The Beginning and Possible End of Horseback Riding Lessons?

Written by: Allan on

This past winter I booked a series of five one-hour horseback riding lessons for Sydney to prepare her for our planned Zephyr Adventures family vacation in Montana, which would include riding. The lessons were delayed and the vacation scrapped due to the pandemic.

We started the lessons in June and Sydney did her fifth and final one on Friday last week.

Interestingly, Sydney had initially liked the lessons but then complained they were boring, which is true considering the lessons all take place in a corral as compared to the trail rides we did this summer at 1000 Acres Ranch. I tried to explain to Sydney the lessons were attempting to teach her to actually ride a horse on her own, as compared to following another horse, and she needed to apply herself so she could do more than just be led around the corral.

On her fifth and final lesson the instructor finally asked Sydney to walk the horse on her own without being led. I was excited to see the progress! Unfortunately, Sydney was scared to do so and was limited to a few steps on her own before the lesson ended. She says she has no interest continuing.

Sydney has now been on a horse 11 times this summer and this, her final time, was the first time she was scared. I must admit I was a bit frustrated. It is one of those situations when you want to tell a child “Listen to me. All you need to do is X and you will really love it.” But if a kid isn’t ready to do something, there is not much you can do to force it. So we’ll move on to the next thing!