Night Rider

I thought I’d add a tiny story.

My son is three and he has been riding, with help, our Appaloosa for the last two years. This spring he started riding him without a supporting hand to hold him steady while I led Jack around between pastures. I never put a saddle on him during these little excursions, it takes too much time.

The first time I put Lucian on his back this spring without his dad to support him I was a bit nervous. I was afraid he would slide right off the side if Jack turned a bit or stopped a little abruptly but he rode like a champ. He hung on to a fistful of mane and held on with his legs like he should and he had a blast. He likes to do things by himself.

One night while his cousins were over my husband and I decided to saddle Jack and take the kids for a little walk about in the yard. The were each very excited and a bit nervous because they had not had many opportunities to ride a horse before. I’m not sure how they felt about it but I think overall they had fun. Lucian was excited too because he had never rode Jack by himself with a saddle on before but he swung his leg over him without any hesitation and was ready to go.

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He didn’t care that it was dark out he was ready to go! I’m so glad I can raise him on our little farm and give him experiences many children don’t get to have.

Lesson 3: Work/Play

How does a three year old work?

There is a fine line between teaching my child how to have a good work ethic and child labor. I try to make work fun so my son does not know he is actually doing work.

Work can be fun!

I find that praising my son and getting excited over little things makes a big difference in his perception. He doesn’t see work as a punishment or a job to be got through, it’s fun for him. In his mind work is what the grown-ups do so it will make him big and strong.

He enjoys digging potatoes out of the dirt. He gets to find weird edible objects in the ground and he gets to be dirty. Feeding chickens is fun because he gets to collect the eggs when he’s done. He doesn’t even mind helping to clean out the pig pen because that’s what mom and dad are doing. He even gets his own wheel barrow!

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A few things that help make it fun are:

  1. Having his own set of tools or equipment, such as a child sized wheel barrow.
  2. Praise for being a good helper or so strong.
  3. High fives when the job is done.
  4. Not getting upset when he has had enough.

After all he is a small child and I want work to be fun which means giving him jobs he can handle, praising his work, and letting him be done when he’s tired or bored.

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