Sunday, April 18, 2010

Putting the Mom in Dressage Mom

Today I took advantage of Susan being at the barn, and used her to videotape the riding activities of the day.

Macey came out with me to ride. I asked Lily if she wanted to come out too, but she didn't. I think she is not going to be a rider. Every time we go to the barn she complains that it smells bad. And then when I come home from the barn she says "Mama! You smell like horse! Ewww!" Yep, definitely NOT a horse girl. Ah well, maybe she'll come around in a few years.

Today, Macey was first in the saddle on Albert. Everything was going well, and she was trotting on the lunge line, when she said she wanted to canter. I said she could not do that until she got really good at trotting, and she begged me. So I got on Albert with her, bareback, and we cantered. We tried it with a saddle, but I kept sliding forward and pushing her up onto the pommel. Then she was saying "Ow! Ow!" because her poor little lady parts were banging on the saddle. The bareback pad took care of that issue.

And Albert was such a good boy! He was a little concerned about what was going on, but still did what I asked of him. Such a star!

Then I got on Kaswyn, and had Susan shoot video of him each direction. I think he looks pretty good. He still looks weak in the haunches, but at least his energy level has returned and the right lead canter feels better.

Unfortunately, as you can hear in the background, Macey was ready to go home. If she's not actually riding, she gets bored. Usually I don't bring her to the barn with me when I'm going to ride Kaswyn, but last time I brought her bubbles with us and she happily blew bubbles while I rode. This time the bubbles didn't do the trick, and that kid whined through the whole video. It was hard for me to concentrate on riding while she was carrying on. Also, you get to hear my "Mom" voice in the video. Little booger knew I was on a horse and I couldn't get off to put her in time out.

But sit in time out, she did. As soon as I got off of Kaswyn (her tantrum was still in full swing) I made her sit in time out on an overturned bucket in the tack room until she calmed herself down. Even though she was ready to go home and was throwing a fit, I still did all the barn chores that needed doing instead of just grabbing her and leaving. I put stuff away. I swept the aisle. I cleaned tack. I didn't want her to think that she could just throw a fit and we'd leave. I also wanted her to realize that going to the barn means more than just riding. There are other responsibilities, and we weren't going to ignore them because she wanted to go home.

So in Macey's video, she's all smiles and laughs. In my video, it's one big fit. Poor Macey. Sometimes it's really hard being four years old.


buckpony said...

I enjoyed your videos. Your horses are so lovely. I certainly feel your pain with Macey. My daughter just turned 5 in March, and is just now showing some interest in the horses. Pretty soon Macey's going to be begging you to let her on the horse and won't want to get off! :)

One thing my daughter loves is her Leapster2 video game. I get her to pack her little backpack with plastic horses and her Leapster and off we go to the barn. It helps that we go to my parents' house to ride, but if they aren't home to help entertain her, she has to have something to do when she is done riding.

Hopefully you'll look back on this post in the future and maybe laugh! :)

buckpony said...

I know you don't know me from Adam's Housecat, but I love your blog, so I've nominated you for a "Beautiful Blogger Award." Please don't feel pressured to post it. I just wanted you to have it anyway, so you will know you are appreciated

~Pike Road Girl

Anonymous said...

the sounds of giggles while cantering in that first vid are so precious!

dressagemom said...

@Buckpony - Thanks for the award! Now I just need to find blogs to give it away to! :)

@Horseypants - the sounds of the screaming in the next two videos are less than adorable, however. She tires to be good, but, like I said, being 4 is hard!!!

Anonymous said...

My boys get dragged to the barn about four days a week, but they've done this since birth so I think they jsut accept it as their way of life. It probably helps that they are boys and like playing in the dirt. If the weather is bad I save their t.v time for watching a movie on the lap top, or if I have a lesson.
It also helps taking them after a swim lesson or a couple hours at a park, then their energy is spent!

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