This weekend we piled into the car and drove a quick 20 minutes from the city towards Southlands Farm. It’s a quaint little farm that we used to visit weekly last year when little Isla used to take riding lessons, but when she became aware that Henry hated horses (and anything else that was bigger than him or would make noise) those lessons quickly ended. She would do anything to make him happy instead of screams of terror. I didn’t feel like I should force Henry to face his fears so we never returned.
However, lately the children have been asking over and over to see horses. To make them smile I would drive down back country roads an hour away from the city and say “look out Henry’s window, a horse!” and it made them smile but it wasn’t good enough. They wanted to see them up closer.
So yesterday I asked them if they’d like to go see horses up close and Isla grabbed her boots and jacket right way while Henry went around the house saying “horsey, horsey”. So we left the buzz of the city and drove through the most beautiful houses I’ve seen and drove up to the creaky gates of Southlands Farm.
We wandered around the grounds letting the children lead the way from the tire swing, to pointing at the chickens, attempting to pet and feed the goats and then finally into the barn to see the horses. I’m happy to report that Henry didn’t cry! I would say that was a success for him!
As we stood outside watching one of the horses she used to ride on Isla asked if she could ride Magic. Thankfully they were able to accommodate our last minute request and out came Bailey the sweetest horse who loved to give kisses. Henry clutched my jacket while wide eyed, but I could tell he was completely enthralled with the horse with the velvet nose. Isla couldn’t contain her excitement and when I swung her up onto the saddle her smile was as big as I’ve ever seen it. She was so confident and happy as she sat tall leading her horse around and we were beaming watching her.