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Wednesday, 21 September 2011
My daughter began horseback riding this past June.
And this week she was reminded, by a horse, to keep her sense of humour handy.
Posting at a fast trot

Having recovered from her first fall, Rowan is back in the saddle and ready to ride.
It took her about a month/ 4 lessons, to get her mojo back and feel completely confident to ride Phoenix without her coach's hand on the reins or longe line.

We are so enjoying our hour at the stable each week.
The warm smells.
The fresh air.
The singing crickets.
It has become my hour of sabbath and restoration.
(and photography practice!)

For Rowan it is an hour of challenging work!
Whether it is grooming her big mount who loves to roll in the mud, or toting tack, or posting in the saddle, riding is a physcially demanding activity.
It also demands her full attention (and as I posted last week, we are moving towards an ADD diagnosis for Rowan~ so focus is an important skill to practice), which translates into some pretty serious concentration through tasks like hoof cleaning, or reining on her own through obstacles and over poles.

But it isn't all serious!
Not at all.
The one thing I love about these animals is their sense of humour.
Given the oh, 1000 lb. difference between Phoenix and my daughter, he is very gracious to treat her with humour, and reminds us to keep our humour about us when we could resort to power in our own lives.

Last week, Rowan was a little fidgety.
Now Phoenix is a saint.
But he has his limits.
I would describe him more as 'tolerant' than 'patient'~ he generally tunes out any nonsense.

While her coach swept out the dust from grooming, Rowan took her step stool and pulled it up to Phoenix's head in preparation for removing his halter. She was dancing about on the stool and I could see that Phoenix was getting irritated with her antics so close to his face.
I suggested she stand still, and when she turned to respond to me, Phoenix simply dropped his head behind her and shoved her off of the stool.

She hit the ground in shock, and I swear, that horse had a twinkle in his eye.
She looked at him, and in that moment of deciding whether it was worth crying about, I think she saw the twinkle, too.
The laughter pealed out of her, and me, and once we let her coach in on the joke, we all had a good laugh.
Phoenix, too.

He chose humour over power.
He got his point across.
Lesson learned~ by me (and I think Rowan learned a lesson, too!).


Kelly @ Creating a Family Home said...

I'm a lifelong horseback rider (and at one time a professional) and I'm STILL learning lessons from these gentle giants!

They teach us so much, and good call on the concentration aspect. As she matures and learn more, Rowan will learn to communicate to the horses in their language, a "listening" that surpasses conscious concentration. : )

Kelly @ Creating a Family Home

Miss Traci said...

I've never had the opportunity to take riding lessons, or work much with horses, but I've always thought they were such beautiful animals.

I love reading about your (and your daughter's!) riding adventures. It's a nice reminder to take time to live in the moment and appreciate the world and people around you.

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