In which Lisa has her first riding lesson, and Guy gets a gold star

Lisa was soooooo excited to be taking riding lessons at last!
Her lesson horse is Guy, the same weight-in-gold horse that Willy (and many other kids) got as a very first lesson horse.
Clearly, Lisa has never seen some of these amazing tools before in her life (it was a hoofpick).

She was pretty enthused about the brushing, which Guy clearly enjoys. I think every kid should have a grey (mud-covered) pony as a first-lesson horse. As I recall, my first-lesson horse was grey. After that, I graduated (permanently) to horses the color of Swampland mud.
Feet. They are big and scary. Nobody else was inclined to clean them for a rider who was too scared to pick them up and clean them. She cleaned them herself.
Saddling is....
but eventually, accomplished.
Check stirrup length.

The bridle...also complicated.
Tacking up: accomplished! We head towards the arena.
Posted prominently in the arena:
She hops aboard: not graceful, but she did end up on the up-side of the horse.
When Guy started walking (shuffling), she could hardly stay on for grinning.
Dory explains the basics of steering.

Needs more practice. Guy doesn't mind.
He'll let kids practice as much as they want. Guy is a rock star in his own, calm, slow-moving universe. They practiced walk/shuffling around the arena for a while. Resting on your butt is not allowed! After a few circuits of the arena, it was time to practice the basics of (what will eventually be) a two-point position.
Hard work!
"Now, drop your stirrups and stand up without them," Dory said.
Lisa tried her dangedest to do it.

All too soon....
The lesson was over.

Once Guy was untacked and brushed, Lisa came back outside to shoot some photos of my lesson.
(I have to do that "post without stirrups" thing too, as part of my warm-up.)
Then, ditch the long-sleeved shirt and get to work!
Dory has to draw the pattern on her hand so I'll understand what she wants me to do.
Off we go, with a few tantrums, but no bucking! We practiced collected trot at a 20-metre circle, spiraling into a 10-metre circle and back out...and then (theoretically) transitioning to a canter to do the same maneuver. It wasn't smooth, but we made progress, and then worked on shoulder-in and haunches-in. Fee continues to improve, and she's so much fun to ride!

Lisa couldn't believe how hard this activity was. She thought the horse did all the work.

Five minutes after returning home, she was flat.

Life is good!


  1. The joy on Lisa's face just made me grin all over myself. I want to come live with you and be a kid ALL OVER AGAIN! Awesome stuff :) ~E.G.

  2. How wonderful - Guy is a rock star indeed! And how fun to have those photos of you two - you guys look great!

  3. Looks like Lisa had a grand time, and a good start to her riding career--that's important.
    You and Fiddle look awesome!

    wv-"coodybat"--Can't come up with any meaning or sentence--It just seems like a neat word that should mean something...

  4. The photo just above "Off we go" is truly stunning!

    Guy and Lisa made me grin nonstop. What a fantastic old man! I'm so glad to hear she's got the horsey bug.

  5. From what I saw I think Dory's a great teacher. I hope Lisa thinks so too.

    I also hope that she used the saddle horn on her first two-point experience and not the reins for balance.

    Posting without stirrups is the very best exercise my old instructor ever gave us - it truly makes good riders! I think Lisa was doing two-point at a walk without them? That would be hard, due to the lack of impulsion.

    I love the look on her face when shown a hoof pick!

    I have to say my man moved my horse today cuz he needed the horse out of the way, and later I couldn't find the halter. I said "Where did you leave the halter - Der Halfter?" and he said, "On the horse! Convenient that way, if I have to go get him again." I was shocked cuz I have never left a halter on Baasha, ever, and my man had no where to pick that up from. I ran out to the field and found my horse with halter on, looking totally odd grazing that way. But it was adjusted correctly, thankfully. I took it off and then told my man the story how as kids we used to jump fences to "rescue" horses from halters left on - thinking we were saving them from peril. We'd also toss the halters into the bushes so the owner would never find them. We were pretty self righteous about horsekeeping! I also mentioned that leather halters are perfectly safe for turnout, but I don't have one of those.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful tale of Lisa and Guy. I sincerely hope she falls for horses and wants to continue.



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