This is the second year M has taken this class. I organized it again this year, and had so many responses that there are now two classes running weekly. The instructor is great with the kids, and she teaches them all about how to be safe around ponies, how to groom them, care for them, take control of them, and ride them. It is very comprehensive and the kids are enjoying it so much!
Yesterday I ran into one of the moms that is taking her children to the class on a different day than we go. This is the first year she has chosen to homeschool. She could not stop talking about how much they love this class. She said as she sat there watching her children, she thought to herself, "this is why we homeschool!". There's freedom in homeschooling. Freedom to look outside the box and do school in many different ways, and expose them to things during the school day that they wouldn't have time for if they were in public school. Her children are adopted from the foster care system, and have trust issues, and she is seeing some amazing things happening with her children due to this class. It has been a huge blessing to them! Another mom has a son who is autistic in the class, and although she felt that her son may not be successful, he is doing great! There is a therapeutic horse back riding program affiliated with the pediatric clinic I work at, and over the years I have seen so many success stories. Since we see so many children with an autism diagnosis these days, we also hear amazing stories of what happens when these children begin therapeutic riding. One little guy, who is on the more severe range of the autism spectrum, even said his first words while up on a horse. They had been waiting years to hear him talk, and his first words were "Walk on", as he was motivated to get his horse moving! It's amazing. For some kids, it's an activity that unlocks something, and you really do see some incredible results.
For us, the pony class is just another reason why we love the freedom of home educating. It's something I am sure we would never have time for if our children went to school. With all the homework demands, and the running around after school, I know they would have missed out on opportunities like this. So, for us, this is just one more reason why we love homeschooling!