Sunday, January 25, 2009

Riding Lessons

This week I started the kids on riding lessons after hearing time and time again at the Autism conference that hippo and aqua therapies are the most effective.
To be cliche, Rhiannon is in 7th heaven. She's actually quite natural with the horses and tacking and what not.
Brogan. Well ... hmmmm. What to say about him. He likes the idea of horses but he certainly doesn't want to be within a 10 foot range of them.Christian (riding instructor), "Brogan, do you want to help me put the hackamore on Star?"
Brogan, "Nooooo" shuffling even further back into the tack room
Christian, "Brogan, can you help me carry this saddle to Star?"
Brogan, all but under all of the saddles, "Noooooo"
Then ...
Christian takes the lead on Rhiannon's horse, I take the lead on Brogans horse.
We start walking around the arena with Christian giving Rhiannon soft instructions, encouragement and praise from time to time.
We stop for a minute to give Rhiannon the feeling of accomplishment when she's able to get her ride to stop on command ... and Brogan's leg is swung over the horse and half way to the ground.
"Done mom. Stop now."
*sigh* Settles the boy back on top of the horse, "No, Brogan. We are NOT done. Keep your bum seated in your saddle.
Few minutes of silence, "juh-go-potty, mom?"
Wiley little devil.
Soooo ... is it okay for me to just let him drop trou at a public arena? Probably a bad habit to encourage with this particular kid.
He is absolutely stiff, uncomfortable and is not having a good time doing this. He'd love it a whole lot more if I just let him shuffle around in the dirt parking lot or arena ... After two lessons I am already wondering if it's worth it. I had hoped once I got him on the horse he'd enjoy himself. Last summer he rode around with me for hours. But maybe that was just because I was on there with him.
The lessons are somewhat costly and I don't want to spend the money on him if he's hating it every minute.
I am considering looking into swimming lessons.
They'd be less expensive and I KNOW he loves water. Infact, last summer there was tears every day when he didn't get to go to swim lessons with Rhiannon.
I just hate letting him skip out of something. Makes me worry that he'll start thinking if he puts up enough of a fuss I won't make him do anything.
NEVER a good position to put yourself into with a smart kid.

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