My best friend, Kathryn, and I have kids around the same age. Needless to say, even though we live 45 minutes apart, we spend a lot of time together and the kids have grown up like brother and sister. I’ve tried a few past times to bond with my son, Giuliano: riding scooters at the skate park, playing Pokémon GO, getting a dog, coding at Code Ninjas, Kiwi Tinker Crates, watching TV shows that we both look forward to… But lately, my attempts pale to the lure of video games. Biking seems like a chore, Kayaking tandem-style made both of us angry, and doing yard work together doesn’t seem to be catching on either. *sigh* So, now I’m on a quest to find things to do with my 10 year old that we BOTH enjoy. Kathryn has had a similar journey.
When Kathryn was pregnant and found out she was having a girl, I remember she was worried about her daughter being a “girly girl,” because Kathryn herself was pretty basic – doesn’t wear make-up, doesn’t pluck her eyebrows, isn’t trendy when it comes to fashion, etc. Well, as luck would have it, she had a “girly girl.” Aubrie has always loved the princess toys, played dress-up with wigs, and has been a sassy gymnast for the past 6 years.
Both of their birthdays are in August (along with mine!) and, last year, Kathryn thought it would be fun to get Aubrie a ukulele and take lessons together, so she got one for herself too. On Aubrie’s birthday, Kathryn came out strumming Happy Birthday (thanks to YouTube) and the plan was set. However, when it came time to find someone to give them lessons, they were all being done virtually. With school and gymnastics already being virtual, Kathryn couldn’t stand the thought of one more thing for her daughter to go through via a screen. So, the ukuleles lie in waiting.
Still wanting to do something with her daughter that interested the both of them, they found horseback riding! Listen in to hear about Kathryn’s parent-child hobby journey. (Note that if you mention this podcast to Roxy at Sweet Rock Stables, she’ll give you $10 off your first lesson.)
What hobbies have you tried with your child? Did it stick? Let us know in the comments below.
Speaker 1 00:00:09 Welcome to hobby dabbler, the show dedicated to exploring hobbies for people who want to make their free time more valuable. I’m your host, Vanessa Cress. And today we’re talking about parent-child horseback riding lessons with my friend, Kathryn Lahman. Hey, how are you? Good. We also have a special discount for you at the end of the show. If you’re in Carroll county, Maryland area. So make sure you listen all the way through now. It’s time to welcome Kathryn to hobby dabbler. She’s here to talk with me about parent-child hobbies and specifically the ones she’s trying with her daughter right now. Horseback riding. Hi Kathryn. Thanks for joining us. Yeah, no problem. Thanks for having me. So I want to start by talking about parent-child hobbies and then explore how it’s going for you too, with horseback riding. So tell me about why you decided to pursue a parent-child hobby in the first place. Speaker 1 00:00:58 Yeah, so my daughter is nine, she just turned nine. And so she’s getting past that age where she wants to be with mommy all the time and she’s getting her own life and her own activities. And it made me feel a little bit sad, like we’re disconnecting for a little bit. And she also does competitive gymnastics and that takes her 12 hours a day, seven days a week. And with me working eight to 10 hours at a time, I travel an hour in each direction for work. By the time I get home, I just want to sleep or cook dinner and relax and she’s bouncing off the walls and it just doesn’t work well. And so at that point, I wanted to be able to find something to do with my time, but something that I can connect with her on that we can maybe do as she gets older and we can both really go back and think on it of, that was a really fun time I had with my mom or my second. That’s nice. Cause then you’re occupied too. I remember when Aubrie was first starting gymnastics. You decided to make it your goal to do a Cartwheel. Speaker 1 00:02:03 And for obviously this is a podcast, so you can’t see Kathryn and I, but we were both tall women. So, um, how did that go? And was that part of your initial exploration to try to like do something of interest with Aubrey? Yeah. Uh, I, so I always saw gymnastics and I’ve never been any sort of coordinated whatsoever. Like I’m lucky that I could keep up standing when I do my normal running routines and I would see her do all these things and she was probably like three or four at the time. And I realized I had an adult gymnastics class, but nobody