When I was little I wanted to be a world famous horse show jumper. *stop laughing Daddy button*
My mum and dad relentlessly took me horse riding every weekend come rain or shine, managing to keep seriously straight faces as I cleared miniature jumps whilst hanging on for dear life. Sadly, I didn’t quite make it to pro rider status * I heard that snort Daddy button*, but my parents efforts to let me try out lots of different activities has really stuck and I have been determined to give the same opportunities to my little one.
So when little button reasonably declared that she wanted to ride a horse, how could I not indulge her since she had very gracefully accepted that it wouldn’t be possible to actually go to the moon this week, or go flying like Skye from Paw Patrol today.
Did you know that loads of stables don’t offer riding to under 4’s anymore!?
After an hour of panic – I had broken the unspoken parent rule of not saying ‘yes’ until you are sure it’s possible – I luckily found Gillians’s Riding School in North London that would do an ad-hoc pony ride for little button. Yay!
We happened to pick a freezing frosty morning for riding, but this didn’t seem to put her off as she trotted around the stable yard picking out which horse she might want to ride. She was super impressed with the plump little Shetland pony that was brought out for her, happily she held on tight and off we went. The look on her delighted face was priceless as we all set off and ambled along a lovely trail that edged onto open fields. It was such a magical moment and she giggled with delight at the bumpty bump walk of pony.
The lovely lady who was leading her suggested that we stop at the halfway point for pictures. Excitedly we rushed in front to take some snaps. Well… just look at her face…
Smiiiillllllle we both shouted, encouraging her to flash her pearly whites.
‘I love it mummy!’ she screamed in delight, but despite her confirming her ‘princess photo’ (pose), I did wonder if she was more excited by the idea of horse riding than actually doing it. We finished the morning with a slow walk around the stables and one of the horse owners (?) gave little button a carrot and helped her to treat an enormous beauty. Thrilled, she swore that she wanted to ride her horse again tomorrow until she promptly fell asleep in the car on the way back home.
It was a wonderful adventure, and Gillian’s Riding School was very accommodating and the staff super friendly. We are planning another ride soon!
Have you tried your little one with horse riding yet and what did they think of it?