Mom on horse, kids on ground. Could be a recipe for nightmare or just good fun for everyone. While this sounds like a meager feat to accomplish I can assure you it is an act of monumental coordination to achieve without children implosion or horse lunacy. Why we did not all succumb to spontaneously combustion is beyond me. And I am not totally positive I can recreate the events of today again. This is symbolic of the reclamation my personal freedom. If I can repeat it, I can ride my horses more often and that is always a good thing.
There were several reasons why I could not achieve this task up until very recently. Ella, being the two-year old wild card in the hand I am currently holding, has not always been focused enough to concentrate on playing in one location for an extended period of time. That being said, Ella's need to pee or "go dirty" for number 2 would be the equivalent of throwing a gigantic metal horse shoe at my head during a ride. Basically my darling daughter could be a ride killer.
For our debut success today, I employed master planning. First, I took Ella to the potty one last time to be sure there was nothing left in there. Next, we exited the front door with Wyatt to allegedly follow after putting on his socks and shoes. Then armed with four plastic shovels, two buckets, one pink dump truck, and miscellaneous pieces of wood we migrated to the arena and prepared the play area. After loosening the packed and hardened sand and forming some into a child-sized pile, I decided the scene could not be better set for riding success.
Then Ella and I went in the barn and brushed Gemma, saddled her, and picked her hooves in readiness for the big event. There was one thing missing however, a small boy named Wyatt.
Wyatt was supposed to follow me and Ella out to the barn but he was missing. Go figure. I was guessing he got lost somewhere between the couch and his shoes, which seem to have anti-magnetic properties when it comes to going on Wyatt's feet. Back to the house I marched while pushing Ella in the double stroller, across the mud pit of a creek and to the cracker box we call home.
Inside, I found an industrious Wyatt, busy hacking into my computer, or at least trying to hack 4 year old style, and may I say very unsuccessfully. After setting the caps lock he could no longer type in the password and was fast talking me about how he wanted to look at pictures and the computer turned it's self off and other such nonsense. You educate your kid and look what happens... They think the computer is their own personal playground.
So I apply my super hero powers to Wyatt's feet and accomplish the miracle of shoeing the child. Phew... Then, the troupe of Mom, Wyatt, Ella, and eldest cousin Luke (you can imagine that with five kids running around our property at any one time you can pick up a kid here or there) made the pilgrimage back out to the barn to find a horse who had been standing patiently in the cross ties without maiming herself. Small blessings being what they are, I move on to the main goal, riding a horse.
After putting my tall boots on under the rapid fire questioning from my children about, "When can I ride Gemma?" and "What are those boots for?" I managed to lead a horse to the mounting block without anyone getting stepped on or kicked. Both Ella and Wyatt pushed their dump trucks close enough behind the horse that I had to start yelling. I must give huge credit to Gemma-horse. For being a five year old, she handled the children's assault like a seasoned mule. (For those of you who are cringing at my description, be assured the kids were not in harms way.)
Now what happens next is amazing. It's practically a miracle.
What happens is absolutely nothing.
I rode Gemma for a half hour while the kids occupied themselves by filling dump trucks with sand, making a sifting screen out of my lawn chair, random digging, constructive piling, and linear and non-linear running. It was general chaotic happiness.
I expected to have sand thrown in someones eyes. I expected Ella to scream about needing to pee or worse yet peeing and walking around with her pants around her ankles. I expected Wyatt to strip naked and run around like a nudist troll. I expected fugitive-style jail breaks with all kids running for the hills. I expected my horse to be naughty.
But the horse was good. The kids were excellent. They are definitely growing up.
The simple question remains:
Can I do it again?