Today, Bear and I met Fuzz Lightyear. No, that’s not a typo. It was a horse, or more accurately, a Shetland pony, called Fuzz Lightyear who was as vertically challenged as my Bear.
We went to a pony party at Carrington Riding Centre for one of his classmates birthday’s. Of the seven children at the party, only five of them rode and I’m proud to say that Bear was one of them. That’s not to say I would’ve been ashamed if he hadn’t, but I was pleased that he gave it a go.
I want my children to be braver than I am. I want them to lead rich and full lives, unrestricted by fear. So the fact that he gave it a go and really embraced it, gave me confidence too.
One of the boys refused absolutely and another, got upset a few minutes in and asked to get off his horse. To be fair, he was by far the smallest one there, a real diddy little guy, and he’d been placed on one of the bigger horses. It must’ve been scary to up there on a wild beast.
The riding section of the party was only thirty minutes, which may not sound like much, but if you think about the stress of it (fear related) and the fact that it requires the use of muscles rarely used or at least used differently, then the duration is probably spot on. It’s exercise after all.
At the end of the lesson, Bear and Fuzz has a hug and he told him ‘I love you Fuzz’. That boy knows how to chip away at my heart.
After the riding, the boys were able to groom and care for the horses. Tasked with filling the biggest wheelbarrow you’ve ever seen, with almost an entire bale of hay, the boys proceeded to tear it apart wildlings. I dare say, this might have been the best part for some of them. It was dirty and smelly and active – perfect for five year olds.
They laughed at and pointed out all the poo and found the whole thing exciting and hilarious and all in all, had a really great time. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it too.
We had a horse growing up but I was never that into it. The horse (Belle) was lovely but I had other ideas about how to spend my time that didn’t involve shovelling sh*t. But today, I felt nostalgic for the time spent at the stables all those years ago and sad for my Mum and sisters who had to have Belle put to sleep this year after loving and caring for her for over twenty years.
Teddy loved today and said he would like to go again and as luck would have it, the riding centre gave all the boys a voucher for a free session, so I think we’ll go back and see how he feels about it. Perhaps he’ll follow in the footsteps of my sisters and become horse crazy. It’s definitely in the blood – even if it’s not necessarily in mine.