I tried to get some pictures of the Cowgirl riding last night but it is dark outside and the lighting of the indoor arena just doesn't do a camera any favors. I am including a photo from September of the Cowgirl on her lesson horse, Gidget.
The Cowgirl has been riding for one year now. She started with a private instructor on a western saddle, just learning to tack (that's clean and saddle the horse), post (that is standing and sitting in rhythm with a horse's trot) and do courses (that means changing directions and following instructions- sort of like a choreographed dance). But she noticed that things got a little monotonous after a while. So what's a seven year old girl to do? She decided she needed to jump.
We switched barns and got an instructor who specializes in jumping. The Cowgirl can now canter, gallop occassionally and jump a foot and a half.
On a horse she is in heaven. We call it her weekly therapy. You see all of her little girl stresses fall behind in her slipstream and her only thoughts are written on her face:
Keep your hands low.
Keep your head up.
Once a week I sit in a dirty, little room and stroke the ever-present barn cats while I cross my fingers that she won't fall, or if she does, she's able to get right back up.
And I smile while I watch my little girl fly.