It's raining here. It's been raining a lot here and the creek is rising again. Can't take the daily walk with the puppies for there is no room to walk on the shore until the rains quit and the creek is back to normal.
Yesterday afternoon was nice though. We had a family over to ride horses in the afternoon. We drove down to the old entrance with three saddles and the rest of the equipment in the van and set up a mini tack room by opening up the back of the van. The two ladies watching took a seat on a navajo blanket after the saddles were out.
A five year old girl learned how to brush Specka and Sunny Boy. We took our time explaining how to brush safely. She loved it. A two year old little boy had to be watched and held unto because he wanted to be around the ponies so much. The man held the ponies while I saddled and finished tacking up the ponies. We took the children for a pony ride around the field. It brings me such joy to listen to the little boy as he said "ye-ha, ye-ha" the whole time he was riding. In times like this with new and young riders, I have to be ever vigilant, watching closely each child and place a hand on the boys leg to keep him steady as we walk around the circle. I must never assume that he would sit balanced in the saddle or have the ability to always hold unto the saddle horn.
After a few rounds of pony rides, I walked across the narrow road to the other pasture to get Spirit, a big black Kentucky Mountain horse for the man. We brushed and tacked up Spirit. All the while the man told of his past experience with horses. It seemed impressive, but still I cannot assume that this man can ride. I must observe his actions around the horse and how he mounts up, picks up the reins, holds them, posture in the saddle. All these actions give me clue as to a persons riding ability. Sometimes what a person says...and what he does...are worlds apart. Never assume.
I've learned over the past ten years of being a riding instructor to take things slow at the beginning and make sure the basics of horseback riding are in place before we progress to a faster pace or a longer ride.
In a few weeks many children will arrive at camp. They will be excited to ride. Some of the smallest of them wanting to ride the biggest horses-and I must never assume for then I am opening up the possibilities of accidents. I have to match up riders and abilities and sizes of horses for the best, safest combinations as quickly as possible.
I am asking you to keep me in your prayers this summer. I need them.