The longer-lasting Christmas present

Our Christmas present to Pearl was horse-riding lessons.

She has been pony-mad forever.  She had her first ride at the age of 9 months, although to be fair I don’t think she was quite pony-mad then.  I’m not sure she was really aware of what was really going on, even if she did seem to enjoy it!

By the time she was 4 and we visited friends who had miniature horses, she was definitely keen.  She just couldn’t wait to get there and see the horses and have a ride.  It was all she could talk about for weeks before and after.

And so it has been, ever since and forevermore, it seems.  We have taken her for pony rides on her birthdays and other occasions when we can.  There aren’t any equestrian centres particularly close to us, so it’s always at least a 45min drive to go riding, which has precluded any spur-of-the-moment outings or regular lessons.

This year we decided that the passion has been long-lasting enough to warrant more effort on our part.  We gave her five lessons for Christmas – not very many, but they are expensive, and somewhat difficult to get to.  She’s doing all five lessons in three weeks, which should give her a bit of a base to work from.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to organise a couple of lessons each school holidays.  It’s a shame we live too far away for her to be one of the kids who hangs out at the stables and helps clean up and learns by osmosis.

The second lesson was today, and she is having a ball.  She is learning a rising trot, and is so proud of herself riding around the ring with her arms outstretched (look Mum, no hands!), remembering – or trying to – to keep her heels down, toes up, back straight, look ahead, keep the rhythm.

Fainjin was pretty impressed, watching her.  Then he turned to me and said, “Pearl has had a long turn. I want a turn on the pony as long as she had.”

Uh-oh.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

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