Today was a very exciting day. Son was invited to a 4th Birthday Party at the riding Army Saddle Club near us. Son has not done a lot of riding, probably only been once, and is a bit nervous around horses, so I was really not sure how it would go.
We arrived and he was kitted out with a hat and boots, and then all the children posed for a photo. Son’s face suddenly crumbled as he cried, and from then on he clung to me. We walked a short way from the stables to the indoor riding school, as he held my hand tightly, he said “Mummy I’m scared”. It’s the first time he has had to face a fear, so we chatted about being scared, and that the best thing to do is to be brave and have a go. He asked for his riding hat to be put back on, and was obviously willing to give it a go.
His pony, Toffee, was not the smallest, and once on top, he looked rigid and worried. We agreed to walk to the where the other children were waiting on their mounts. He nodded and we set off, with a giggle from him saying “Toffee is bumpy”! He was then happy getting used to being on a pony, by waving his hands, stretching to the ceiling and learning to sit up straight (like a rider), not slouch (like a banana). The girls in charge were excellent, and all the children, however scared, all got on and had a go. They did a series of “races” (I use the term loosely), as all the ponies were being led by the Mummys zig-zagging in and out of barrels – sometimes holding things in one hand, or wearing things. Son loved it and when it was time to get off and sit and watch the others, he crumpled once more. I think it was a mixture of relief, delight and sadness that it was over.
All tears were quickly forgotten by winning pass the parcel, pizza and cake. A great party and a very heart-warming moment for me – my brave boy having a go when he really was “proper scared”.