Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute
you didn't grow under my heart
but in it!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gabriella's First Riding Lesson

Gabriella LOVES horses. She rode her first horse this summer when we visited Six Flags Animal Safari in New Jersey and has been in love since. She loves horse toys and stuffed animals and her favorite movie is Elmo's World Wild Wild West and always giggles at the part when Elmo rides off on the horse. After seeing her again on a horse at her birthday party I realized that she was very sturdy, confident, and happy on a horse and decided to sign her up for riding lessons. Again, like with the swim lessons, I am obviously not expecting her to "learn" too much, but rather to simply expose her to something new. Most stables do not offer riding lessons for children under five years old but there are a few that offer lessons to three year olds. I did find one very nice local stable, Grandview Farm in Dighton, MA, that was willing to work with Gabriella being only two.

We obviously have not invested in riding gear and I figured they would not have a helmet small enough for Gabriella, so we brought her new Dora bike helmet (Thank You Tia Trisha!) for her to wear. Yes, she was color coordinated and it truly was not planned, but a pleasant surprise! I guess I didn't know what to expect in terms of "dirtiness," but silly me brought Gabriella in her new Nike sneakers...we will be going out this week for a new pair of dark, inexpensive sneakers for future lessons!
High five!:
Checking out the horses!:
Getting ready for the lesson:
When she walked off with Ms. Lynn (instructor and owner in the green shirt) and Ms. Melissa (a helper whose daughters also take lessons in the tan shirt) she was not too sure and reached her hand out to Ken and me for us to come with her. We asked her if she was going to ride the horse and she said, "Yes," and went with Ms. Lynn willingly. Ironically, Melissa was wearing a Guatemala t-shirt! She has a friend who also adopted from Guatemala and received the shirt as a gift from her friend upon return from her pick-up trip.
Mounting the horse:
Going around the cones:
Being mindful of a two year old attention span, Ms. Lynn is limiting the lessons to fifteen minutes as opposed to the typical thirty minute lessons. At the end of the lesson, when Gabriella got off of the horse she was walking a bit bow-legged! It was so cute! The end of the lesson:
Patting the horse as a "thank you" for the great ride:
Saying good-bye:

Ms. Lynn was very pleased with Gabriella's balance and wants to continue to work on balance and help her become more comfortable and familiar with horses. Most importantly, Gabriella enjoyed the lesson. We are going to continue weekly lessons.

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