Well this week’s biggest news has to be Hoovy’s competition day at the end of her riding holiday. She looked after Bold all week long and they certainly developed a great bond. They looked good riding around for their warm-up shown in this photo captured on a mobile phone.
The real surprise was when they began their round. I have never ever seen her ride so beautifully. Unfortunately they had a hiccup so only managed 4th place but her posture, confidence, fluidity and focus was amazing to watch.
Later in the showjumping round, they had another hiccup as Bold seemed determined to return to his fellow horse friends before he’d finished but again they rode so smoothly. I even heard other parents commenting on her style and how beautifully she sat.
This has lead us to begin discussions on where to go with her next. Her local stable is no longer what she needs to continue to develop her skills. We know there are many routes she could take but have to discuss it further amongst ourselves, with her and her instructors before making a decision.
This is a little girl who at the age of 3 first sat on on a horse and wanted the adults to let go of the reins and that she wanted to jump! And she was being very serious at the time. Over the past 6 years we have had the pleasure of watching her grow as a rider and her determination to be a very competitive rider is still there. As parents we always had a niggling concern that she would ‘go off’ horses but we are now convinced that she is one of the lucky people who know exactly what they want to do in life at a very early age.
Well, perhaps that should be “pony & rider”. Today was an Open Day the stables where my brilliant little rider goes for lessons and pony club meets. She was asked to give a demonstration and eagerly agreed. She was so excited! She got little notecards from the stable and gave one to everyone she knows to invite them to come along and watch her ride. She gave one to all her friends (at school & in the neighbourhood), her teacher, the Head Teacher, had them put one up in the staff room and took two to the school office so they could post them on the noticeboard displaying the front & back of the cards.
Needless to say she’s been anxiously awaiting the day. A minor scare happened on Thursday evening when she fell off her bike … scraping her right elbow and palm and bruising her left thumb. She complained so much we let her wear a sling for the right arm – even to school on Friday.
But this shouldn’t have been a worry. After all she would try and ride even if she’d chopped an arm off. Oh yeah, I haven’t previously mentioned just how horse mad my little rider is – she has it very bad! So in short nothing aside from unconsciousness or prison would stop her from riding.
And rode she did! Perfectly I might add without any bias. While she would have preferred to give the demo on jumping and is perfectly capable, she does have one small disadvantage – her height. She is too short due to her age to ride the horses in the right group for her skills. So she gave the demo on gymkhana – games to the non-horsey people out there! It is like a race between two groups of riders/horses that includes a few obstacles and challenges. For this display, she had to ride under one pole, trot over a flat pole, then jump the crossed fence, bear left, collect the flag (which Star is terrified of!), ride back down the arena, hop off the horse, lead it back to the start while stepping on some “stepping stones” and place the flag in the stand.
She was cool even though she hasn’t ridden such a small pony in ages. Even though Star spooks at the flags, she wouldn’t let the cheeky pony run away from it. In the end her team (of which there was herself and another girl) won vs. the other team of 2 riders. Yippee!
So I suppose it really was worth the week of excitement and anxiety followed by 6 hours this morning of “what time is it?” and “That means we have x hours and xx minutes to wait right?” Just as well I love her!