The girls waited patiently for March to roll around when the would go for their horseback riding lessons that they received as a Santa gift (see here). The first three Saturdays of March they went for 1.5 hours of lessons, including approximately 1/2 an hour of grooming and 1 hour of riding.
I think the girls may now have a bit more appreciation for how much work it is to take care of a horse and to ride a horse. They love their pioneer books and movies, which make it all seem to glorious and easy, but now they realize that horses are a lot of work. Maybe now I won’t hear them asking to have a horse again :)
Here the girls are during their first week, grooming down their horses. The nice thing was that it was okay for Matthew to be around and a bit involved. He would pet the horses or find hay and bring it to them to eat. He had no fear of them even though they are so much bigger then him.
Saddled and ready to go out into the rink
Taking pictures in the rink proved to be a challenge due to the lighting and the large amount of dust flying around. With the flash you would see all the dust, without it often wouldn’t be clear.
Rebecca’s horse during the first week was Max. She had a little thrill ride that week, which was part scary and part fun. Since the instructor didn’t seem to fizzled by Max taking off all of sudden we realized that this was nothing concerning … altho by the end of the third week we realized that Max had a bit of a mind of his own … not really the best training horse. Here’s a video clip from their first lesson
I took Marietta’s camera the second week but the pictures did not turn out very good … so no pictures of that week.
On her last week Rebecca chose to ride Max again. I’m not quite sure why as Max is strong minded, doesn’t listen well and not the most cooperative (as we learned during the past two weeks of watching him). This choice ended up being a bad choice as Rebecca ended her last lesson with more fear then joy.
Since Rebecca is not very aggressive or confident in her riding and Max is very determined to do what he wants the combination is not good. Time and again she had trouble getting Max to stop when told. During one of these times they came up to close on the rear of one of the horses (there were two) that does not like anyone by their rear end. This horse ended up kicking up a fit and taking off, scaring it’s rider, which in turn upset Rebecca. They ended up switching Rebecca to a calmer more cooperative horse, but by that time her confidence had been shattered and she wasn’t enjoying herself all that much anymore.
On the third lesson Marietta got as far as grooming her horse and had to give up. She had not been feeling well that morning, she complained of feeling icky and having muscle aches. Since Rob had something similar we figured she was coming down with a flu but hoped she would make it through the day since she had riding lessons and a birthday party. We probably would have been wise to have checked her temperature and giving her some ibprophen before we left, but didn’t think that far. When she became light headed and started having blackouts she had to give up and take a seat to watch the lessons. Too bad, since during this lesson they did a bit of jogging, but she seemed quite content to just watch … actually I think she would have been more content to go to bed and sleep since she was freezing/shivering from her fever.
Matthew wearing Marietta’s helmet. When he gets big he wants to try ride a horse like the girls … we’ll see when the time comes.