I’ve noticed Ponymad Girl’s riding ability has come on in leaps and bounds these past few months (literally) and she’s becoming ever ready to compete. It looks like riding four nights a week is not only good for Ponymad Girl’s confidence but is also showing us what a super little rider she is.
Me? On a horse?! Never!
She’s been riding two years now and for the past year she’s been nagging me to go for a ride with her. I’m afraid I’m not a horsey type and don’t think I’ve even ever sat on one, but her love for riding is inspiring. So, now that Grubbalo is one, I agreed to go on a joint lesson with her.
A few weeks ago, I booked us a private lesson at Summerhouse Equestrian centre, which caters for adults and children. And, on Sunday, we finally got to ride together.
I must say when they brought out my horse, Shani, I was a bit overawed as he was a big boy! Not surprising really as he’d need to carry me around for half an hour! Ponymad Girl had a cute cobby type pony called Dougie.
I managed to get on without a problem (and after adjusting to the height up there! Yikes!) I stayed on and even did a ‘rising trot’, which is basically bouncing up and down on the pony while it moves a bit faster than a walk!
I tried not to break his back and it took lots of concentration to get into a rhythm, but I managed it just about. The instructor said she was impressed I did so much considering it was my first time, which made me feel better and even Ponymad Girl gave me a compliment!
The hardest bit was getting off! I had to drop down from that great height and with my heavy wellies on I couldn’t get my leg back over the horse’s back so I got a bit stuck! I had to laugh as images of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders flashed through my mind.
Hubby was watching in the wings with the two boys, and took some video and photos. This was my best shot (although I didn’t get a rosette).
I wasn’t quite as sore as I expected the next day which was a relief and I did enjoy it, and don’t think I’d be quite so worried next time. But it just made me appreciate just how good Ponymad Girl has become at riding – there’s always more to learn of course, but she sits well in the saddle and is a natural with the ponies and loves them with all her heart.
So, Ponymad Girl has just finished a three-day pony club at a new local stables (as a one-off Easter hols treat). She loves her regular stables, it’s a home from home for her pretty much, but it’s good I think to get different perspectives.
The first two days she did lots of flatwork and jumping, as well as learning about feeding ponies, mucking out and grooming. And, on the last day, there was a showjumping competition and a mini gymkhana. Parents weren’t able to watch the showjumping show as it was in the morning but I went along in the afternoon to watch the gymkhana and prize-giving at the end.
Considering she’d had a full-on few days without a moment to stop, I was surprised at how happy Ponymad Girl looked at the end of the event. It always delights me to see her smile.
So the prize-giving came up, and names were called out, with a rosette for everyone. When the showjumping results were read out from sixth place up, I couldn’t hear her name called so was holding my breath a bit. This was a different riding school so I was expecting to hear the regulars called out. I couldn’t believe it when she was awarded first place! And neither could she!
She’s been doubting herself a little lately, worried she’s not good enough – but she said, quietly, ‘My first showjumping show and I got first place!’ Almost disbelieving it. It has been a great boost to her confidence and I hope that this year we can see her competing a little bit more… I just need to work out how!
Now… off to wash those three-day jodhpurs (anyone with a ponymad child will know that smell!).
I’ve linked this up with my good blogging buddy, Sarah at Three World Media and her Loud ‘n’ Proud linky. Why not go and have a look at some other proud moments.