Rick Dancer, a former news anchor here in Eugene, was at an event held at Ride Able Sunday night (where the kids take horseback riding lessons). He's no longer on the news, but shoots videos on his own and posts them on various sites that highlight Oregon places and events. George is one of the kids he followed around (I think he was jealous of George's cowboy boots!) and the following short video is a teaser for the longer one that will be posted later this week:
One of the questions he asked me was, "How has Ride Able affected your family?" That was something I hadn't considered, though I've written here how good it has been for both kids. How has our whole family been affected? Since I am a blithering idiot who can not think on her feet, I'm fairly certain my immediate answer will land on the editing room floor (some drivel about getting out in the fresh air and other bland nonsense). But I've thought a lot about it over the past couple of days.
This world, and more specifically this town we live in, is scrambling to provide resources for kids like George. Obviously, the concentration has to be on education first. And our town does a reasonable job of that. I'm very excited about Kindergarten next fall and think he'll be very successful, both because of the program he's entering and the preschool programs that have prepared him. But outside the schoolroom, choices of activities get very narrow. Camps, movies, sports, and other group recreation activities are all impossible for us (at this point). He simply can't handle the number of people involved, the noise, the quantity and speed of instruction necessary.
So, we do a lot on our own.
But every parent wants their children to try new things, learn new skills, and gain confidence through doing something different, something all their own. And that's where Ride Able has fit in for us. When we arrive, he signs in, puts on his helmet, and goes into the tack room to get his horse's reins. And off he goes. His sister is taking lessons alongside him and I'm usually somewhere close, but this activity is his. He knows his horse, he's learning how to control her, and he is excited to try anything the trainer asks him to do. He's paying attention.
And we are out in that fresh air together. And I am watching my child(ren) learn and explore and succeed. Ride Able has affected the very heart of our family. And I am so grateful.