Friday, April 15, 2011

Liv's Riding Lesson (Sort Of)

Today was supposed to have been Livie's first "official" riding lesson. Since it was the very first lesson, it was an abbreviated lesson: the instructor's plan was to teach her how to groom and tack up the pony before having her ride for about 10 minutes. Then they'd return to the stable aisle to untack the pony and put her away.

So this past week, we'd ordered and received her pair of cute, little paddock boots, as well as a purple schooling helmet (safety is paramount, after all). She was SO EXCITED about it!

When I picked her up from Pre-K today, she jumped around like crazy, barely able to control herself, in anticipation of her lesson.

In the car during the 15-20 minute drive to the stables, the only question was a variation of, "When are we gonna get there, Mama?"

Finally we got there (after a seemingly unending car ride - for me, the repetitive "are we there, yet?!" questions were driving me NUTS, while Liv's excitement made her impatient). She jumped out of the car and bounded to the stable door.

But of course, her first mission was to find Benny, the barn cat. And when she found him moments later, she was so excited, she shouted and jumped around, startling him into running away. When I told her to walk and use her inside voice, she gave me a pouty lower lip.

Then we found her instructor, who offered a friendly greeting, and got the lesson pony, Isabel, out on the cross ties.

She had Livie "help" her groom Isabel. It was really cute, but the lighting wasn't sufficient enough for my little camera, so no photos.

Next she showed Livie how to tack up Isabel and then it was time to go out to the ring.

With her helmet on, Livie "helped" the instructor lead Isabel out to the ring, and they headed for the mounting block.

When they got there, the instructor asked me to hold Isabel while she (the instructor, not Isabel) helped Livie get up.

And here's where the lesson took a drastically different turn than what I expected. As soon as Livie got on, she started complaining that she wanted to get down, that she didn't want Isabel, but rather, another pony.

She INSISTED on getting down, and refused to get back up. She indicated that she'd wanted the palomino instead of the chestnut (Isabel).

Later on, she said it was because she wanted a smaller one, but all the other ponies Livie's been on have been near Isabel's size (only Gabby was a bit smaller).

It wasn't until we got home that she told me that she thought the instructor was going to leave her alone. I told her that would NEVER happen, and she agreed we'd try again another day.

Anyway, here are the three photos I got (not the best lighting for my dinky camera).

Livie's checking her laces, while her instructor's checking the tack.
The helmet and boots are just too cute!

Livie's pointing at Benny, who's in the middle of the ring.

There's Benny on the mounting block!
This was moments before she mounted up and had The Meltdown.

Her instructor and I thought that if she really wants to ride, it might be helpful to come out while she's giving other young students a lesson, so Livie would remember that she doesn't need to be nervous. We may also try heading out there when there's a mounted Pony Club meeting, so she can see a bunch of young riders in a lesson.

Then again, maybe Mommy will decide to take a lesson and Livie can watch "the master" at work! Haha!

Before saying goodbye, we gave Isabel a few treats - an apple and some peppermints! Livie laughed at all the "Isabel slobber" she got on her hands.


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Ah, willful kids. I bet next time is better. What a pretty pony!

Beth Dunn said...

Riding is jut the best!

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