Friday, October 24, 2014

Horses, Little Girls and Role Models

Over the years I have had a solid group of big girls and young women who serve as wonderful role models for my little girls. They have exemplified four of what I consider to be the most important virtues---kindness, compassion, honesty, and toughness.

Two weeks ago I really saw it pay off as one of my little riders took on that leadership role before my eyes.

Haley is young and has been riding with me for a couple of years. She is dedicated and remarkably mature. She is also used to being successful and gets frustrated when things make no sense.

Her mustang mare, Kiowa, was making no sense that day.

She was simply ignoring cues and moving when and where she wanted to. She even set in for a bit of bucking. I had some new kids out that day. The first time Kiowa gave a bit of a buck I saw fear in their eyes.

The second time she bucked Haley rode it out for a while but was eventually pitched high over the horse's head and landed with a thud. She got up, wiped off a tear, caught her horse and mounted back up.

She was a bit in pain, had been a bit afraid, was a bit disappointed in her horse, but she knew that she was also teaching at that moment. She knew that there were new riders watching. She knew how the big girls had ridden for her when she was a new rider.

This creates a chain of continuous leadership.

The best way to get riders like Haley is to have already had riders like Haley for years. I can instruct, but it is my big girls who teach.

My big girls are the best part of my program.

The picture above is Haley riding Manteo, a formerly wild Corolla stallion in a training demonstration.

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