Friday, September 10, 2010

Um, on second thought...

We visited the barn last night just so I could start talking to Kendall about where she was going and what she would see.

As soon as we walked in the arena, she tightened up. I guess it was because it was hot, and there were all sorts of smells, and a different environment than she's used to. And being held up by her tall 6'5 daddy didn't help much. We walked over to the horse to give her a peak, and she freaked out!

Like, freaked out like I've never seen her do before. Granted, it was a big horse, and it shook which scared her, but she FREAKED out.

Then I took her and Daddy came up behind her to give her her pacifier, and she freaked again. Jerking forward and screaming in fear. I think she though he was a horse.

It didn't stop. We walked around and looked at the goats and ponies, and she continued. Then I had the dreaded thought that maybe it was a seizure. The screaming, the hunching, looking terrified, are all familiar sights for us.

When we got in the car she was fine. She was a little on edge, but once we had the car moving she was fine the rest of the night. So, I don't know.

It definitely did not go like I thought it would. My initial reaction was to wait a few more months. We haven't even tried to put the helmet on her yet...which will surely be another freak out. I'm sure they've seen it all before, but I hate to spend all this money just to have her scream crazily each time.

Justin says I can't keep her in a bubble. He says we need to get her involved in the world, and since she's never seen a horse up close before, of course she'd be scared.

Personally, I like her bubble. It means she's safe and happy. Maybe I need some therapeutic riding....

So, those of you who've done this before, did your child freak out the first time they saw one up close? Do I continue to push her if she's terrified? I'm so disappointed!!!

10 comments:

AngelaLexi79 said...

I would maybe start out watching horses on TV and them maybe going and see someone ride one with you and her outside the arena. Is there anywhere she can maybe see one of yall riding one? Maybe even a little pony or minature horse might help just to get her used to the sights and smells. Don't give up! But yeah, you don't want to have her freaking out, that wouldn't help any at all!

Mo said...

Kendall acted appropriately. She's smart and that HUGE horse is scarey. Oia didn't mind the horse from a distance at first but was cautious and watched its every move. Touching it was a no-go at first too. She freaked out over the helmet but once she was on and in motion, the tears dried up soon. We rode through the tears...It took us about 3 visits of riding before she was okay with everything and completely comfortable.

I want to tell you do not give up yet. Perhaps they will let you hold Kendall while you ride too for a few laps....? Let Kendall watch as Kamden rides for a lap or two since she trusts what Kamden does...? Visit again before the first session...? It really will be worth it once you work out the kinks with Kendall. Sorry you expereinced that, but GOOD LUCK!

Cjengo said...

Oh no, so sorry to hear she got scared. On the other hand it's good that she responded that way, most kids would ya know? I hear ya on the bubble....

Carla said...

Kendall was totally normal in her reaction. I used to teach riding to kids & for some of them, that was how they reacted. A good barn will let you come & watch & observe & "wander around" as often as you need to (free of charge/during business hrs). The suggestions of watching horses on TV or watching someone she knows ride are real good too. Don't give up:)

Karen Owens said...

Awww. Sweet Kendall, I can just picture her reaction. Gavin didn't like any animals. I think he understood that he didn't have the ablity to just "walk away" from them. If I put myself in the mind of a child who is limited physically -- I'd freak out too.

I say let her warm up.

Anonymous said...

See if you can go when other kids are riding too. She reacts so well to kids, maybe they can ease her fears a little. Peer pressure is a great tool at this age.
Good luck.
Mrs. Shay

Maria said...

Oh boy, my opinion is to follow your Mommy instinct. Gee if she would have had a less intense reaction... I teared up reading that.

mhorselover said...

I have seen kids cry the first time they come to ride. 9 times out of 10 if we put them on the horse they cry for awhile until they get used to the movement, and maybe mom goes to where the rider can't see her anymore, and we end up having a really good ride. I really encourage you to come out and try again.

Terri said...

I agree with not giving up. She reacted like any 2 1/2 year old. I would actually worry more if she did NOT react to something so big and so different! I think taking it a little at a time and easing her into it would be helpful. As for the helmet, maybe start with her (and you!) wearing baseball hats or other fun hats so she gets used to that feeling...
I really hope she will do this because there has been such amazing research on the benefits of hippotherapy!
Good Luck!
Terri Limon

TherExtras said...

At least you tried! Looks like lots of options from people to know. Sending encouragement. Barbara