ever went, so my neighbor and I, her name is Heather. We decided that we would do the, um, the adult gymnastics and then my husband would bring my daughter sometimes to watch and she’d be up at the top and she’d be like, yeah, mommy, you can do it. Speaker 1 00:02:55 And so she saw me trying to do something that is so special to her. And I told the coach at the time, I’m like, all I want to do is a Cartwheel. Like that’s the only thing I want to do. It was an eight week program. We went once a week, I can not do a Cartwheel. Did you? At the end of the eight weeks I could do like semi cartwheels, but I couldn’t do it with straight legs like that. Like the concept of legs straight, upside down, not possible for me, I could do it in between like big blocks. So I was able to like do enough a cart with enough, enough of a Cartwheel that I wouldn’t touch the blocks that I was trying to Cartwheel in between. But that was like four years ago at this point. And that’s all gone. It doesn’t exist. Speaker 1 00:03:40 So I can’t do anything. That’s anywhere close to what she could do. So even though we both love gymnastics and I love to support her, it is not something that I can do to bond with over. I ever asked, like to go running, you’re a runner. We, we, we, you work out a lot. Like, is there anything that she has said, I’ll kind of do that with you. Okay. So, and so we’ve tried a couple of different things. We’ve, we’ve tried the running and I’ve had her do a couple of runs with me around the neighborhood and she just gets bored. And then we did a 5k in Frederick a couple of years ago. And that one was actually really fun because my husband didn’t, he just walked the whole time. And then once she got tired of running, it was pouring down rain and Frederick. Speaker 1 00:04:22 And so she was just running from puddle to puddle. And so, but I was like, you know what, you’re keeping the little goals and yeah. And she had a blast afterwards. And then, so last year when COVID happened, they were still doing the group girls on the run, which first off of if anyone has an interest in bonding with their kids, girls on the run is a wonderful program. It’s like girl scout with physical activity. Um, and then, so I signed up to be one of the coaches. And so I thought we could do that together. And then she decided she didn’t want to do the running part all that much. And then she’d get upset with me when I’d be leading the running groups. Cause I wasn’t running with her. Um, and so it didn’t work out very well. Um, so we only did the one season for girls on the run. Speaker 1 00:05:06 Does it, wasn’t clicking for her as a thing that she’d like to do she get that you’re putting an effort to try to have bonding activities with her or like, do you think she’s appreciative or do you think it’s just, you she’s just a kid. So she’s used to getting attention. I think single child syndrome. I think that she’s just used to the attention and I think she just really likes a horseback riding. And so if it’s a way that she can do horseback riding is if mommy does it with me, then I don’t think she even really recognizes at this age that it’s something to be specifically doing a bonding event over. Yeah. I’ve tried to find hobbies to do with my son Juliana and I used to go to do Pokémon go. And at first, like it’s the kind of thing that I would normally poopoo. Speaker 1 00:05:54 Like I don’t want to that’s nerdy like, oh, I don’t want to walk around town with my phone and my, my face and my phone. Yeah, exactly. Um, but we lived downtown for a little bit and there happened to be a lot of pokey stops and I wanted to get out in the open air and turn out. There’s a big community of people still doing it. Um, so we would have our routine and we would have our pokey battles. We both had our devices. Um, but we were talking, we were helping each other out with our own accounts. And I honestly think that was one of the best, probably the best like together experience that we had on a regular basis. And I know that he wouldn’t would only do it if it was to interest of him. I, since I’ve offered so many, do you want to do this with me? Speaker 1 00:06:44 Do you want to try cooking with me during like once a week or something like that? And he’s just like no video games, no interest. Yeah. And I think, unfortunately at this age we appreciate the bonding so much more and we want to be able to share our interests and hobbies and things with our kids to do bonding. But we also have to realize at that age, it’s so far past their understanding or interest level. So we really have to take the time to understand what they like and get