Our 7.5-year-old son was super curious about horses and he wanted to take riding lessons. We decided the beginning of the 2-week Easter holiday would be a good opportunity to explore the nearby centers and then made an appointment for a trial lesson in one of them. My wife, who used to ride horses as a young girl, was as excited as her son.

It turned out to be a mixed experience for us. It was very exciting for all the family members, but I and my wife were a bit anxious. After all, even if the horse our son started with was relatively smaller compared to others, it was still a huge animal that he had to control. I’ll never forget him tell the horse to “stop! please stop! come on horsie, stop!”. The instructors were very experienced and after a short while, in addition to an adult instructor, a very young girl started to walk next to the horse, talking to our son. I think he was impressed by the girl, very close to his age, guiding him and the horse, in full control, relaxed, and treating the whole activity as business as usual.

There were also a few moments where we went out of our minds, cried, and shouted, panicking frantically but those didn’t last more than a few seconds, luckily for all of us. All in all, our son expressed how much he enjoyed those 45 minutes. He’ll take a few more trial lessons, and probably continue to learn how to ride a horse much better. As usual, the facilities around Antwerp, their availability, as well as affordability is a testament to the importance given to youth and sports in Belgium. We all appreciate this!



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