Lili, my 6-yr-old, started horse back riding classes almost 9 months ago. She loves her class and adores Cooper, the Shetland pony she has primarily ridden since starting. And when talking about our future homestead, she will occasionally talk about having her own pony.
Riding has been a wonderful thing for her. She loves learning about ponies and horses. She has horse toys and is starting to build a nice library of fiction and non-fiction horse books.
Her interest has allowed me to learn along with her. I’ve sat and observed hours of riding classes and have asked questions which has allowed me to continue discussions about riding between classes. We’ve spent many evenings reading her horse books and learning about different breeds of horses. She talks about the Missouri Foxtrotter
She recognizes the Pinto
and looks for the Clydesdale on one of the farms we pass on our way to her riding class.
There is also the Saddlebred
and the Arabian
Horses she is learning about more and more all the time.
They are big, beautiful and fascinating animals, but unlike the other animals we have talked about having on our farm, we feel a higher level of knowledge and responsibility is needed before we would even consider bringing horses onto our farm. Neither hubby or I have that knowledge base and without that knowledge, we don’t want the responsibility that comes with owning horses. And of course there is also the cost of owning a horse.
But Lili does love horses. She has expressed an interest in having her own horse one day. So while we are far from committed to adding a horse to the farm, we are committed to learning all we can.
This spring, the riding academy she attends is starting a new class that Lili and I will be attending. This class provides an opportunity for the student to learn about horse care, horse training, ground work and general horse knowledge such as first aid and judging. No riding, but some very good education about horses and their care.
This spring, Lili will also be moving off Cooper and on to other horses. She needs to gain more experience, understanding so she can enhance and improve her riding skills. She can’t do that riding the same pony/horse all the time.
While she’s a little sad that she will be moving on, she also very excited because Cooper will most likely have a new student riding him – Naomi.
Yes, Naomi will begin her riding lessons this spring. She’s been talking about the day she will be able to ride for months now, but she has also a little apprehensive. She’s been very concerned about which pony or horse she’ll be riding and was recently told by one of the instructors that she’ll likely be riding Cooper, which makes her very happy. After all, she knows Cooper.
Lili and Naomi will have their class at the same time, but that’s not all. Another new student will join them in class – Me! Mommy is going to saddle up and learn to ride!!
It won’t be my first time on a horse, but will be my first time actually learning to ride. My first experience was on a pony and lasted all of about 1 minute when the pony promptly ran over to the fence and knocked me off his back. My second experience lasted a few minutes longer, but I again ended up on the ground. My other, more pleasant experiences were group trail rides, and there isn’t much learning involved in that. So this is going to be a very new experience for me, but one I’m very much looking forward to.
The Weeks’ girls on horseback!!!! I’m quite sure I’ll have stories to tell, along with some pictures to share from time to time.
It will be a great way for me to learn, to experience, and to do what I can to make a well-informed decision on whether or not our homestead will one day include horses.
Until then, I hope to stay in the saddle this time around, creating wonderful memories with my girls.