|But some things are just worth it.|
That evening when I did sit down at 1 am I was dead to the world. But only for a few hours because we had to be back up by 6:30 to be back on the road hauling to go XC schooling. This was for Kelcie and E. I thought about brining Steady but if anything went wrong or he was having "a day" I didn't have the energy to deal with all of that. K was up first. It is actually really hard to explain how painfully cute this whole thing was. There aren't enough synonyms for cute in the thesaurus. K and Penny schooling XC is already one of the cutest things on the planet. But when we show up and a girl was riding a tiny white pony too! Oh my!
|a matched pair.|
Then they decided they were going to do a pairs class at the Hunter trials in the fall so they better practice everything side by side. Ok now I'm just dead from the adorable. The pictures, yes there are pictures, will do most of the explaining.
Even though they are the cutest pictures it's still nothing like watching this in person. Literally every single jump everyone spectating simultaneously sigh with a, "that is so cute".
Recap of the lesson. This is tough because I am Mom but I am also trainer for my kids. So having someone else teach my kids can be hard for me. But really most of the time I can behave and keep my mouth shut but at times it is hard. I know those kids and those ponies inside and out. Some may think I'm a helicopter mom when it comes to my kids and riding and maybe they're right but in the end I don't give a shit what they think. Because "they" weren't given the responsibility of keeping these kids alive to adulthood. Nor do they have to pay the medical bills. And 9 times out 10 when I see something that I think will not go well with them/their pony, guess what? I'm right. Then I get to watch as my kid comes flying off. I'm not against falling off and for the most part I'm not phased when it happens. Buuuut what I'm not for? My kids (or anyone for that matter) being put into situations where they are bound to have a bad experience. All that to get to the actual happenings of the day.
|Really ponies? Stop with the cute already.|
The day started nicely. A bit chilly but hopes of 70 as a high and there were even random rays of sunshine. Something we haven't seen in ohio in a few weeks. Another mom brought her horse along so I decided to ride along with her and the kids on Lego. There were also the other moms who walked on the 2 feet. There were 4 girls in her group. All on varying sized ponies all equally fun to watch. And all pretty much game for everything. The trainer is a hunt rider. I do really like her. I do have some strong opinions on a couple things she did as you will hear but let me first point out the things I really liked about her and that are pretty indicative of a typical hunt rider. She is straight up balls to the wall. Get the kids out there and make them do shit.
|Yes! do all the shit because my kid is badass!|
I do appreciate that mindset. Because most people are so cautious, especially when it comes to kids that it can take some of the thrill out of it. I want my kids to get that rush of pure adreneline. And the satisfaction of overcoming something you thought was too hard for you. I also think you should allow them take risks. Let them find their own boundaries and sometimes when appropriate push them out of them. Teach them not to be afraid of the risk. Even if that risk doesn't turn out right don't be afraid to take it again.
|Go Ponies go!|
What I'm not for? Sending the sheep to slaughter. Forcing them into a situation that a) they aren't comfortable with and b) that you KNOW they cannot do with their skill set. Alllll that to get to the start of the day. They started out warming up in a big field. K and Penny cantering around warming up in a big XC field like a big person. Yep guess what? Adorable. And with the other white pony. They jumped a couple little logs.
Penny was game all day and did all the things K asked of her. Then they made their way to the water. Which the trainer had paid to have filled.
|Have I mentioned my kid is 9 and pretty much Boss?|
They walked through, trotted through then cantered through. Kids LOVE cantering through water. They would do it all day if they could.
Then they walked up the bank. Then trotted up the bank. They walked down the bank, trotted up. All fun stuff.
|She's got the going up, down.|
Then the trainer said, "canter up the bank turn around canter down". I was like, wait, what!?! Did she just tell these 9-11 year old kids to canter off a bank into water? I looked at Kelcie from across the water and lipped, "do NOT canter down that bank. " Only one girl actually cantered down. Which was ugly and scary but she did make the save and stayed on. K wasn't that lucky. With next to no instructions on how one rides a bank and stays on. She rode it like she would any other jump. How would she know any different? She's never done it before. So she made sure she only trotted down but in reality wasn't ready for even that. Naturally when you jump a bank the same way you'd jump a jump it doesn't end well. She was too far forward and didn't know to let her reins slip. So when she landed already too forward and then the reins yanked her hard.
|Reins too short. Too far forward. Asking for trouble. But Pony is perfect|
And that's how K took a nose dive into the water on a chilly morning. I saw she was moving right away so nothing MAJOR was wrong. I think it all scared Penny half to death. She did everything K asked but where did her kid go? And she ran for the hills. The other mom on horse back suggested we go after her on our horses. Good idea.
|Me and "other mom".|
I knew there were ground people tending to K so we cantered away. Or so I thought. Lego was so good and just cantered off after the pony. A minute later I look around and the other mom is no where to be seen. Huh? But I continued on after Penny. Imagining by the time I finally got to her all her tack would surely be in shambles and the thoughts of, I really hope Kelcie is ok are running through my head. P ran straight to the trailers and stood there facing the trailer like she was tied..lmao. And to my surprise the reins are still over neck and all tack is still entact. Win! I'm still wondering what happened to the other mom but I reach over grab her reins and pony her back. As I'm trotting along with P in tow the other mom is still no where to be seen. We make it to the top of the hill and I see her still back by the water. Huh? We make it back and they are all still getting the water out of K. Pouring water out if her boots, water pours out of her helmet when she looks down. And she is cold. Poor thing. Her lip was busted open and swollen. I thought she'd still be game to get back on and wanted it to be her decision to do so. So I asked if she wanted to. Her reply was, "no". Aww damn. "Ok well it wasn't actually a choice honey. I am sorry you are in pain and I am sorry you are cold BUT, you HAVE to get back on and you have to go down that bank again. You can walk it but you do have to do it." She did get on. She did go down the bank and about two jumps later the smile was back and we were back in business. I won't get into details but just say this was preventable and was not good training. IMNSHO.
Are you wondering what happened to the other mom on our heroic quest to save the pony? Well when she went to canter off with me her horse said, NOPE. And bucked her off. Oh my! The drama. And so early. Thankfully she was fine and we all continued on.
The rest of the ride went great!
They jumped a bunch of stuff, did the ditches and all had a blast.
|Ditches alone are fun.|
|But ditches with friends is a blast!|
She had them gallop hills and navigate terrain changes. Canter the log on top of a little hill.
|It may be hard to tell but this is actually a pretty cool/challenging element of terrain.|
Fun, fun stuff. K did tell me her front teeth felt wiggly. Holding back my real reaction I calmly tell my child. "Don't worry honey I don't think they bled enough to do any lasting damage they will stop wiggling in couple days. Now go jump the jumps." File that under, " the things you never thought you'd say as a parent", file.
|I can't even.|
The pictures can explain the rest. Pure joy, fun and excitement!
Now I was hoping the drama was done for the day but we wouldn't get that lucky. Next up...Elaina and Lego.