Okay, so about a year ago I was at the Dentist, and after hearing about all of his ski trips that he likes to go on to Utah, just for the weekend, I saw a picture of his daughter during a horseback riding lesson, and I thought... oh man, what luxury are my fillings going to buy his family this time?
Skip ahead a year now, to Christmas, and my daughter, age 8, decides that the only thing she really wants is a few horseback riding lessons. Easy enough. Nothing to clutter the house, and she'll learn something. A little pricey, but we'll see how it goes.
We've now been to 3 lessons, and all I can say is that I love them. I feel like we're getting so much more than just lessons out of the whole experience. She's learning to groom and take care of the horse, learn good posture while riding, is not being so timid around animals, and her teacher is very encouraging and helps her know that it takes lots of practice to get good at something. We're also getting a one on one experience with a beautiful horse.
My boys absolutely love running around in the dirt, (which is so foreign to our techno based home life). They have a pig, cats, and a dog that all run around loose. It's like visiting a farm, that is more than happy to explain all the little things that go on there. I feel like we've received a class just for my boys for free from all the things they're learning from it. Today we watched the horses get their shoes replaced, and get haircuts. Totally cool and educational to watch. They gave them the worn out shoes to take home, and some of the trimmings that we wanted to look at under a microscope to see what they're all about. It was such an intimate setting also, which made the learning even more fun.
Also, my kids are so motivated to go. They bring homework in the car, and are willing to do extra stuff around the help, because of the high of being around horses. I LOVE IT!
Would I say it is worth it? Absolutely. The price up front is a choker... but you get so much more out of it than just lessons. I think it is something worth sacrificing for. We'll see how long the "horseback high" lasts... hopefully long enough to build self confidence, and create a child who's willing to take on hard things and finish them.
So, pretty much, I'm re-thinking all of those judgmental thoughts that I had about my dentist's daughter. I think I just needed to walk in their shoes a bit to see that it is really a worth while adventure.