We went to a modest little horse farm outside the city and signed the kids up for 20-minute rides. Little Man and Sweet Pea went first. Sweet Pea was a little nervous riding a mare named Gypsy, but she held on tight to the saddle horn and did fine.
Little Man was a natural! He wasn't scared at all up on Billy Jack, and almost immediately the employee started giving him a riding lesson. Before long, Little Man was riding entirely on his own, with no adult holding onto a lead or anything. He was steering Billy Jack left and right, bringing him to a stop, and starting him up again. It was so much fun to watch!
Then it was CC's turn. I thought that watching her siblings go first would ease her mind, but it ended up doing the opposite. Despite all her earlier please for riding lessons, she refused to get up on Billy Jack. Ultimately she allowed herself to be lifted into the saddle with the promise of ice cream afterwards, and that's the only thing that kept her on that horse's back.
"Have I earned my ice cream yet, Mommy? Can I please get off this horse?!" Never underestimate the power of ice cream for a 7-year-old.
"You know, Mommy, Billy Jack was actually really gentle. I think I would ride him if we went back there and tried again." Yeah, right, kid! Maybe next year.