*We were given a riding lesson to help facilitate our review. It is based on our experience and all thoughts and opinions are 100% ours.
Maddie turned ten today and it has been an honor to be the one God chose to walk her through life on earth. We have had front row seats to watch God transform her into a beautiful, confident, sweet and kind human being. She has always had a gentle spirit and it continues to be true today. She loves science of any kind, especially zoology. Animals respond to her gentle personality, they are immediately put at ease with her.
We wanted to find a perfect birthday present for her. It had to inspire her passions, talents and gifts. We didn’t want to add one more toy to our house. While we don’t mind doing this for special occasions for birthdays, we wanted this years gift to be unique. Knowing Maddie loves horses, contacting Jodie Distad at Broadway Farm, LLC was a no-brainer. We have had a few riding lessons with her already and I knew Maddie would do well under Jodie’s training.
It is certainly handy to be a homeschooling family as we are able to arrange special lessons during the day. Her birthday riding lesson was no different. We arranged for Maddie to ride at 1pm on Thursday. Maddie had no clue this was going to be her gift, all she knew was she was going to have a birthday surprise.
We pulled up to the barn where her riding lesson would take place. Our Minnesota outdoor temperatures were a frigid eight degrees. Thankfully the riding stable has an indoor riding arena and Maddie rode in perfect comfort. We entered the stables and Jodie greeted us with a warm, welcoming smile. Jodie had Maddie’s horse pulled up and began teaching her how to place the saddle blanket, where to place the saddle, how to tie the girth and how to gently pull up the bridal on Famous. It was hard for Maddie to focus as there were adorable dogs and cats in the barn as well. It was a place after Maddie’s heart.
They walked into the indoor riding arena, Maddie mounted up, her stirrups were adjusted perfectly and she was ready to begin warming up. The smile that remained across her face for the enter hour assured me we had chosen the perfect birthday gift for her. Jodie was calm, patient and encouraging to both Maddie and Famous. Famous was a perfect lesson horse and did her job perfectly as she taught Maddie the basics of riding. She was sweet enough to be gentle with Maddie and stubborn enough to make her concentrate to make Famous continue moving in the direction she was suppose to go.
After her hour long lesson it was time to dismount, walk and cool off Famous. Jodie taught Maddie how to take off the tack and then gave her a treat to give Famous for a job well done. After all of the tack was put away we were introduced to a few of the other horses in one of the other boarding stables. Maddie was truly in love.
Albert Lea is blessed to have a trainer of Jodie’s caliber in our community. She is a professional trainer, riding instructor and has lead many of her horses to championship titles. When you or your child takes riding lessons from Jodie they learn so much more than how to ride a horse. They learn responsibility, patience, gentleness, self-control, perseverance and they realize they can do hard things. Learning to do hard things leads to gaining a confidence they are able to build on for the rest of their lives.