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.