As you know we encourage our children to interact with the animals on the farm regularly. Most teachers take their class horse riding weekly too. So our horses, Precious and Sugar, are a very big part of our children’s day at school.

Earlier this week I came across the following post on Facebook that intrigued me due to its content being about Horse Riding, but also because of its reference to the age-old question around extra mural activities for children.

We are often asked if children should participate in extra-mural activities, at what age and how many activities are appropriate.

The post is simply attributed to “FROM A PARENT” and is eminently applicable  for this post:

One of my friends asked “Why do you pay so much money for your kids to do horse riding?” Well I have a confession to make, I don’t pay for my kids’ horse riding. Personally, I couldn’t care less about horse riding.

So, if I am not paying for horse riding, what am I paying for?

I pay for those moments when my kids become so tired they want to quit, but don’t

I pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are ‘too tired’ to go to the stables, but go anyway

I pay for my kids to learn to be disciplined

I pay for my kids to learn to take care of their body

I pay for my kids to learn to work with others and to be good team mates

I pay for my kids to learn to deal with disappointment when they don’t get that score they’d hoped for, but still have to work hard for the next event

I pay for my kids to learn to make, and accomplish, goals

I pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours and hours of hard work and practice to create a champion, and that success does not happen overnight

I pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships

I pay so that my kids can be in the arena instead of in front of a screen

I don’t pay for horse riding. I pay for the opportunities that horse riding provides my kids with to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others.

From what I have seen so far, I think it is a great investment!

On a lighter note, a mom this week told me that her son is now on a mission to bring an apple to school EVERY DAY for the horses, and resorted to ‘stealing’ dad’s apple that she had put out for him to take to work! The benefits to our children engaging with the animals here are enormous!

“Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem.

They provide peace and tranquility to our troubled souls, they give us hope!” Toni Robinson