Carissa has loved horses since she was little. She's not in the least bit afraid of them and took riding lessons when she was just a little tyke of 4 or 5.
She hasn't really ridden much since then but it's not for lack of trying. She has been asking and asking for a horse for years. Once she realized that wasn't going to happen she started asking and asking for riding lessons. I hoped it would pass, though I had a feeling that maybe it wouldn't (being a horse-crazy girl myself, I understand. I still love horses and want one of my own too).
When Christmas rolled around you know what she asked for... riding lessons. I figured it was about time she got them and Santa delivered, bring her some lessons. She got more lessons for her birthday and now rides twice a month and attends one horsemanship class a month.
First off is the prep work. Grooming, picking hooves and saddling up. She's working on it all but still needs help, especially with getting that saddle up on the horses back.
Then it was leading out to the arena for her ride.
Let me tell you, this girl is in heaven! When it's riding day she reminds me and reminds me and reminds me. I do have to say that I love the instructor and I love the horses and I love the smell of the barn and I love their soft little horse noses. But more than anything I love the smile on Carissa's face when she's riding.
That was the look on her face despite the fact that it was freezing cold outside (literally, it was freezing... it was maybe 30 degrees as a high this day). She rode on the lunge line for a bit, to get a feel for the horse again, and then started solo doing things like starting, stopping and weaving through cones.
Then it was on to the trot.
She is just thrilled to be back riding. I'm not sure how long she'll be able to do it, but she's definitely having fun while it lasts.