to their level. And I think that that’s the hardest part as a parent is their hobbies can be completely boring or irritating or dumb on our end, but we have to drop down to not drop down, but we have to go down to that level of what’s of interest to them. I don’t think I’m willing to do it. Speaker 1 00:07:35 I don’t, you know, like Giuliano, I said, is there anything you want me to do with you? And he is insistent on video games and I just have zero, zero desire. I tried putting him in coding, um, extracurricular, because I figured we could talk about it. At least we had something that I could help him with. Um, and I figured since he’s like on his computer, he’s like double tapping his computer, his tablet and his TV. And so I was like, coding will be something that he can like, oh, I can make my own came. I don’t want to do it. He doesn’t want to do coding. I don’t want to, I don’t want to play these stupid games on. So before we did the horseback riding last year for her birthday, she has this toy guitar and I, she always played with it and made her own songs. Speaker 1 00:08:23 So she’s been very musical. And so I was like, all right, you know what? I’m going to get her like a real ukulele and I’m going to get a ukulele and we’re going to learn together. That’s awesome. That would be fun. And it’s only four strings. So it’s probably one of the easier strings to learn and then maybe build up the guitar or something. And so I got an, her birthday is like five days after my birthday. So I got us both ukuleles and I got the one for myself that I opened. Then she got very jealous, nice mommy has a ukulele, but she’s the one that loves it. And we went to go visit people, um, some family down in Texas and they actually play ukulele. So I had my sister in law, teach me how to do happy birthday on the ukulele. And so I practiced that. Speaker 1 00:09:12 So then for Aubrie’s birthday, when we came out with the cake, I came out with her ukulele singing happy birthday and then gave it to her. And the whole plan was is that we were going to find a place off of main street in Westminster to, um, go do ukulele practice and lessons. COVID stupid. COVID they only do virtual with school being virtual work, being virtual sometimes practices for gymnastics where virtual. Oh yeah. I was not about to go through another virtual thing that we had to force her in front of a screen for that she probably would not have any interest in more than five minutes. I get that. And I’m like, I’m not going to do that to myself. I’m not going to do that to her. And when we came back to it earlier this year, they were still doing virtual and I’m like, all right, well, I’m going to find a different hobby for us. Speaker 1 00:10:06 And that’s when we got into the horseback riding because we wanted to do the ukuleles together. And I thought it could be really fun, you know, like practicing, jamming out on twinkle, twinkle little star, but it just wasn’t working. And I’m like, okay, what’s something that I think that I, that she likes or would want to do that I would enjoy as well. And I think that’s really where we’re trying to find the things. And so the next step up was horseback riding. How did you find it? Like so, so for, for the audience, I did go with Kathryn and Aubrie, uh, on one of their horseback riding lessons. I didn’t participate cause I’ve I’ve ridden horses. Um, but I was more interested in the parent child hobby aspect and we were talking with the owner afterward and she said that, uh, she’s very happy to do parent-child lessons, but Kathryn and Aubrie are probably the only ones who’ve actually done it. Speaker 1 00:10:58 Um, so how did you explain to her that you were trying to do something together at the same time? Cause obviously you’re a different skill levels. You’ve been horseback riding before. Yeah. And so I pretty much, you know, she, I called them, I found them on the website and I was, uh, I’m very much one of those people that I buy a book by their cover. And then, so the website seemed interesting and it seemed relatively well-made. So I was like, okay, I’m going to go with this particular group because the website look good. So that’s why I called them instead of some of the other areas. Um, so advertising is key people. Um, so when we called them, I said that, you know, I wanted to do horseback riding and it actually took her a couple of minutes to understand. I was like, no, I don’t want to do horseback riding for her. Speaker 1 00:11:46 I want horseback riding for the, both of us at the same time. Um, and then when she got that, she was like, oh, well you, I was perfectly fine. And yeah, we