I always felt it was important for our children to try new things. When they were little, Mojácar had very little to offer so I tried to provide experience in as many aspects of life as I could here at home, usually with a group of their friends. We had riding, trampoline, art, cooking, swimming, dance and a petting zoo, where they all had their responsibilities. When they were a little older we even sent them to boarding school, much against my wishes, but there were no opportunities here to learn and experience new things like art, music or mountain climbing. We chose a school not just on its academic record but on extracurricular activities. Until a child tries something they have no idea whether it might become a passion or even a future career. I took advantage of the abilities and hobbies of just about everyone in Mojácar. One seemingly useless sport we took up was roping. A German girl here had worked in the American rodeo in Germany and was kind enough to come teach us how to rope. There were no cows here so it seemed rather futile but I thought you never know when it might come in handy. We used to go out in the back field and lasso beach balls and chairs. It was a lot of fun but not very practical until the girls had to leave Spain and moved to live in a Midwestern state in America. They started riding with a woman who was a roper and had four horses. The locals were quite shocked, and I think, so were the girls, when they knew how to handle a rope and swing it properly over their heads. They may have been a bit out of practice but the skill was still there. So you see no matter how mundane or silly something seems it is worth trying to learn it. You never know when it might come in handy. I know the girls enjoyed riding but I was not a teacher and just rode bareback which is the way the girls learned. They even did jumping and dressage bareback. Later when they went to school and joined the riding team there wasn’t a pony that could throw them, they both went on to be Three-Day-Event champions and now still enjoy riding for pleasure and relaxation.