I’m 6 ½ months pregnant and have only been limited on riding for 1 day and I’m already going stir crazy. I even got rider envy watching Dynaerus Targaryen climb down off of her dragon on the season finale of Game of Thrones. Added to bucket list…check. In the meantime, while avoiding my 10 page term paper due on Sunday, setting up the new nursery, or you know, showering etc. I did find time to put together this short list of must haves if you’re going to take on being a full time equestrian. If you’re a horse(wo)man, here are 5 items that I TRY to have on me anytime I’m at the ranch.
TEQ Recommends: They have a ton on Amazon in all price ranges.
TEQ Recommends: Literally, take any rope and tie a knot at the end. Or feel free to spend $10-$15 on something branded "catch rope". Your call.
TEQ Recommends: Aloe Herbal Horse Spray - Espree
TEQ Recommends: Yeti Cup or Walmart sells a version of it that I’ve heard works pretty well.
TEQ Recommends: Ariat Terrain Endurance Camo Women's Riding Boots
Enjoy the rest of the summer and get out there and ride for all those of us that can’t! T-Minus 4 months and counting.
This past weekend we threw our end of summer celebration for all our clients, their parents, and our friends. The horse and their owners have been working hard all summer, training, competing and traveling from competition to competition. This was the perfect opportunity to give these horses a chance to PLAY with their owners. The turnout was incredible and I was too busy racing around with our 30+ guests that I got very few pictures! However, I will say it was an incredible feeling to finally throw a party and use everything we’ve built thus far. The arena was full of people and their horses riding around and the round pen was the perfect spot for everyone to congregate and watch the pony rides go on for the kids under 5. From 7 months old and up, we had people riding and playing with these incredible creatures. Some people haven’t been around horses before and some have been around them their entire life, but one thing is for certain, the respect the horses received from everyone is highly evident.
Horses have the ability to quietly inspire respect. Maybe it’s their size or maybe it’s the power they have when you see them thundering through the pasture, but I can tell you it will generally take some time for even the bravest of kids to feel comfortable horseback. Many parents will say to us “I’m surprised how attentive my child was.” With a living breathing GINORMOUS animal beneath them, they have to learn how and when to direct them to elicit a favorable response. If they’re too harsh, the horse will tell them. If they’re too meek, the horse will ignore them. They start this process by respecting the animal for the powerful force that they are and by recognizing very quickly that horses require trust and respect from their human handlers to perform at their greatest potential.
Horses teach children respect in other non-riding ways too. With 100+ degree heat, all horse kids know that their horse’s needs come first. They made sure to find spots for their horses to rest in the shade, get a drink of water, and cool down properly after prancing around. The idea that at such a young age, they are learning to look out for the needs of others before themselves is such a gift that will serve them well in the future. I can’t wait till the next play day!
Confidence is trust in one’s self. If I were to walk into a room and ask everyone if they currently have or ever have experienced insecurity, how many people do you think would raise their hands? If you answered everyone, you’re right. One of the most formative times for our youth is middle school into high school where teenage insecurity is about as common as finding gold fish crackers under the seat of my car. Thanks, Chase. I could go into a long explanation of why teenagers experience this, but I’ll save you the psychology lesson. Cut me some slack, I just spent 2 weekends back to back in class learning about human behavior theory. Man was Freud out there. Anyway. Let me explain to you why horses are a unique opportunity to overcome insecurities of any kind.
There’s something intrinsically magical about little kids and horses. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s an experience every little person should have. I’m sure I have parents second guessing their choices when I have their 4 year old in the saddle, but I have to just laugh to myself. It’s sooooo good for them! This past week I had the opportunity to introduce these gentle giants to my nephews ages 4, 4, & 1 and was amazed at how their little personalities take in the experience. I take it for granted that my son, a 3 year old and a regular monkey in the saddle, has zero fears about horses, enjoys riding, and pretty much will climb all over them if I let him. Not much different than going to the zoo, learning to swim, visiting a museum, or the water park, I see a horse interaction experience to be just as valuable to his development. Now hear me out… as parents, part of that job is to try and expose our kids to as much as we can safely so they can go into life prepared. It always interests me how many times I’ll talk to someone about what we do here and I’m immediately met with the response of “I’m scared of horses.” When I see Mr. Darcy bow down so a little girl can reach his nose to pet him or when I see Dunny shift his weight to allow an aspiring vaulter to do a round off from his back, it’s safe to say that the right 1200 lb playmate can be just as educational as anything else!
Over the next 3 weeks, I’m going to give you my top 3 reasons to add horses to your kid’s childhood.
REASON #1 - PHYSICAL WELLNESS
So my old background as a Total Rewards gal is coming out. Corporate America spends a TON of time and even more money on wellness in the workplace...