The first place we went had 60 horses. We got there early to look around and would you believe...the place had turkeys...and they were mean! At one point, I grabbed both kids' hands and RAN from a tom that didn't want us any where near him. Then we went over to the cute little foal and it's daddy came over and sneezed on us! It was tons of fun!
Connor got to help groom the horse and ride around the ring while his teacher lead the horse. He was a little worried that she was a stranger, but I explained that it was ok to talk to her. He took this to heart and talked the FULL 30 min. to this poor woman. When they came out of the ring she said, "Wow he's a chatterbox and he uses words like domesticated." I told her that actually he NEVER talks that much...I'm sure she didn't believe me.
He immediately wanted to come back and asked everyday for the next week to go riding again and if we could sell the house and move to a farm. The next week he was even more confident on the horse. It was amazing!
But this first place was a little too far away and they weren't the greatest about getting in touch to schedule the lessons. So we found a new place (only 15 min a way) for the 3rd lesson. This was a bit smaller farm, but this time he got to go into the ring where there were jumps and cones to go around and the teacher didn't hold the horse on a lead rein (it just followed her). He also got a bit more time on the horse and we both thought this was awesome! But we wanted to try one more place.
This week we went to the third farm (20-25 min away) and I think he liked this one the best. He got to spend almost an hour on the horse and got to try out a Western saddle. He had so much fun and although this place is more just a learning place (not a place he could stay long term if he continues) he gets the most amount of saddle time for the same price as the others. They also do trail rides, day camps and birthday parties...much more oriented to the elementary kid. So we'll be sticking with this place!
Connor has changed so much since we started the lessons. He's much more confident, wants to do things for himself, is less anxious and talks to "strangers" more easily. It's great to see him find something he enjoys so much!
Evan on the other hand wants to take boat riding lessons (as in sit on the boat at the carnival place and let it spin him around) and wants nothing to do with the horses! Oh well!