Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get Back Up

IMG_9765, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Riding lessons for Paige and Cheyenne on Tuesdays is about to get renamed "Tossing" Tuesday or something similar to that. In the last two weeks they have made sure that my lungs are working fine and I can attempt to gasp in all of the air in Arizona.

Let me start with Cheyenne and last week. Since she started lessons she has done great except for whenever the horse makes a miss step in the arena, then her fear of falling would kick in and keep her from doing real well. Never fear though Cheyenne came up with a solution to that and last week I heard the words come out of her mouth to her teacher..."Push me off of the horse!" Yes when asked what she could do to help Chey get over her fear, Chey asked her to push her off of the horse! Hmm...yeah something not real right about that. They talked back and forth and then suddenly my cell phone rang with a call that I had to take, but keeping an ear on the back and forth conversation about being pushed off of the horse. Probably a good thing that I had my back to what happened next because Chey won and she got pushed off of the horse! Now not a mean push, it was a push of measured control, or at least that is what I keep telling their teacher. Cheyenne just went with the fall in a huge way! Scraped up arm, small bruise on thigh, some tears and then a funny thing...a determination to get back up on the horse and ride, oh and ride she did. There have been no fear of falling looks on her face since. She sent pictures of her battles scars to her friends and told them all what she did because she is very proud of herself for having the guts to do it. Side note to all of this is their teacher who I think is just wonderful, called several times that day to make sure Chey was alright, and several times in between the lessons to check. I think she may have some emotional scaring from the whole thing last week but of course Paige had to add to it this week.

Paige's was not a "push me off" thing, it was an "Oh Crap!" thing. I'm going to back up just a little bit with Paige for a minute. In one of her first lessons the horse got spooked and she had to do what their teacher calls the "Emergency Exit" off of him, and she did it perfectly. Even better was she did that move without even having been taught it by the teacher yet. So yesterday and her falling really just came out of the blue because she knows how to get off that horse without having to hit the ground. Their teacher is spending time introducing them to all kinds of riding right now and bareback has been the lesson the last couple of weeks. They do half of their lesson in saddle and then bareback. Paige loves the bareback riding. I can see her face light up as soon as she hears the words it is time to take the saddle off. Paige loves being close this horse and bareback gives her that connection that she loves. Bad thing about bareback if you are the second lesson of the day, the horse is getting really slick! All was going well till getting the horse up to a trot and doing leg muscle building by doing posting while bareback. One slip of Paige's grip with her legs, one bounce to many over trot polls and Paige was unseated. She tried like mad to get settled in her seat again but it was to late. She went from slipping up top to being kind of on the side of the horse, to the ground under the horse in less time than it takes to blink an eye. Paige did hit hard on the ground but immediate fear was they had been in trot mode when this happened and she was laying under the horse. Ever see a 1200 pound, 16 hand horse stop on a dime? Well, I did yesterday...and not only did he stop on a dime he self backed two steps with look of fear that I'm sure was greater than anyone else's out there. Paige on the other hand wasn't wearing a look of fear...she was laughing! She got up and let all of us know that she was fine, and then spent some personal time face to face with the horse telling him he did nothing wrong it had been her mistake, and thank you for not stepping on me. Then she got a boost back on the horse and went right back to what she had been doing.

Right now today thinking about these two and the fact that they keep pointing out that they have raised the bar for falling has me worried about lessons on Saturday with Stephanie, but we will go and will keep going. I am starting to think that come lesson days I might need some medication to help keep me calm and breathing though because yesterday there were words like learning to do jumps and barrel racing! Oh my!

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