I have wanted to take her to riding lessons for a while but have held back. My parents are selling their house which in all honesty breaks my heart, sorry mom and dad. I wish I could pick it up and move it to Cedar Rapids. I hope the right family buys it, a nice home next to a park with acres of land, a barn perfect for horses, a small creek, it is beautiful.
I grew up with horses. Birdie was the horse I learned to ride on, I adored her so much. She was so gentle I could saddle her myself and ride her for hours, of course until she started taking me under low branches to try to knock me off, her way of saying she was done ;) Then my dad did something I always wanted, he took Birdie to breed her. One day I came home from school and Birdie was in the process of giving birth, I was there when our sweet Beauty was born. I LOVED that horse, she had so much spirit. My dad worked hard to break her and she wasn't having it. I used to sneak out to the pasture and get on her bareback and she never threw me.
Then I grew up and moved away, my dad sold the horses because I was the one who helped take care of them and it was just too much with work for him to do it on his own.
When I moved back home I found my next horse, July, my beautiful buckskin. She was high spirited and we butted heads but man did I love her, she was fun to ride and such a gorgeous girl. When I got pregnant with Bella I sold her to my cousin, I knew I wouldn't be able to ride for about a year and honestly I wouldn't be able to afford to keep taking care of her.
Horses are EXPENSIVE, one of the most expensive hobbies you can have, especially if you want to show. Bella has heard my stories of our horses, she met July and she has always expressed an interest in them. We won't be buying and boarding a horse, that is far too expensive but I did find a place for her to take riding lessons.
When they brought out the horse she would ride, his name is Bentley, I saw the fear in her eyes. He was a TALL horse, even for me I would need a stool to get up on him. As I carried her up the stool and put her on Bentley I was afraid she wouldn't want to go through with the lesson. She started breathing really fast and I could see tears forming in her eyes, the trainer Holly was amazing and explained to Bella that she would lead Bentley around the arena and I could walk with them so Bella calmed down a little bit.
It took her about 20 minutes to finally feel comfortable, Bentley is a smooth mover, so tall but very slow and gentle. Holly asked Bella if she wanted to trot, Bella had no idea what that meant but when she realized it meant to go faster than a walk she didn't want to. But I stepped in and told Holly to go ahead and trot, Bella loved it :) After a little bit Bella asked if she could walk him on her own, Holly was so happy that Bella asked herself and Holly didn't have to ask her to do it. Bentley is rein trained so well, Bella barely had to move the reins to get him going where she wanted. I cannot even describe how proud I was of Bella, watching her take control of Bentley and seeing how happy and proud of herself she was. By the end she asked Holly to have Bentley trot and the lesson was over.
When we left Bella said, "mommy that was the most amazing thing ever, I did it!" I told her how incredibly proud I was of her for being so brave and facing her fear. She is very excited for her next lesson and so am I. There is no greater joy than watching Bella achieve her dreams and have these moments of pure joy.