Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I love teaching others about what I know, which happens to be how to ride a horse. Last summer, after 2 weeks of training, I spent 9 weeks teaching riding lessons at a summer camp. Don't get me wrong, it was very difficult at times. I had different horses in my lessons each week and a wide range of rider skill level. My lessons varied from riders who were cantering (3rd speed of a horse for those of you who are wondering) to campers who had never been on a horse before. However, the reward outweighed the frustration. Watching the rider have their "lightbulb" moment when they were able to get their horse to do what they asked was worth every hot day in the sun.

This summer I'm still giving lessons, but on a much smaller scale. My horse, Hoss, is getting leased by a 6th grader and I give her lessons on him twice a week. She will show him in 4-H in July and possibly go to the state fair in August. This girl is awesome. She showed Hoss last year without riding him before...not an easy thing to do. It's also nice because I know what my horse can do. I've had him for 8 years after all.

Last week she came over from her lesson and her mini 4-H'er (3rd grader) came too. I had her doing some crazy weaving exercises where she had to trot Hoss in a serpentine pattern around some cones. Let me explain something. Hoss is 13 years old and lazy. Sometimes its even hard for me to make him go, so imagine how hard Cassie has to work at it. Yet she never stopped until I told her she could. When I asked "you got it?" she would glance over, smile, say "yea" and make Hoss do the pattern again. Adorable.

Then it was her mini's turn to ride....for only the second time. I asked her if she wanted to trot for the first time and she very quietly said yes. First trot is a big step because the trot can be super bouncy and hard to stay in the saddle. If it doesn't go well then it can take the rider awhile before they feel comfortable to try it again. I told Audrey the cues to use to get Hoss trotting and we were off. I jogged by his head to make sure he wasn't being ornery.  At one point I glanced back at Audrey to see how she was doing. She was gripping the saddle horn with both hands and bouncing like crazy, but with a big smile on her face. We slowed to a walk and then did it again. I was excited to see her so excited about riding and I can't wait to teach her more.

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