|Fun for all the family (especially the girls!)|
First let's take a step back. I was a pony-mad little girl, and couldn't get enough of books featuring fine steeds and their loving owners. I even had models of horses in a glass cabinet and a pair of jodhpurs. But I never got on a horse. Why? Well, unfortunately a family member suffered a bad fall, needed a metal plate in her hip and was never able to have kids. Obviously my parents wanted to protect me from that and indulged my equestrian interest where they could, but would not let me take riding lessons, no matter how much I persisted (and I'm pretty sure I did...).
So, now that I call the shots (I can't actually write that without laughing) I wanted to saddle up. Not that I met with any resistance in my house - the girls were delighted to the point of screaming when informed of my decision to do this for Mother's Day and I'm pretty sure hubs was equally pleased the phrase 'drive into Reading' was not going to be mentioned at all that day. This is also when I learnt he had been lucky enough to have some riding lessons when he was young and actually knew what to do.
|Who could resist?|
Then it was up into the saddle for an introduction in how to hold and use the reins and operate your feet to let your ride know what it was supposed to be doing (start, stop, left, right, speed up a bit etc). All pretty simple, and yet oddly unfamiliar (when else do I get to push my heels together - weird). And off we clopped out of the stables and down the road. Once we'd got a bit more used to being on the horses we practised our manoeuvres and headed for a trot (although our youngest wasn't too happy with that, so we had to slow down).
|Loving every minute of 'mummy's treat'!|
All too quickly it seemed our time was up, and we dismounted and patted the ponies goodbye. Although it was just a little introduction for us girls (and a refresher for Mr H), it was a lot of fun - and has given us all a taste for more. Lands End runs lots of lessons (private, group, hacking) plus holiday activities with discounts for membership card holders and block bookings, so we should be able to fit something in for all of us. I think the adults probably need to go separately from the children so that we can up the ante a bit, while our youngest can progress at a pace more suitable for her age. But all in all - a fabulous treat for Mother's Day (and we all know there should be more of those - right?!).
Is this the sort of thing you would fancy for your next family day out? Are you an experienced horse woman - and do ALL little girls (and some little boys) love ponies? Let me know in the comment box below.
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