We’re loving the new loyalty scheme launched by Cravendale this week. You simple collect codes from promotional #LoveCravendale 2 litre bottles and sign up online to swap them for fun activities for you, the children or the whole family.
I think most people, especially if you’ve got children, get through loads of milk every week, I know we certainly do. So it won’t take long to build up quite a stash of codes that can be redeemed for all sorts of activities, such as canoeing, karting or dancing; there are simply loads to choose from. I will certainly be saving mine to give the children some fun activities over the long summer holidays.
We’ve already been lucky enough to try out an activity and I love that this scheme gives us the opportunity to try new things we haven’t experienced before.
Our first activity was horse riding. I have to admit to having a “Bad Mother’ guilt trip when I first told the boys where we were going. My youngest was very excited and literally jumped for joy (= Good Mother moment) but 10 year Biscuit just burst into tears! (=Bad Mother moment!)
Over a year ago we had a rather unfortunate experience with a large aggressive male horse. We’d been quietly crossing through a field along a footpath one day when we were charged by the male horse that was in the field with 3 females. He literally ran at us and reared up and bucked at us. I held both of the children tight to me and walked them as calmly as I could out of the field whilst the horse continued to rear up at us and bang its head into the back of us. I rode a bit as a child and knew this was unusual behaviour but wasn’t sure of the best thing to do. I just knew I had to keep the children upright and with me. I feared that if they ran or fell the horse would literally flatten them. We were all shaking by the time we got over the gate!
The memory of that scary event was obviously still quite fresh in Crumb’s mind and I reassured him that he wouldn’t have to ride at all when we got to the stables and could stay right away from the horses and just watch if he wanted.
We went to Mill View Farm Riding School in Lincolnshire where we received a warm welcome from Sarah and her daughter Chelsea. Little Crumb was very keen so was helmeted up and headed out to the field with Tamsin the pony. They did a great job kitting him out with a helmet that fitted well over his cochlear implant processors.
He was fearless from the start and happily hopped up and took the reins. If it’s possible for a little boy’s whole body to smile, then his was. He just oozed happiness and it was great to see him feeling so confident and happy.
I walked around the field with Crumb for the first lap or so to make sure that he was OK and was just about to head back to Biscuit to see how he was doing waiting, when I had an enormous surprise. Guess who was wearing a helmet and getting on a big horse? Sarah had worked some sort of magic and he was happily sitting astride a big horse called Snoopy and heading out into the field to meet me.
I love that the children were able to take the reins from the start and actually feel the horse themselves. It really empowered them and gave them confidence and helped them feel a bond with the horses.
It wasn’t long before they were having a little race through the slalom which of course they loved.
Both boys were so relaxed throughout the whole session, it was so lovely to see. I did have one moment of anxiety when little Crumb was a bit too confident and wanted to try a small jump with his feet out of the stirrups, little monkey!!!! GULP! I’m sure he would have been fine but I was relieved that he changed his mind at the last moment.
Before the end they even had time to swap rides. Snoopy the horse certainly did seem very big indeed with little Crumb on him!
And he did seem to be very inquisitive about my camera!
We had such a great day. It was super to be able to do something new as a family and even Grandma and Grandad came along and watched too, with the farmyard cat, which was lovely.
A highlight for me was to see Biscuit be so brave and try something new that really scared him initially. He came out with so much confidence, had such a great time and would now like regular lessons! Just look at that “I did it!” smile.
To take part in the #Love Cravendale loyalty scheme pop along to http://www.lovecravendale.co.uk to register and look out for promotional packs next time you shop. We’re going to be trying climbing next. What activity do you fancy?