It's been a busy summer for Vivian, so when she had a chance to get back on her favorite horse, Hoppy, she was ALL smiles! Riding lessons are a great way to not only cultivate a love of horses, but to teach kids how to be in control and build confidence. Naturally, the stables have all kinds of attractions... Stinky the pig missed Viv, too! He likes to be scratched behind his ears. And when Viv says "oink, oink", she swears he understands and comes to her.
When it's time to leave for the lesson, Vivian has to hold Ms. Jean's hand and keep a very quiet voice so that she doesn't spook any of the other horses. She also has to walk in front of Hoppy so that she doesn't accidentally get kicked if he was shaking off a fly. Can't wait to climb on and get moving!
The ring is ready and waiting! Vivian practices sitting up straight and holding the reigns correctly. Ms. Jean teaches how to pull back on the reigns and say "Whoa!" to make the horse stop, and loosen the reigns and say "Walk!" to make Hoppy start going forward. They work on pulling the reigns left and right to turn Hoppy, and keep her focus through the center of the horse's ears while he's moving. Viv has a tendency to look around...which could be dangerous and land her on the ground if she's not paying attention! She has to practice the basics for a bit before moving to the fun stuff.
With her back straight, her core strong and her heels down, it's time to trot! Viv can't wait to see what ol' Hoppy can do! After all, it's more fun (and breezy) when you're going fast! She tends to get a little bouncy on poor Hoppy's back, so it's important to keep her hiney on the seat. Ms. Jean even put poles on the ground and taught Viv how to get in jumping position. When Hoppy walked over the poles, they pretended it was a jump!
It was another great lesson, and even Victoria got to watch! Time to clean up and say goodbye, until next time!!