Tuesday, August 15, 2006

an unexpected date with a horse

Starflower on horse. Beautiful.

Monday afternoon when I returned to the office from another day on the river, late as usual, I had a message from The Hermit. He and the kids were having lessons at a place a few miles from work, and he was wondering if I would pick up Mr. Attitude and Sally. When I arrived, Mr. Attitude had been promised a ride on a horse, so the idea of leaving early with him was out the window.

The Hermit (#1 horse person of the family), Starflower, and Calvin were in the midst of riding lessons in a large indoor arena when I arrived. I was amazed at the good training of the horses; these people really work with them and love doing it. This is a homeschooling family; the kids are young adults who have a passion for horses and an encouraging, enthusiastic manner in their teaching. I enjoyed being there so much, I even finally agreed to get in on the action.

This is me riding Whiskey (named after Jack Burns' horse in Edward Abbey's The Brave Cowboy. ) The Hermit has bought her and she will be coming to live with us soon.

And, as promised, Mr. Attitude got his ride. His eyes lit up and he was grinning from ear to ear. On the right is Alex, who was our teacher for the day along with his sister Jessie, and they were both impressive. Oce Mr. Attitude got to the arena, he kept insisting "I know how to do this!" And to my surprise, Alex and Jessie stepped back, keeping an eye from a distance, and let him ride, controlling the horse, himself. As a mother I was plenty nervous, but also learned a lesson. In the same situation, I would have said "No! You can't do this yourself! You have a lot to learn, and you're too young for this right now!" Maybe I need to strongly resist the motherly urge to say such things. He got along fine with the horse. He even wanted to go faster, and was permitted to ride at a faster pace, with someone leading the horse. Did he find a point of caution, where enough was enough? Nahhhh! After all, this is Mr. Attitude.

The horses were very tired after we were through with them. So were the parents. And Mr. Attitude fell asleep in the car on the way home.


LauraHinNJ said...

Nice pics - your daughter in her birthday outfit and all.

Your son - he looks so little on that horse - I'd have been nervous too.

madcapmum said...

Yes, I noticed that Starflower was all gussied up in her birthday finery, too. I'll betcha she wants to sleep in those boots, huh?

That Mr. Attitude is certainly a Mr. Attitude! Look at the devil on his face!

Lynne said...

Isn't it amazing to watch your kids grow and do things you've never done, or things you don't yet feel them able to do, or learn things that you don't know? Every day I am both humbled and inspired by my kids' growth.

Floridacracker said...

What a great day for your kids. I'm impressed by anyone who keeps horses, they seem like a lot of work. Your little ones have yet another great memory to tuck away.

Deb said...

LauraH- nervousness abounded. I just came to accept that it was a very controlled situation, that the horses weren't going to suddenly freak out. I accepted that these kids half my age knew their horses better than I did!

Madcap-yes, and yes. He is just invincible, or so he thinks.

lynne- Parenthood-the ultimate trip. I just hope they've learned half as much from me as I've learned from them.

FC- They are a lot of work, but that's what I keep The Hermit here for. ;)

It was a major paradigm shift, me getting up on that horse, in my Birkenstocks no less! But Alex and The Hermit said later I must have some experience, or innate riding ability. From the start, I just wanted to know what the horse was thinking. I guess that's a big part of it.

Deb said...

And FC- one of the memories I have of visiting my grandpa in Florida was going to watch the neighbor girl ride in a local horse show, somewhere between Colee Cove and St. Augustine. She and I had some good times when I would visit there. We were about 12 at the time...oh to go back...

dragonfly183 said...

Oh man do i miss having a horse. Some day i will have enother. i want a Percheron. I was plannig to adopt a PMu foal since I have had experience with babies. I am jealous of that indoor arena. The kids really look like they had a lot of fun.