Growing Confidence in New Experiences
Finding experiences and activities that your kids truly love can be a challenge. Our son Jonah had a hard time finding an activity he enjoyed enough to do more than once. He played soccer, basketball, ice skating, and even joined a math team, but nothing gave Jonah joy and confidence like ridging lessons at Warm Beach Camp.
We signed him up for riding lessons hoping it might help him find something he enjoys but he found SO much more.
For the first lesson, Jonah made sure we were early and fully prepared, he was wearing jeans and boots we found at the thrift store (he’s more of a gym shorts and flip-flops guy). He was READY.
The whole group walked into the stables and 30 minutes later out they emerged with horses on a lead rope. I could tell Jonah was nervous, but he was committed to learning. Jonah made it up on his horse, but he was unsure and did not want to be let off the lead rope. There was security knowing somebody was still holding onto him.
The whole first lesson he smiled from ear to ear. He was hooked.
Each week following the lesson Jonah’s confidence grew. In the next lesson, he did not need the lead rope. He continued to gain confidence with every skill. He started off saying no and by the end of week 10, he was confidently giving new skills a try.
On the second to last week, instructor Natalie gave the students their evaluation. As Jonah walked out of the stables, he mouthed with pride, “1-B!” He leveled up!
Jonah found something that not only brought him so much joy, it also developed in him confidence to say yes even when he was nervous or something felt hard.
We are all a work in progress, being shaped by our experiences. Jonah’s experience in riding lessons at Warm Beach Camp is shaping the way he feels about his body, about his skills, and about how he can face things in life that give him anxiety. The instructors and helpers challenged Jonah to do the hard work and Jonah accepted that challenge.
It was a gift to my mother’s heart to watch Jonah gain valuable life skills through riding lessons at Warm Beach. He is so excited to start his next session at level 1-B and I am excited to see his skills grow!
-Emily Lambert, Development Systems Coordinator
Warm Beach Camp Ministries