September 11, 2014

Giddy-Up Cowboy!


They say hind-sight can be a terrible thing.

But I can honestly say, sometimes it's an amazing thing.


It was at my cousin's surprise birthday party a few months ago where it first came up.

Horseback riding lessons.

One of my cousin's friends was talking about this wonderful lady they knew who gives lessons from her home. They raved about how great she was, how amazing she is with the kids, and how low her prices were. She gives lessons simply because she enjoys it so much.

Well sure lessons would be fun, sure the kids would love it. But you know, it's not something I ever really thought about so, cool info but meh, whatever.

But the more we dealt with Joseph's chorea, which made for one wickedly hard summer especially for him, the more I kept thinking about it.

Horeseback riding.

It just kept coming back to my mind! I kept thinking about how therapeutic it could be for Joseph. He doesn't always enjoying being around people, I think he gets embarrassed too easily.

I didn't know if he would like it or not, but it was worth a shot! 

Hubby wasn't exactly keen on the idea, but I just couldn't shake it, especially when we decided to homeschool.

So I finally got her info and made a phone call. 

We went out for an initial visit and all the kids just had a blast meeting and feeding all the horses. 

But it was Joseph who I watched carefully.

His eyes lit up and a giant smile debuted on his little face. He couldn't get enough of the animals! Yet he seemed calm and content.

After so many tantrums, so many tears, it was like seeing a whole different kid.

I made up my mind then and there.

So the first week of school also brought with it Savannah and Joseph's first riding lesson.

So out we went. I couldn't wait to get some pictures!

Then my camera card was full.

Then the camera battery died.

Story of my life people.

So this week I made sure to go fully empty, charged, and prepared.

And... it was freezing cold and very windy.

But that didn't matter to Savannah and Joseph! No siree-bob. It's one of the only times I can think of that they didn't wimp out of something just because they were cold.

We found some cowboy boots earlier this week and I can say without the tinyist bit of exaggeration that those two literally wore them from the moment they woke up until the time they went to bed for three days straight. 

Joseph looked awesome in his bright blue shorts, bright red shirt, and cowboy boots that first day.

Oh ya.

He even walked around saying "howdy partnah", while Savannah insisted on wearing plaid.

Hope the cowboys don't mind the stereotyping.  Haha!


So here we are in the freezing wind. Joseph leading out "his" pony: Little Red. 


And up we go!

Working on balance.


Loving every second of it.

Seriously, I haven't seen this kid smile this much in a long, long time. He L.O.V.E.S. it.


Brushing Little Red down after a nice ride.


While Joseph rides, Savannah impatiently waits for her turn on "her" horse: Gayla.


She was pretty concerned the first time about how she was going to be able to get up on the "giant horse"

Good thing stairs were invented.

Up she goes!

Also working on balance exercises.

She too loves every minute of it.


I love that both Savannah and Joseph are doing it. They talk about the horses with each other all week long.





Since we go in the middle of the day, Alayna is home from half-day kindergarten so all the kids get to come expect Jacob, who is still in school.

So while the oldest kids ride, the younger ones get to enjoys the other animals.




Jackson was mad every time I set him in the back of the car to get out of the wind.


He preferred hanging out with his pal Bess.


It's the only time he will actually stay put! He'll happily play in one spot as long as Bess is with him. Otherwise I have to carry him or his exploring leads him to taste test everything.

And since rocks and horse poop all looks the same to him right now... needless to say he doesn't get the freedom he wants.


Sometimes it's easier to see the Lord's hand in your life when you look back at how things worked out, especially when you can finally see how all the pieces fit together.

I'm so grateful that Joseph has been watched over and cared for, even when things were at their worst.

Hind-sight.

It can be a wonderful thing.

5 super cool people speak:

Meagan said...

So cool! I know some families out here who do horseback riding as therapy and love it. I'm glad you have someone there.

Mama Smith said...

I couldn't help but SMILE all the way through this...LOVE JOSEPH so much...and to see this...well...made this "Granny" very happy... and I might add..."emotional"...smile

Neisha said...

aww, this made me tear up. I'm so glad he has something that he loves that can bring him some enjoyment!
And it sounds like you need to get a dog for Jackson :)

Susan Anderson said...

Wonderful.

=)

Garvin Smith said...

Memories.

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