Today we are giving you 5 tactical ideas to keep riding FUN for your kids, especially after a set back. “But riding horses is fun in itself!” Yes! But tell that to your kid who has 7,000 distractions pulling them away from this sport each day…
So you could be coming off a set back with your kids, like a fall or their horse just acting like a huge jerk. You could feel like you took one step forward one day and five back the very next. Like they say, no one said it would be easy, but when those tiny humans grow a sense of unparalleled independence, confidence to face peer pressure, resilience and persistence qualities that can only come from horsemanship (who’s with me!?), you’re going to know it was worth it.
Here are 5 ideas for ways you can keep it and make it FUN!
1. Create your Own Obstacle Course. Do you have PVC pipe, a barrel, a bucket, even a tree or some sticks? Make an obstacle! If you have more than one kid, they can even make it into a relay. Don’t complicate it. Do three “steps” for kids 6-8 and then add on from there. Go around a barrel, grab a flag from the bucket and then trot to the tree. Easy. See if they can beat their own time. If your kids are anything like mine, don’t make it into a competition if it ends in tears. I am ALL about competing, but in this case, you know your kid, use this alliteration…”create competition with caution” – ooo that was good huh?
2. Make a Scavenger Hunt. Keep this simple. Make sure the items are attainable without dismounting. This also promotes imagination and maneuvering. Give them a hershey kiss at the end.
3. Horse Race – with Math Facts. This sounds weird but try it. We play the Math Fact game on horseback, see video below. Just call out facts and each time they answer correctly, they move forward towards an end. It can be done with spelling too! If you don’t want to have this be question and answer based, good old “red light green light” works great too!
4. Dress up and go PLAY! I don’t want to offend anyone, but my kids play Cowboys and Indians, they chase each other on horseback and have really intense discussions about whose land is whose. It’s really interesting and hilarious to see them come to agreements. But you don’t have to encourage this game if that’s not your thing. Let your son pretend he’s a Lost Boy (like my hubby and sis used to do) and imagine he has to survive in the wilderness. Or let your daughter put her princess dress on and pretend she’s a princess heading towards her castle. Give them a plastic sword, toy bow and arrow or a plastic pistol and go PLAY.
5. READ. Are you struggling to get that reading time in? Give them a book, this also teaches them to ride with one hand because they hold a book up with one, reins in the other. And what kid won’t read to their horse!?
All of these activities while not training them to be a World Champion Barrel racer, Cutter or Trick Rider, will utilize their skills, mix it up for them and their horse and keep the FUN in our riding regimen.
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Love and Horses,