July 31, 2007

Horseback Riding Lessons

Well Rhiannon has been asking for horseback riding lessons for years now - this year it was all she asked anyone for for her 8th birthday - so guess what she got? Today was her first of a series of 10 lessons and she loved every minute of it. We were very impressed with her lesson, instructor and the facility. Her lessons are supposed to be one hour each but this first one lasted almost 2 hours!

The lesson began with her learning how to place a halter and lead rope on the horse and lead the horse to the crossties. Then learn about the different combs and brushes and had the opportunity to groom and prepare the horse herself. She learned what different parts of the horse and bridle are called. She learned about the different saddles and bits and styles of riding. The instructor decided to begin her in Eastern hunt sea. After walking the horse into the riding area the instructor showed her the proper way to mount and ride and dismount the horse and the proper way to sit in the saddle. Then they went over the difference between walk, trot, and canter and posting in the saddle. She rode around, tried out posting and then did some fun balance exercises - including being able to lay backwards on the horse while her instructor walked the horse around. The lesson ended with the proper horse care of brushing and removing all the gear and leading her horse back to his stall.

Her instructor has a wonderful way of communicating with kids and she seemed to get along quite well. I am glad we waited until now to do this as she is really into and the program we decided to go with requires quite a bit of attention and learning as they realize focus on horse care and the sport in order o ride as well. She was interested and even excited for her homework for next week. She had a great big smile on her face the entire time and now is clearly the right time for this. More to come in the weeks and lessons that follow and look out for some blog posts from her as well.

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