old is your daughter?
She’ll be 3 in August, so older than your adorable little girl. 🙂 Her Daddy keeps pushing me to get her in the saddle right now and start lead-lining her…I just don’t quite trust her to hang on to the horn and not fall off.
I had a friend tell me that when they’re old enough to hold onto a bike and pedal forward then they are old enough to hang on in the saddle. When they can steer a bike they can steer a good kids horse. Sounds like good advice to me, and so that’s what I’m going to use to guide me.
Hmmm…logistically makes perfect sense. I’m just a worry wart. I picture her falling off and breaking something. I just need to suck it up and take her out and lead line her around. Heavens knows she’ll enjoy that immensely. And, 14.2 really isn’t THAT far to fall, right? 🙂
Getting children on the horse is something I didn’t master until the second child. I know this isn’t the answer for everybody, anyone without a pickup that is. I use my pickup to tie the horses for grooming and saddling if we don’t go bare back. I put the kids in the back to keep them out from under the horses. Then it makes a great mounting block for me and children. We’ve also used a flat bed trailer, whatever is available. Good luck next time, it’s worth the struggle!
Sounds like a great idea!!!! Unless I’m pulling the trailer the pick up doesn’t usually go to the stable with me but I’ll have to remember that trick when I’m out and about away from home.
While I feel your pain in this endeavor, the write up is truly hilarious!
Oh my, ha ha ha!!! I’m not laughing at you…well, no I kind-of am, in a nice way, this is a great story! I think my take on this episode is the epic stubbornness of all involved, Fig is certainly your steadfast daughter, she knows what she wants! And Farley, wanting to jig home. Oh my, you have your hands full!
Last night she was cantering in place and trying to buck me off on a slow set with friends on the trail. I’ll be sure to remind her of that energy on today’s 20 mile auburn trail ride. *evil grin*
I have 2 kids, 12 and 14. 14 year old is not into horses although she did ride when she was littler. 12 year old IS. Big time. And now rides endurance (50 milers). It’s great, but also not. it’s harder work, and the stress levels are way higher. If I vet out, it’s no biggie really. if she does, it’s heart wrenching for me (even though she is pretty unfazed by it). Would I steer her horsewards again – absolutely. Riding with her and watching her grow is awesome. But I still also have days when i resent the loss of my “me time”.