can totally do that. And I’ll give you a $10 off of your, you know, second rider. And so we went through and we tried it and we both really liked it. Um, I love Roxy, she’s the owner and the person that does the writing there. And she, she is no joke. You know, we’ve had some other, we’ve had some other people that we’ve seen, you know, like kids, horseback riding, and they’re so fun and they’re so relaxed and like just making them <inaudible> really nice and fun for the kid. Roxy is the exact opposite. The first day that we went, she’s like, you’re not listening to me. You’re going to get yourself hurt. Speaker 1 00:12:31 You need to look at me. I know you’re not paying attention because you’re often that the distance, the horse is going to know, I’m going to know you need to pay attention. If you’re not paying attention to me and listens to her, it’s like, yeah, I think she commands a, an authority, which is important because I mean, horse frame sounds fun, but it’s, it’s a sport and you can get hurt plate 4,000 pound animals. I mean, they’re massive animals and they have brains of their own. I’m the one that she rides her name’s prissy and she loves prissy, but she’s an old girl. She’s an old gal. And so she’s used to things and she’s got a lot of patients, but sometimes you’ll even see that she gets a little irritated with, you know, Aubrie, when she’s trying to do things that aren’t paying attention. Speaker 1 00:13:14 But of course that I have, I’m in love with his name’s topper and he’s 13 years old and he acts like a toddler. He gets fully fidgety when he’s in the mood to go out in the field. Every time we turn around, he just beelines for the field and I have to pull them back and kind of show them who’s boss. But it’s one of those things where horses in general, if they think that they can get away with something, they will fully play you for it. And so you have to understand the horse and build that relationship. And I think that that’s one thing that Roxie is huge on is the horse knows what you’re trying to do, but it also knows what you’re not doing correctly and they’ll call you out on it. Oh my God, Kathryn, everything you just said, sounds like a metaphor for parenting. Speaker 1 00:14:00 I agree. The horse like teenagers, they will, they will pull all the strings to get under your skin. But even the fact that Aubrey has an older horse that gets annoyed with her sometimes. And then you’ve got this, like this strong-willed, uh, you know, growing horse that wants to do their own thing and thinks that they’re oh man, sweet at the same time. So he’s like, when you listen to this though, I want you to go back and listen to it. And like, just think about the whole Medica, Roxy, Aubrie, with an older horse. And she’d put you with a younger horse, but she turned that on purpose. Like, does Roxie know what she’s doing? I don’t know. Maybe where’s that maybe she’s got some experience in the life of what people need. So what’s, uh, tell us about your most memorable experience, uh, with your horseback riding lessons. Speaker 1 00:14:50 So far, the first time that already got to trotting and it was totally by accident. Um, so they’ll start off where I’ve. So I’ve gotten horseback riding before, so I just kind of do my own thing. And then I build up to where I’m comfortable with and the Roxy trains Aubrie much more closely on one-to-one. And so they start off on a lead where the owner has the horse, the, um, bridal with lead that she’s holding and the horse goes in circles. And then they work from walking to trotting in those sorts of things. And then Aubrie will go walking around the ring on her own. And then at one point she, I guess she got super excited and I guess prissy was ready to go. And Aubrie kicked a little bit harder than expected. And she went full on like fast trot and she did it and she held on tight and she, you know, like she did it and she slowed down. Speaker 1 00:15:45 She was able to get the horse. She didn’t freak out at all, but you could tell like the shock was in her face and after the shock kind of went away, you just saw her eyes light up. Like, I can’t believe I did it. So it was just like a two second thing that happened. But the fact that it was something that she wasn’t expecting, but it’s something she knows he wants to go to. It’s just like in gymnastics the first day that she did her very first backhand spring by herself, I have it on video. And just when she got done, she just like dropped to the floor and it was kind of that same face, but it was the same face that she had. And I think that it’s, it’s those memories that I take away. Right. When