A Perfect Friday

The spring is on its way!  It is not completely here yet, but it is close (I will post on the signs of spring when it does!).  On Friday, we had a perfect spring day.  The weather was perfect for riding in the field.

After riding we headed to the lake to hang out. The neighborhood that the lake house is in is beautiful this time of year.  The azaleas and the dogwoods are blooming.

Then while I was working out, our newest family member arrived!  Meet Bella Puddles.  She is an eight week-old blue healer border collie mix..  We have been watching her and her sibling for the past few weeks.  Parks has fallen in love with her.

 

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And Then They got the Flu

We had a really terrific week.  Everyone was finally feeling well.  On Monday, the younger two went to an ecology class at Latta Plantation, and Sims and I went on a hike.  Sims and I found signs of spring-small blossoms in the woods, a few butterflies and migrating birds.

On Tuesday, Parks and I headed into the city to check out a freestyle BMX course.  He had a blast.

Wednesday, we hung out and enjoyed the beautiful day.  Parks went to a shelter building class, and Sawyer added some color to her hair.

Thursday morning, we went horse back riding through the fields.

Then-BAM!  Thursday afternoon, the flu hit.  All three kids are down.  I hate it for them.  We have not truly gotten sick in years.  However, we have been battling viruses and infections on and off since November.  What happened in November?  Personally, I think sugar.  We had several birthdays in November and the holidays began.  We ate horribly.  Then we started some home projects that kept me from cooking the way I usually do (I got completely overwhelmed and stressed-aka: Mommy meltdown).  We are back on track with the food now, so hopefully we will be getting out of this rut of sickness.

I hope you are all staying well!

Finding Passion- Horseback Riding

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Lately in addition to hiking and playing outdoors, the kids have found another passion-horseback riding.  One request to ride a horse by Parks on his sixth birthday changed all of our lives.  Since that day three and half years ago, all three of the kids have started riding horses.

Riding and working with horses has so many benefits.  The horses require emotional work-you cannot bring hostility or frustration or arrogance to the barn and expect a good ride.  The horses require physical work-getting the horses from the pasture, grooming, tacking up, riding, getting all of the gear off, putting everything away, and taking the horse back to its pasture.  The horses require mental work-problem solving, reading the body language of the horses, environmental awareness, executive functioning.

I am a proud mama when I watch the kids at the barn.  They are kind and hard-working.  They have learned to set goals for themselves on the horses, and they have learned that some days they need a break and just want to ride to enjoy riding.  I have seen each child gain  resilience, empathy, confidence and strength at the barn.

This week, I had the privilege to watch them at their first horse show.  (I have a new respect for those who participate in shows on a regular basis-wow! that is a lot of work and a long day!!)  They were excited and nervous.  They have never ridden around so many horses before, and they rocked it.

 

Building Trust

Parks and Jasper had to work through some issues.  This was the first time that Parks has lunged Jasper.  They do a lot of ground work, but never in the small arena.  Lunging requires the horse to follow your commands.  It requires you to read your horse’s body language.  The final result is amazing!  An unbelievable bond between human and horse!

Last week, I wrote about a lesson that my oldest is learning currently-trust.  Well Tuesday, he began working to rebuild his trust in Willy.  He learned how to read Willy’s body language.  He entered the small arena uncomfortable and nervous.  By the end of the session, he was a new person.  His confidence and comfort increased.  His interactions with Willy were awesome.  He still has a long way to go to get back to the level of comfort and trust that he had before the fall, but even small steps are progress.

Lessons Learned the Hardway – Trust

Over the past year, my children have fallen in love with riding horses.  Horses are amazing creatures.  They require a lot of respect and trust.  So what happens when the trust is broken?  Well, another life lesson happens.

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Sims on Willy

Early in November, the kids went for a trail ride on “their” horses.  (The kids have been riding the same three horses for some time now.  They each have a special bond with “his/her” horse. )  Back to the trail.  We went on the normal trail through the cow pasture  and to the trail.

We had two new horses and riders with us.  Sims’ horse was a little out sorts.  He likes to be the leader on the trails, which he was not on this day.  Willy, the horse, took off a couple of times and Sims started to get frustrated (a rare thing for Sims on Willy).  At the end of trail, we had to head back through the cow pasture.

Now typically, the cows simply move out of the way.  On this day, however, the cows were interested in us.  We had to actually move the herd just to open the gate.  Well, when Willy and Sims went through the gate, Willy went nuts.  He ran right through the pasture and knocked into a tree hurling Sims backwards.  Sims hit the ground with a thud, and Willy was running for his life.

15 minutes he ran wild.

When we finally got Willy calmed down and Sims settled, we all walked back to the barn and into the arena.  Sims was initially refusing to get back up on the horse but eventually he agreed to get back on and walk around the arena.

Since that day, Sims is having a tough time trusting Willy.  In fact, last week, Jasper (“Parks'” horse) got spooked and Willy began to run.  Sims jumped off of Willy while he was running and was on the other side of the fence before any of us even realized it.

Time.  It will take time and patience.  Trust is built.  Trust requires you to give your self whole-heartedly.  We have spoken a lot about trust and how hard it is to earn back someone’s trust.  I hate that Sims had the experience, but it has been a amazing lesson in trust.