Many people look at the costs of putting children, or even adults, into horseback riding lessons and are aghast. They ask, “why would you pay so much to just ride a horse!?” Well, I found a great article, and I will paraphrase and add to some of the things the author was stating. I believe that her explanation was phenomenal!
Instead of just answering, she started off by saying “I don’t pay for horseback riding lessons…” which is a powerful statement. You start thinking, “well, then what DO you pay for?” What she said next was absolute truth and gospel!
– I pay for those moments when my kids become so tired they want to quit but don’t.
In today’s day and age so many kids are not pushed to keep going towards their goals. So, to have a trainer like Abigail that is going to keep pushing those kids, and encouraging them to keep going even when they don’t want to is priceless. When those kids grow up they need a foundation, not just from their parents, but from other’s who have showed them that the only way to get what you want is through hard work and determination. So, having someone there that isn’t a parent telling them they can do something, even when it seems like they can’t is worth it’s weight in gold!
– I pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are “too tired” to go the stables but go anyway.
Once again, this refers back to pushing on even when you don’t think you can. When our kids grow up and have kids of their own, they need that inner strength to go to work the next day after the baby has been up all night. Or, they need to know that they can push through the “I don’t like my job” and continue to go to work in order to eventually get the opportunity to seize their dreams!
– I pay for my kids to learn to be disciplined.
The homefront is where this starts, but it is reinforced outside of the home many times over. In horseback riding, and competing, there is no possible way to be successful without discipline. Through riding, the kids are able to learn this powerful trait through a fun environment with clearly defined goals to work towards.
– I pay for my kids to learn to take care of their body.
You would not think that riding a horse is physically demanding, but if you doubt it, jump on! After riding just a few times you will realize that horseback riding is a great tool for physical fitness. So, even though they don’t seem to notice it, our kids are working off all that energy and building healthy bodies along the way.
– I pay for my kids to learn to work with others and to be good team mates.
This is definitely NOT the sport for individuals. As barns gather at shows and various competitions, their members are encouraged to cheer for their teammates. Technically, they are competing against each other, but at the end of the day, everyone is together and learning how to be a part of a group seeking one goal! So, whether it is a fortune 500 company they work for, or a riding team, the same thing applies…a goal that everyone is trying to reach!
– 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 in the grading.
There are no prizes for last in horseback riding. Riders are taught that if you want to get those ribbons or trophies you HAVE to work hard and you HAVE to place in order to be rewarded. Does that mean there are no rewards for not placing? No, not at all, because it is those kids that learn that through determination they can excel past the kids that are placing above them. The very next show could be a VERY different story in the rankings!
– I pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours and hours and hours and hours of hard work and practice to create a champion, and that success does not happen overnight.
Nothing comes to us quickly in this life, at least nothing that is good for us. We have to work hard for everything that we get. So, teaching kids this at an early age is another brick in that solid foundation of learning. Once they figure this out, then all the determination and hard work will follow. They learn that you have to keep stacking up your skills and work HARD every day to get to where you have set your goal.
– I pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships.
If you want to see a tight knit community, look at the horse world. Whether it has been days or years, these young men and women stay in touch and are part of a group that will always have a common bond. As lives go in different directions riders are going to keep tabs on the accomplishments of their teammates for the rest of their lives. Riding horses is a passion that most riders are engulfed with. The friends they make along the way only encourage this passion and remain lifelong contacts.
– I pay so that my kids can be in the arena instead of in front of a screen…
How many parents have looked at their kids watching television and said, “I remember when I was a kid…” Well, you don’t have this problem if your kids are out there riding horses. There is no such thing as a simulator that we use. Every time you get on a horse you are literally embedded in nature and living life through the eyes of an animal. That horse is allowing you to experience life through their eyes and is being gracious enough to let you to set the path. You cannot get more in tune with nature than riding down a trail or galloping through a cross country course!
…I could go on but, to be short, 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!”
This last statement could not have been said better! So many things, positive things, are developed while children are riding horses. There are so many opportunities, as she said, that other kids are not going to be presented with. Not to mention, there are the physical attributes of better coordination and confidence that were not even covered previously. Who does not want a child that is confident in their abilities and willingly takes on a challenge because they know they can figure out the solution? I know that I am a proud father when I see my children gleaming with confidence and pride!
So, if you wonder what you are currently paying for, or you are thinking about whether or not you should take the plunge and INVEST in horseback riding lessons, read this post again. Once you get to this point again, you should have NO DOUBT that you are making a good decision and we look forward to hearing from you and setting up your first lesson!