Why hello lovely horse friends, as many of you may be aware, I have a 4 year old son Scott! Until recently, he was not too fond of the idea of coming up to see the horse when I would, he would come up to the yard with me and want to stay in the car or would sit across the yard away from the stable just to keep himself out of harms way. I am not sure if it was his age but over the last two months he has really grown into himself, he has gained this confidence boost and to my delight he finally wants to get involved with “Mommy & her horse”!!
As many of you reading this may have had the same issues as myself, I have put together a few pointers below for ways to get your children active & involved with yard duties!
Give them a ‘Special’ Job
When I muck-out Dante’s stable, its very time consuming, there is nothing worse than having Scott standing outside the stable door (do keep in mind that I never have Dante in the stable while I muck him out while Scott is around) asking how much longer is it going to take so I being extremely clever invented the best idea EVER, I gave him the most important job any little boy could have, he had his own special thing that only he could do. He sweeps Dante’s stable floor!! This is his thing, the thing he can do the best! Making kids feel like they are great at something boosts there self esteem, and well sneakily saves you from doing the job so give it a go! Assign your kids with there own ‘Special’ job next time you bring them to the yard, make them feel important!
Make Everything Fun
Wheel-barrow rides. YES I said it, and Scott loves it!! To my benefit it helps me squash the straw into the wheelbarrow when he sits on it so that I can fit more in instead of making two trips!! Who doesn’t love a good bit of fun, make games out of the simple things! It will only make the jobs more fun for everyone!
Involve your kids. Let them help make up your horses feed, let them pour in the oil or help with the scoops, even if it is something as simple as mixing it up in the bucket any help is good help! It will also show your kids that it is important to look after animals, that they need to be fed & cared for. (Saves you from buying a pet fish!!) Scott picks up on the smallest things, its crazy! If he sees Dante’s water bucket empty he will without thinking say Dante needs a drink. Its amazing what young kids can pick up on!
Don’t Force them to do anything they Don’t want to do
Don’t push your child to do anything the don’t want to do let them figure it out themselves. Just because you love horses and being around them doesn’t mean your child will also! This also goes for horse riding lessons!! Everyone learns at their own pace! Let your child decide what they want to do, Scott has decided he will start horse riding when he is 5, that’s what he will tell you anyways, no doubt each year it will continue to drag out. in my opinion, there is no point in forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to do!
So to conclude… As much as I love bringing Scott up to the yard, it also petrifies me having him up there, like OMG if anything ever happened. Dante is great with Scott, he stands still while Scott pets his nose/screams in his face, he has a great temperament but I would never trust him 100%. Always keep those eyes on the back of your head open! Kids are curious and you never no what they could get up to especially with other horses around!
One last thing, set some rules for your child/children for when they go up to the yard, I have 4 simple rules that Scott goes by;
- Never Walk behind a horse
- Don’t Shout or jump around when your near a horse
- Be Gentle
- Do what Mommy/Daddy says!
Thanks for reading & do remember, just because you have horses and you love being around them, don’t automatically assume your kids will too!
If you have any more pointers on keeping your kids amused up in the yard, please do share!
P.S. As the Boyfriend isn’t fond of the horse, all of the above applies to him also!!
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