H is for Horse

Frances takes English horse-riding lessons every week. She has been interested in/obsessed with horses for years, and this year she gets to ride. I’ve never seen her this excited about anything else.

Admittedly, every week, I silently commune with her horse to remind him that the little girl who is grooming him and who will be riding him is MY BABY. He looks at me as if he understands. (But maybe he is starting to roll his eyes inwardly just a little bit.)

Why? Because this is me facing my fears. I can’t let my fears prevent her from doing something that is good for her. After all, she faced her fear of getting on such a relatively mammoth mammal and won!

Somehow, on her first lesson, I watched with pride (not fear!) when she effortlessly turned a full 360 degrees in the saddle when asked to do so. 

She has always had ambitions of showjumping — watching her get closer to these goals is very rewarding. 

Each week, she navigates a different obstacle course.

I was a little shocked last week as she turned her horse in a very tight circle inside the rectangular confines of four poles. 

This week, she trotted on her own.

Of course, unlike when I was a ballet mum, it will be cold watching her in the winter (even in the indoor arenas). The good news is that I no longer “smell” horses and barns — I am used to them now. 🙂

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