Saturday, April 9, 2011

My daughter's day of living dangerously

My daughter has joined the elite club of "those who have fallen off a horse". I'm actually very proud of her. She had her lesson with Tiny today and I told our instructor that Tiny was being very difficult yesterday. She tried to pull the same thing today. She's got this thing about wanting to come stand beside me (like she thinks I'm a sucker and will always pet her???). So, when I sat down on the mounting block in the middle of the arena to watch the lesson my daughter got her half way around the circle and despite using the reins and her legs well Tiny just came over to me and stood right next to me. When my daughter tried to get her to move she bucked. She did it twice before our instructor exclaimed, "What is wrong with you, Tiny?" and I said I would leave the arena and go sit in the stands.

Before I'd even left though my daughter gave Tiny a good hard kick to let her know she was not going to get away with this behavior and Tiny bucked her right off. I was standing in the arena with another mom whose teenage daughter had fallen off her own horse twice in the last hour so maybe that helped me be calm, but I just waited to see what my daughter's reaction was. She fell on the ground said "Ouch!" and started laughing really hard. She stood up and rubbed her butt and said, "That'll leave a bruise" and said to Tiny, "No, Tiny! Stop acting like that!" then started laughing really hard again saying, "That was silly!" I said, "You are now initiated into the I've-Fallen-Off-a-Horse club," and she laughed and said, "Totally!" So, I'm glad her first fall was a non-event. It probably helped that she fell off the smallest pony in the world who may actually just be a big dog masquerading as a pony.

I was also proud of my daughter when she was taking Tiny from her stall to the grooming area. Tiny likes to stop and try to eat any little bits of hay she can find on the floor and I've been coaching my daughter on how to tell before Tiny is about to pull away to eat so she can correct her early on before she actually has her nose on the ground and she's getting really good at that. But Tiny did manage to get her nose down to eat from some hay that had spilled out of a stall across from the grooming area and my daughter had the rough task of getting her out of the hay. She pulled on the lead rope and Tiny ignored her (she does after all weight over ten times what my daughter weighs). So, she squared her shoulders, said firmly, "No, Tiny!" and pulled on the lead rope. Then she said, "You're following me, Tiny, not eating!" and gave the lead rope a good hard pull and Tiny actually lifted her head, sighed and followed my daughter into the grooming area. I was really proud of her because Tiny can be really stubborn about eating!

I thought the falling off and Tiny being such a pain would frustrate my daughter but she kept going on about how cute Tiny is and how much she loves her. She has started talking again about how she wants a mare when she gets a pony and how she's going to name her Lilly. As we were leaving she said, "I wish we could live here." So, I guess she's back to being into horses. After her lessons her instructor had one of the older kids who is still really small come out and work Tiny and it was so cute watching her canter! She's so little with such short little legs but she loves to canter and actually has really nice conformation when she does. Unfortunately, the little girl riding her tried to go into her two point seat for some reason while Tiny was cantering and lost her balance and went right over Tiny's head. I totally saw it coming. Luckily, she too got up laughing and we had to leave which anyway and our instructor headed over to give her instructions on what she needed to be doing. Our instructor commented that she's never seen a week where everyone seemed to be falling off their horses like the last few days.

At my old stable my horse was the hardest one to ride, but other than the ponies I think my horse is going to be the easiest to ride. There're my instructors two young, green Arabs, one of which, Rolls is really spooky. Then M.'s horse she's leasing who is young, bratty, green, and for some reason keeps bucking her off. And Toadie the beautiful thoroughbred who is has been off the race track for all of 6 months after winning some races at Emerald Downs. And Gemini, a young green Lipazaner. I don't know all the horses so some of the others may be much easier to ride, but for the first time in 2.5 years I'm looking forward to having Girlfriend there to ride when my daughter takes her lessons because she's so easy to ride! I'm trying to convince M. she should lease Girl instead of Roadie because I'm impressed with the way she takes care of Roadie and Girl is not going to buck her off at some point in their ride every time like Roadie does, but she loves Roadie.

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