Life Lesson’s While Horse Back Riding

Ava is into her second month of learning to ride and loving it. I can’t tell you what this means to me. I’ve blogged before about how she really is a little girl that marches to the beat of her own drum. She is not overly girly, she does not like girly things, would far rather be running around in a pair of boys board shorts shooting a Nerf gun that spending time playing with a doll. In fact, I’d go so far as to say, I’m not sure she’s ever actually played with a doll. So yes, she’s a tom boy and I’m all for embracing that with her. She loves animals and music and is undecided about whether she wants to be a singer (God help us) or a vet when she grows up. She hates pink and loves to burp and fart, apparently this is particularly funny when she stands next to me and after dropping one, she will wave it in my direction, laughing hysterically and shouting “smell! smell!” She is the exact opposite of what every boy/girl stereotype would have us believe. She really does march to the beat of her own drum.

But back to the horse riding…. I blogged previously about the benefits of horse riding in kids and even though she’s only just finished her 5th lesson, she is loving it and doing so well, I am so proud of her. Ava has never loved extra murals, she has complained her way through every single one of them and hated them all. She complains they’re boring and she doesn’t want to do them and honestly I’d begun to worry that she was never going to find a passion or something she would enjoy.

Well, 5 weeks in and she’s loving the horse riding. She has not complained once about going, she has not once said it’s boring and from the time she opens her eyes on a Saturday morning, she starts asking when she go riding and when she can see Kiara pony and if I remembered to buy carrots so she can treat Kiara after her lesson. And it feels wonderful for me, having grown up riding myself, it’s so special to have this shared passion with her. 


Ava & Kiara, with each week, Ava’s passion & confidence grows.

A photo posted by Sharon (@blessedbarrenness) on

 Her confidence and strength have grown from week to week and it’s been amazing to watch. And her relationship with Kiara is blooming, even her instructor commented that Kiara seems to like Ava, that she’s sweet with her when she’s often quite cheeky with other riders. 

And then on Saturday…. 

She took her first tumble. A right of passage for any rider and I felt myself holding my breath, waiting to see what would happen next. Thankfully I didn’t see it happen, I just heard her instructor shout and then Ava start screaming and when I looked over, she was lying in a heap at Kiara’s feet, after she’d spooked for a bird and jumped sideways. 

But not only was I proud of Ava, I was proud of myself too because my first instinct was to go rushing in there and start comforting her. Especially when she started screaming that she wants her mommy. But, while every instinct told me to rush in there, I kept myself in check, reminding myself that just like in life, we get smashed to the ground sometimes and have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back on that pony and she did it! Less than 2 minutes later, she was back on Kiara and practicing her trotting!


Learning to trot….

A video posted by Sharon (@blessedbarrenness) on

 Thankfully she was not hurt, just a stiff neck, sore back and grazed elbow and because she realizes Kiara wasn’t trying to throw her and she got back on immediately, I’m hoping this weekends lesson will go well and that she won’t be afraid after a week of thinking about her fall. 

I’m proud of her, for being brave and getting back on, I’m proud of me for down playing it and not freaking out and I’m proud of how we handled the whole situation, treating it like a badge of honor…. so you fell, now you can really call yourself a horse rider! 




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