Miss Jacquelyn will be four years old in a couple weeks. It pained my poor mama’s heart to type that. Not sure where the time went. Seems like just a few months ago I was waddling around in the summer heat with a baby in my belly that refused to vacate. Now she’s running our household with an iron fist. All her babiness is gone. The last to go were the diaper/pull-ups.
Jax potty trained pretty early, but only #1. She was about 16 months old when she asked to go on the potty. She decided when she was ready well before we had even decided to start training her so we didn’t press pooping on that potty right away. We simply figured she would go #2 on the potty when she was ready. She does everything at her own pace and she doesn’t like to be pressured.
Fast forward over two and a half years and lots or encouragement, discussions, bribery and frustration. Pooping on the potty was not inner plans and her excuses ran the gamut, but it basically boiled down to stubbornness. I voiced/vented this frustration several times on social media over the past 2 years and everyone had advice and opinions. Believe me I pretty much tried everything. She wasn’t having it.
Somewhere along the long way I mentioned horseback riding lessons.
“Give me a poop on the potty like a big girl and you can ride a horse.”
I was sure that bribe would work, Miss Jax is OBSESSED with horses. This girl gets excited to see them on TV or in photos. She has dozens of horse toys and figurines and she plays with those the most. She watches several horse shows and cartoons on Netflix. She was over the moon for months after riding one at her school carnival. She’s an equestrian in the making. Surely the promise of regular horseback riding lessons would prompt a poop in the pot.
Nope. Months passed. More encouragement. More bribes. More discussions. More waiting. No poop.
Then one day a couple months ago I picked her up from school and was greeted with this choice exclamation:
“Mama, I shit in the potty like a big girl!”
The pride on her face and sheer joy of her accomplishment was enough to make me ignore her inappropriate word choice.
When we got home she repeated her recap to daddy and added “now I can ride horses because I shit in the potty!”
The promise I made months before was remembered and the time had come for us to make good. We got rid of the pull-ups and looked for a ranch that did lessons for young children. No easy feat but we found one.
It’s unfortunate the timing is a bit off. Jax had her first lesson at the beginning of May and it was a scorcher. Now the AZ temps are too blazing and unsafe for riding unless you do it early in the morning. We’re not early morning folk so we’ll wait until fall when the weather cools down.
But her first lesson was nothing short of the best day ever for our big girl! She was excited and a little apprehensive. She had ridden a horse before as well as a few ponies but she’d always been placed on their backs. Her lessons include prepping the horses and coming face to face with the animals. She was unsure about that part at first but warmed up quickly. She had to join her instructor in the tack room to pick out a saddle, helmet, bit and reigns and groom the horse for riding. She learned verbal and physical prompts to get the horse to walk, stop and turn and I could see her squeezing her little legs to hold on tight. She sure did get a work out, I had no idea horseback riding was so physical. After riding she had to help her instructor cool the horse down, hose him off and groom him post-ride. It was much more work and more taxing than she expected and coupled with the heat she was exhausted and sweaty when the lesson wrapped up.
But her excitement, oh her elation was something to behold. She can’t wait to ride again and I hear her using the commands she learned when she plays with her horse toys.
I really don’t know where she gets her love of horses. She is deadly afraid of any dogs, no matter the size so it’s surprising she would be so enamored with such a powerful and large animal. Plus, I have a borderline phobic fear of horses so her obsession is a little strange to me.
But I’ll take horse induced willies over a stinky pull-up any day! I’ll face my fears for her obsession.