Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Riding Lesson

When we were in Connecticut earlier this summer, Brynna got to have her first riding lesson...on her own pony-to-be!

Donald has been a member of our family since he was two and I was ten. He's a large pony, which means I outgrew him roundabout the beginning of high school, when I moved on to jumpers and eventing with Panache. Since then, he's been leased out at various farms in Connecticut and New York, earning his own (and some of Panache's) keep. I knew I'd want him back once I was grown up and had a kiddo of my own. We're not quite there yet—Donald would eat our backyard bare pretty quick, and B isn't old enough yet to help me muck out stalls—but I'm really starting to look forward to the day when we can go riding together!

Anyhow, we were invited over for a mini-lesson by the very kind owner of the farm where Donald is currently being adored, cosseted, and spoiled by many other little girls.

First, Brynna learned about grooming:

Then about safety, though she's certainly familiar with the helmet concept:

Then she headed for the ring. It was neat to stand back and watch her under someone else's tutelage:

We had to wrap the stirrup leathers a few times, but Donald stood patiently as we got B all settled in the saddle.

Then it was off to the ring, with a steadying hand as she got accustomed to the motion.

I think they are discussing using the reins to stop and turn.

Eventually B was confident enough to sit on her own.

Once she came back up to the indoor ring, she posed with me:

As you can see, Brynna was thrilled by the whole affair. And my parents and I got a huge kick out of seeing her with Donald. (As it was summertime, I think my parents were able to repress the frigid memories of wintertime indoor horse shows, otherwise they would not look this happy.)

A vision of the future?

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