Horsing Around [6-13-07]

1 Jan

I started volunteering at Cedar Creek Riding Center today. It was a good time. I had to walk beside the horse and hold the rider’s thigh so they wouldn’t fall off. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not really a kid person. I mean, kids are fine, it’s not that I DON’T like them or anything, but I don’t coo at them or say awwww, every time I see one. I’ve never really been around little kids. I’m an only child and I didn’t do much babysitting. My parents are the ones that deal with kids all the time.

Sarah and I were paired up with a 2 year old for the first hour. She had absolutely gorgeous green eyes! She had some trouble focusing, couldn’t talk yet, and was working on posture and strength. It was really cute, she liked bright colors and could hold the reins or pet the horse. She kept dosing off so we were trying to get her to look at the other horses or at her parents to keep her awake. We had to get a lady to ride the horse behind her so the girl could stay in the sitting position. The lady asked Sarah and me if we were in high school or college. We said, “actually we’re both graduated from college.” I always get a teeny bit embarrassed when someone thinks I could be young enough for high school! Just means I’m gonna be the youngest looking 40 year old ever!!! The little girl was adorable though.

The 2nd hour, we had an 8 year old down syndrome girl. She started out kind of saucy, not wanting to wear her riding helmet and wanting to get off the horse. The two words she knew best were NO and STOP. She also complained the blanket was scratching her legs. We got her off and they gave her a soft blanket. She was still a little ornery though, saying her helmet hurt and she wanted to go home. I figured she just didn’t want to wear the helmet and was tired. When she said she had to go to the bathroom–I was like, oh she’s a smart one! She’s getting off this horse one way or another. They took her helmet off to go to the bathroom and it pulled her hair. When she came back, they put the helmet on and she said it hurt. They traded helmets and she was fine!

After that, she was a LOT easier to work with! She was pretty good natured when she was comfortable. It’s funny, she knew what she needed the whole time–we just had to listen. The only other problem was she kept leaning towards her left (the kids were both lefties I think) which was the side I was walking on. The adults in charge would ask Sarah and me to put her back in the middle, and when we tried she would resist and yell “Stop!” I don’t wanna inappropriately touch any little kids, so we would just leave her leaning towards the left. I was using all my strength to hold her on the saddle. Finally, we stopped the horse and I told her she was slipping towards me. I said you don’t wanna fall off and squish me do you? I said, scoot over–and she did. I guess it’s easy to underestimate little kids, they’re reasonable (most times) if you just tell them why you want them to do something. We would ask her if she saw the little horse in the pasture and she said she did. I told her it was tiny-tron and she repeated it (very funny coming from her mouth) and she asked if that was the horse’s name. By the end, the girl was dancing, moving her arms, and humoring me with the woot-woot hand gesture! It was a good time. I’m pretty excited for next Wednesday.

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