the, when your kids realize that they can do more than, than they thought they could. Speaker 1 00:16:29 Yup. Oh, that’s awesome. I love, I have seriously. I have goosebumps. Um, what’s something about parent-child hobby trying that people don’t understand. I think it’s finding the things that you guys can both do together. I have the same problem with my husband. I love my husband, but we have two very different personalities. I go running and I like to be more outgoing and, you know, visiting the world and those sorts of things. And he is very content and happy with house and home. And he loves the video games and the, his way of getting out and talking with people and friends and his family or through video games. That’s, that’s what he’s grown up doing and loving. And he’s got all of the different kinds of systems that all the different kinds of games. And I have no idea what any of it means. Sometimes I’ll try to watch it bores ever living life out of me. Speaker 1 00:17:29 And I’ve tried, you know, like I can’t do it. I cannot do it, but we have to find the things that work for you and for the other person. And I think that that’s really the hardest part, but I don’t think that it’s really going to be a good bonding experience if you’re just doing something that they like, that you really can’t stand. Right. And vice versa, because then you’re, it’s like pulling teeth from somebody and some of these being the murder. So you need to find that middle ground. Is it, are there any lingo that people getting into this hobby should know about? Or is there any, like, if there are words that you say that it’s a faux-pas say? So you go into faux-pas. Um, and I feel like this is probably very much a Roxy-ism is what I call it. Uh, she was explaining the first day that we were there, you know, Aubrie was off with another younger girl doing her first training. And she was emphasizing to me how to sit on the horse, how to sit, sit into the pocket is what they call it. But she was trying to explain it to me. And she was, she goes with us, but the phrase sit like a woman sit like a whore. Speaker 1 00:18:36 And so basically the first part is sit like, or sit like a lady. So the first part, sit like a lady, you have your shoulders back, back, straight, head high, let the horse know where you’re going by, tilting your head to where you want to go very prim and proper, but that can lead you to bouncing very hard. So you have to sit in it like in it. And so like, what do you think of like sitting in it? You know, like how does that sound visually, like talking under your pelvis? And so like, it’s, it’s on the bottom half is like, you know, business in the front party, in the back. It’s like lady up top and like, not so lady like down at the bottom. And so you have to sit in it. And so that way your weight is on with the horse. This is your first lesson with her first lesson. And as soon as she’s like, he’s, you know, she’s showing it and she’s like, you sit like a lady. Yes. Like whore. And I was just like, I like you. I like you, the way that you tell by kid with no sort matters of like what she’s got to do, but you can flip it on its side and be like, this is how it works. Speaker 1 00:19:47 That’s awesome. That’s so much fun. Um, I know. So we talked with Roxie a little bit after, and she was telling us that if any of our listeners would like to get in on some of this horseback riding action, or if you want to see what it’s really like to sit like a lady and sit like a whore. But if you mentioned this podcast, hobby, dabbler, she will give you 10 bucks off your first riding lessons. Yeah. And honestly, it’s, I think we pay 50 bucks a lesson per person. And so when you take 10% off or $10 off that’s 20%. Yeah. So that’s a pretty decent deal when you come to think about it in that way. So I didn’t want to ask yes, you too. So 50 bucks a lesson per person, and we have $10 off for our second person. So we pay $90 a week for the two of us to ride. Speaker 1 00:20:37 And that includes usually we can be there between an hour to two hours. She’s very loose with the amount of time that she allows for lessons is generally an hour for the lesson time. And then usually half an hour for tacking the horse and taking care of the horse. You have to take care of your horse. Um, so the prep that you have to do the writing and then taking care of the horse, brushing them down, putting them back into a stall. Those sorts of things are part of the process or at sweet rock sellers and our stables sellers. You know, why it’s time for me to have a drink? Um, so as sweet rock stables, that’s, that’s the process, but she’s