Thursday, April 17, 2008

A girl and her horse

Well, I'm reading The Horse and His Boy right now - trying to get through to the next book (Prince Caspian) before May when the movie comes out....but that's not what I want to write about today.

Yesterday, Miss E finally got to have her riding lesson. This was planned as part of her birthday present...yes, her bday was back in February - kind of chilly then and I've been trying to get something scheduled ever since. I found a stable and really liked the name of it - it was about a 45 mn. drive, but the lady seemed nice when I spoke to her so we decided to go for it; not to mention it would be a private lesson for a good price/hour. I scheduled a day, then the lady had to cancel b/c she had to do something w/a vet, then she had something else planned the rest of the week, etc. We planned for a day the following week. Somehow she got the day wrong and I called to let her know that that was the one day we could not make it. I've never heard from her since. I tried a few more times over the course of the next few weeks to get in touch w/the lady - left messages on her voicemail and sent emails - nothing. I decided it was time to look for another stable.

I asked for recommendations this time from a group of homeschoolers and had about 4-5 emails all recommending the same lady in a nearby town - 15 mn. away - hooray! I gave her a call, told her we wanted to do an "introductory lesson" - this was on Monday, we went yesterday, Wednesday. The only negative is that CKB couldn't come too - sadly, our sitter got sick and wasn't able to come stay w/the other children so Miss E's Daddy could be there too, but I was able to find a blank tape for our camcorder and took it as a surprise for CKB so he *could* see Miss E's lesson after all - he was very glad! We all watched it last night after we got back.

On to the lesson - we arrived a little early and met the lady who would be giving Miss E her lesson, Mrs. Powers - Miss E seemed comfortable with her. Mrs. Powers talked with Miss E about the horse she would be riding, Pokey, then brought Pokey from her stall. Pokey was a paint, but didn't "color up" so is "breeding stock." All interesting to learn. Miss E surprised Mrs. Powers with her knowledge and questions about the halter and bridle.

Mrs. Powers and Miss E proceeded to use the curry comb first to clean up Pokey and then a brush afterward.

Then Mrs. Powers showed Miss E the tack room and where the saddle she would be using was kept. Mrs. Powers saddled Pokey because she hadn't cross-tied her and was concerned she might turn around quickly (which she did) and Miss E is little and might not get out of the way quickly enough. We then walked over to the "round pen" (I think that's what she called it) and Mrs. Powers and Miss E led Pokey in and to the middle of the ring/pen. Mrs. Powers put the bridle on, then released the long lead rope and Pokey took off - I wish I'd had the video camera going at that point - she ran around and around the pen - Mrs. Powers explained that she would do this, then at some point she would turn and go the other way for a bit, then she would come to them in the middle. Pokey had other ideas I guess b/c she didn't seem to want to turn and go back the other way until Mrs. Powers took one step out from the middle toward her on one of her runs by and that was all Pokey needed to get her to turn and start trotting/loping the other direction. It was amazing to watch as Pokey did slowly "close in" to the middle and get closer and closer to Mrs. Powers and Miss E. I have to admit, Miss E looked so small out there in the middle - it was hard to watch from the sidelines and not be right there by her, but Mrs. Powers stayed right w/her the whole time so I wasn't too worried.

Once Pokey came to the middle, Mrs. Powers put a stepstool beside her and helped Miss E climb up and mount - again, she looked so little! Miss E looked so happy to be back on a horse again. She's ridden once before, on a led around ride - 2 years ago - she looked extremely small then!

Miss E learned how to use the reins to turn Pokey and later how to get her to back up and stop.

Here she is working on turning...

Here is where Mrs. Powers moved some landscape timbers apart just wide enough for Pokey to fit and then Miss E had to turn Pokey at the right time to guide her into the area between them. She did well, and got Pokey to turn in on the second try and on the third try to turn in and then was able to get her to stop. Afterward, Miss E told Pokey to back up and out of the area between the landscape timbers and then start to walk around the pen again.

Here Miss E is rewarding Pokey for a job well done with a nice pat on the side of her neck :)

Part of the time Miss E was the only one holding the reins and Mrs. Powers was walking along just ahead of them or close to them in the middle.

Miss E had a great time and talked the whole way home about going back soon. Now to just find a money tree.....know of any?

Here's Miss E on her own!

At the end of her lesson, Miss E took her feet out of the stirrups and Mrs. Powers chatted with her for a few moments before the walk back to the barn - Mrs. Powers led Pokey with Miss E riding.

After Mrs. Powers walked Miss E and Pokey back to the barn, she helped Miss E dismount and then Miss E helped to take the saddle off and carry it (I think Mrs. Powers had most of the weight!) back to the tack room. Miss E carried the saddle blanket and put it away and then helped lead Pokey back to her stall and remove the bridle and halter.

Mrs. Powers said she did great and I hope we can go back sometime soon.

One of these days I might find the right cable and transfer some of the video to the pc and post it - maybe when CKB has a moment or two.....

1 comment:

Matthew said...

YEE HAW!!!!!!! Please do find that cable - we want to see video footage!!!