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...
I bored myself to tears (I mean loved every minute of it if Dan’s reading this) reading study after study on stairs challenges, water bottle competitions, or fruit in the breakroom. When really we all just need to watch what we eat and workout regularly. As adults, its fairly simple to make those distinctions for ourselves, but what about your kids? FACT: With the reduction in true outdoor play, we're seeing a corresponding rise in children with “sensory deficit disorders “and “underdeveloped vestibular (balance) systems” (1). I won’t get all sciency on you but the full article is posted here. We have kids that are “falling out of their seats in school, running into one another, pushing with more force during games of tag, and are generally clumsier than in years past” (1). Horseback riding helps them not only build strength, but requires them to achieve balance, understand the proper pressure to use on the reins, and demands a much better body awareness than their usual day to day activities. The playgrounds we have at their daycares and schools are controlled and safe, but they eliminate the ability for children to walk on uneven ground, experience new things, and stretch their abilities. So if you put your kids on a jungle gym and they’re using muscle, balance and hand eye coordination, imagine you get to give that jungle gym a brain, 4 legs, and the ability to move (in safe controlled environment of course)! We definitely do things a little differently at Tesorino, but that’s just because I want our students to get a well-rounded experience. What kid wants to walk around in circles for 45 minutes? Our lessons are carefully crafted with exercises to not only teach riding, but incorporate the concepts like sensory development, balance, and proprioceptive sense. I had a BLAST with my nephews this week and was amazed at how quickly these city boys came around to life at the ranch! Stay tuned for next week!