My precious flower just celebrated her sixth birthday, it is truly hard to believe. I feel like time is marching on so quickly, and my darling girl is growing up too fast. For her birthday this year, she requested horseback riding lessons; of course we started this past Saturday. My girl is the happiest person I know, and she generates warmth and love. She makes everyone she is around feel special, and I adore that about her. Because of this, she usually just has to ask sweetly, and it is done – thus the horseback riding lessons.
I was nervous for her, but tried my best to hide it. She did not seem apprehensive in the least, I have shown my worrisome nature to my children enough over the years (they both are slightly neurotic because of this, my bad) and wanted to keep this to myself. I wanted to encourage her new found love and push the worries to the back of my mind. She started asking for riding lessons almost a year ago. Then, the thought of my small child on the back of a 1,200 pound animal was not exactly giving me warm and fuzzy feelings. I was terrified. She continued to ask sweetly throughout the year, and we finally relented.
We went on Saturday to our first lesson at Blackwater Stables. The drive is not bad, and we pulled into the driveway to a picture perfect horse farm. Beautiful horses were all around, playing in the paddocks, riding in the practice ring, and some lazily munching hay, stopping only long enough to glance our way. My sweet girl was so excited she was bouncing up and down in the back seat. She did hesitate, just for a moment, to tell me that she was excited but had butterflies in her tummy. I assured her that everyone gets butterflies when they try something new.
As we approached the barn, we were greeted warmly by the owner. She took us in the barn, to the addicting smell of hay and horses. Music was playing softly and young girls were getting their horses ready in individual stalls. My girl was enchanted. She was given a helmet, and assigned a horse, Delilah – a sweet old girl who has endless amounts of patience. At the beginning of each lesson, the trainer goes over every detail regarding horse gear and how to properly place it on your horse. The precious flower was soaking it all in. Each lesson they go over this until it is drilled in the riders head.
She walked with Delilah and the trainer out to the ring. I held my breath as she climbed the steps to get on her horse. I exhaled slowly and a smile stretched across my face to see her hop on like a pro. They then showed her how to handle her horse, and she pulled the reins and guided her horse around the ring like a champ, and she was grinning ear to ear the entire time.
Afterwards, she walked her horse back to the barn. There, the trainer showed her how to take off the saddle, etc. and how to brush down her horse. Then sweet Delilah got a treat and I left with a six-year-old who now has horse fever. She asked if we were going back the next day! Her only other request was a faster horse, I shut that down pretty quickly. According to my darling, Delilah is just too slow. I assured her that as she became more comfortable and competent that she might get a faster horse.
She now talks about horse’s non-stop, and cannot wait for Saturday to get here so that she can go back to the barn. She is in love, and I could not be happier. Happy Birthday my darling girl, may each year bring more excitement and new experiences.