very lax in terms of, it takes you a little bit longer than I’ve been there for two hours before. Like you’re really tired, you know, you do what works and if it’s good for the horse, if as good for you, just do the time. Speaker 1 00:21:29 And if it’s crappy day, then it’s a crappy day. You get a little bit shorter. How so? So $90 dollars a week for the two of you, what are you doing as far as, so I’m just trying to think like, okay, in a year, how much are you spending on a horseback riding? Cause obviously you had to get a helmet. I don’t know, there’s special club you have to wear. And so really, I don’t think that unless you’re going into competitive modes or serious clothing rules, you have to have pants and you have to have shoes with a heel. Um, you are going to get dirty, you’re going to get stinky and you’re going to get sweaty. So make sure that these are all like shoes that you don’t mind ruining and clothes that you can immediately wash regularly. Um, I already had a helmet because like I said, I’ve done horseback riding before I’ve done lessons before. Speaker 1 00:22:12 Um, it was several years ago, but I already had mine. Um, the helmet that we got, my daughter, we got on Amazon and it’s like pretty and teal. And again, if you’re not doing competition, there’s no real rule set as long as it’s certified for horseback running. Awesome. That sounds, that sounds fun. I think, I think that I should take Giuliano and not tell him what we’re doing, because I won’t give them the opportunity to say now. Right. And just it’ll be an adventure. And if he doesn’t have, you know, what I really like when he’s grounded, because he doesn’t have his devices and he’s way more able to be in the moment. So I think I should take him when he’s grounded. So many times I know Giuliano, I’ve known Giuliano since he, I mean, you’ve known Aubrie since she was born. So we’ve known Giuliano since he was a year and a half essentially. Speaker 1 00:23:00 Um, and I think that it’s definitely one of those things where he may be like, oh, I don’t want to go why that’s so dumb, but then when he’s in it, I’ve seen the smiles on that kid’s face. Yeah. I think that would be the same way with horseback riding. I think the trick for me with parent-child hobbies is I can’t hype it for me. I can’t hype it or he’ll be against it automatically. I just have to be like, I don’t know, actually, because he’s so contrary, he might even have more fun if I act like I don’t like it. I was thinking maybe you could say like, we’re coming over here for, you know, going over to Kathryn’s and seeing Aubrie, but they’re doing horseback riding. So we’re just going to go and we’re going to do it with them and just roll your eyes at it and be like, this is what we’re going to do. Speaker 1 00:23:42 We’re just going to have to deal with it. And then you get, and then let it be a thing. Yeah. That’s, that’s, that’s probably a good, good approach actually. So yeah. I wonder how tiled psychology plays in with parent-child hobbying I feel like we’re going to probably have more conversations and more guests about parent-child hobbies as we move through this podcast. Um, so definitely, I don’t know if you have people in mind that I should talk to, because I think it’s a unique experience because you don’t know how to approach it. Like, if you want to say, Hey, let’s do this together. Or like, I dunno, what do you think? And try to play it. Cool. Yeah. And I think it’s one of those things I think is going to be a completely different trial on its own, depending on the kid’s age when Aubrey was three or four, anything we did together was awesome. Speaker 1 00:24:24 Cause it’s mommy daughter time, and now it’s just, God, this is dumb. Or I, you know, I love doing this, but it’s all me, right. Maybe when they’re teenagers, it could be a completely different experience. And who knows what right at that age. Well, listen, thanks for coming out today and talking with me about this, it’s kind of a fun conversation because I think a lot of parents, especially this age group can relate. Thank you for listening to this episode of hobby dabbler. I hope you’re inspired to try a parent-child hobby or even horseback riding. Don’t forget to subscribe, leave a note in the comments and tell us what you think or drop me a line at email@example.com. Be sure to follow us on Insta at hoppydabbler_official and facebook.com/hobbydabbler, where we post more hobby fodder throughout the week. Sign up to join our email list at our website, hoppydabbler.com to get notified when a new show drops and for insider news.
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