Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kids and Horses

Pony rides at WCMS Renaissance Faire

If you rode as a kid, do you remember how magical horses were? How amazing it was when they responded to you? Have you forgotten how that was, and have horses become work for you?

This week I got the opportunity to work with two things I love - kids and horses . For the first time in 20-some years :) I'm teaching three kids how to ride: Jade, 8; Kyle, 6; and Daryl, 13. They're great kids! They ride Buckwheat, Rocket and Apache, respectively.

Learning Parelli, it was really neat to have a new perspective on the way the kids' personalities meshed with their horsenalities. Jade's a natural born rider and Buckwheat was all try for her. I put him on the lunge for a while so Jade could focus on her seat at the trot. Kyle and Rocket have matching attention spans! We spent most of the time learning and keeping "go" for them. Rocket has a lot of anxiety when Buckwheat's not with him and spent part of the time whinnying piteously. Apache (the only horse of the three, the other 2 are ponies) was a little jumpy at first but I had Daryl do some circles on him and he started to settle down and listen to his rider (once the hands came down).

I'm really excited about this opportunity to work with these kids and their ponies/horse. The greatest thing about it is remembering the process and how it was for myself as akid.. the magic of just being around them at the beginning (I'd not wash my hands all the rest of the day so I could go to bed and still smell horse on my hands!), the frustration when what I envisioned didn't quite happen with the horse I was riding, and the sense of accomplishment when I figured out how to ask correctly, and the horse gave.