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[6] July 1, 2011

www.redmond-reporter.com

...TODAY’S PARENT

Saddle up: Farrel-McWhirter Riding School offers variety of activities to a comprehensive riding school this year. The newly expanded school is better able to track riders’ progress and keep class levels more consistent. “Now the kids have benchmarks and goals to achieve before they actually get passed on,” McMahon said. Eight-year-old McKenzie Lee cantered for the first time this year and will perform at the 2011 Benefit Schooling Show on July 10. Her mother said learning this skill was a breakthrough and got her hooked on riding. “It’s like the wind blowing in your face,” McKenzie said. “I just love working

The Farrel-McWhirther Riding School is a place where two-year-olds can learn how to brush ponies, teens can perfect their riding posture, and adults can practice yoga on horseback. “We’re affordable and bring our programs to the community,” farm coordinator Pamela McMahon said. The riding school offers a number of classes, camps and programs during the summer — and even a horse show. Farrel-McWhirter Park has supported a year-round riding program since the 1970s and has upgraded it

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with horses. They’re my favorite type of animal.” Her classmate, Ava Kimmel, shares a similar sentiment about jumping. “You feel like you’re flying, and you just feel like you’re free,” she said. Her mother, Becky Kimmel, first took Ava to a mom-and-me pony class at Farrel-McWhirter when shewas two. Becky said her daughter’s confidence has grown as Ava learned to control an animal much larger than herself. “They see their success after working hard,” Becky said. “It’s not something they can just pick up.” Ava’s 11-year-old sister, Samantha, participates in the Riding Club. In addition to attending meetings and planning activities, she and other Riding Club members earn credit toward free riding lessons for every hour of service they perform. Samantha said she grooms horses and helps instructors teach younger children. After six years of riding, she knows how to handle stubborn horses and encourages younger riders to persevere. She said horses

sometimes forget they are being ridden and don’t listen to their rider’s commands. “Just don’t give up and keep on trying,” she said. The instructors stress safety in all classes. Preschoolers learn to keep their distance while walking around horses, and older riders learn to keep a proper grip on the reins. The riding school selects horses with calm dispositions so they cooperate with beginning riders, McMahon said. The school provides horses of all sizes, even a pony three feet tall for preschool-aged learners. Teachers bring years of experience and enthusiasm to the lessons. Instructor Ali Hull learned to ride from her parents, who trained thoroughbred racehorses. After competing for the University of Washington equestrian team, she has spent the past four summers sharing her passion for riding at Farrel-McWhirter. “It’s a therapy,” she said. “You forget about everything you were doing that day and whatever you have to do.”

RIDING LESSONS ★ WESTERN and ENGLISH ★ Show program consistently

Twelve-year-old Elizabeth Copeland canters through the FarrelMcWhirter Riding School arena. AMY R. SISK, For the Reporter The riding school plans to build a covered equestrian arena within the next five years to keep the program running strong during winter months. “The covered arena will help us run programs later in the year because once we lose daylight, we’re unable to continue our after-school programs,” McMahon said. To pay for the arena, the school plans to apply for bond funds in 2012. The riding school relies on

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community support and general funds from the City of Redmond to keep its gates open. To register for classes, go online at https://www1. redmond.gov/econnect/ Start/Start.asp or call the riding school at (425) 556-2309. Redmond residents receive a 20 percent discount. Amy R. Sisk, a sophomore at the University of Montana, is a summer intern for the Redmond Reporter.

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AMY R. SISK For the Reporter


July 1, 2011 [7]

www.redmond-reporter.com

...TODAY’S parent a check-up call. And ask a good time to talk about them to call before they drugs, alcohol and sex and leave the house to tell you set clear expectations and where they will be. Many consequences. Kids are less parents set a good likely to particiA break from rule that there pate in a behavior school means more can’t be friends they know their freedom and many parents disapover or visits to homes with little prove of. friend’s houses or no supervision. without an adult • Make a list: This can create present. If you have older situations ripe for kids, help avoid • Safety first: experimentation the “coming It’s always a good and risk taking. idea to review home arguments” safety rules with with lists. It may your kids, from seem simple to using a seatbelt, to wearing remember a few chores, but a helmet when biking, or teens in particular are often a life vest near water. And absent-minded. In your list remind them to be cautious include chores, studying, of cars, but remember that hygiene items, and let them you too need to be aware know upcoming family of kids. Many accidents happen right in the family driveway. This is also

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plans or menu options they should be aware of. You can also make suggestions for fun like what’s playing at the local theater or a festival/ concert in a nearby park. Most of all, remember to take a break and enjoy summer activities with your kids. Take in a concert in the park, a hike or maybe take a picnic to a local lake or beach. Spending time together builds stronger foundation for kids, which makes for wiser decisionmaking when apart. Patti Skelton-McGougan is executive director of Youth Eastside Services (YES). For more information, visit www. YouthEastsideServices.org.

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mind: A newly released report notes that the top cause of overdose deaths in King County is not illegal drugs, it’s prescription medications. For parents this means getting rid of your old medication (check your local pharmacy). Lock up other medications and remember it’s not just your child, but their friends who may search through your medicine cabinet while visiting. Also store alcohol in a locked cabinet. • A phone call is all it takes: If you work, make it habit to call your children at least once a day. Try to make the conversation a friendlier one rather than Patti SkeltonMcGougan

ummer vacation is a time for fun and relaxation, but it can also be a dangerous time for kids and teens. A break from school means more freedom and many homes with little or no supervision. This can create situations ripe for experimentation and risk taking. For example, during the summer months, car accidents spike for teens and many involve intoxication. In addition, younger kids are at risk for accidents as they skateboard, bike, swim and play. Following are some tips to help you keep your kids safe this summer. • Out of sight, out of

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The Fourth of July is a rare opportunity for a day full of family fun, including parades, cookouts, swimming and enjoying fireworks. While celebrating Independence Day, burns — superficial or first degree — can result from partaking in any of these celebratory activities; so the American Red Cross offers the following tips to keep this holiday safe and fun-filled: • Make sure that exposed skin is covered with an appropriate sun block before heading out to the parade, family picnic or other outdoor activity. • Keep small children a safe distance from hot barbecue grills and outdoor fireplaces. • Never let children hold lit fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous for young children. • Whether received from cooking at the grill or being careless with fireworks, burns should be treated immediately. • Stop the burning. Put out the flames or remove the victim from the source of the burn. For example, you may have to put out flames that have caught on to clothing. • Cool the burn. Use large amounts of water to cool the burned area. Do not use ice or ice water other than on small superficial burns; ice causes loss of body heat. Use whatever resources are available — tub, shower or garden hose. You can apply soaked towels, sheets or other wet cloths to a burned face or other areas that cannot be immersed. Be sure to keep cloths cool by adding more water. • Cover the burn. Use dry, sterile dressings or a clean cloth to cover a burn. Loosely bandage them in place. Covering the burn helps keep air out and reduces pain. Covering the burn also prevents infection. If the burn covers a large area of the body, cover it with clean, dry sheets or other cloth.

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