So I bought a Groupon several months ago for a trial session of Show Jumping horse-riding lessons from Miami International Riding Club for Sophia, 10, the horse lover of Team Odette. It expired on Chloë's birthday, which was Monday, so I thought I better get on it and book the lessons. She took the two trial lessons on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
The first step was picking out her helmet in the tack room.
Next, Miss Celia asked Sophia if she wanted a big horse or a smaller one. Sophia chose big (no surprise there!), so they went to get her horse together.
Meet Freckles, Sophia's horse for her first two Showjumping lessons.
Sophia and Freckles took to each other right away. He's a good lesson horse!
Mounting Freckles for the first time
Sophia was terribly excited, as you can maybe tell here!
Heading into the paddock for her first lesson
First, Miss Celia taught Sophia how to position her feet in the stirrups and herself in the saddle.
Next, they walked around the paddock a couple of times to get Sophia used to riding in Freckle in the right position.
Sophia had to reach waaaay back to Freckles' tail while walking, in the next exercise.
After that, Miss Celia asked Sophia to reach down with her hand to the opposite foot while walking Freckles.
Finally, Sophia learned the four positions of riding, starting with the Half Seat first.
Doing the Half Seat while with her hand on her hip was the next lesson.
Two hands on hips!
So focused and determined
Seriously enjoying herself, I could tell!
The second position Sophia learned was Posting, up and down, up and down...
Miss Celia showing Sophia how to hold her hands on the reins properly
Learning Posting while Freckles walked around the paddock
Sophia had to learn Posting with one hand in the air. At first, she shouted, "Yeehaw!" causing us all to giggle at her enthusiasm.
Put your hands in the air if you don't care!
Sophia's arms got tired, so Miss Celia allowed her to rest them on her helmet while she rode.
Back to two hands on hips
Learning the Two-Point position
Lesson One is finished!
Sophia giving me the thumbs-up to let me know that she was ALLLLLL into the horse-riding thang. Yep. I knew it!
A birthday selfie with my birthday girl, who turned 14 (!!!) the day before my birthday, which was the first day of lessons
Lesson Two, the next day, started with a review of the four positions: Half-Seat, Posting, Two-Point, and Sitting.
Sophia was leaning a bit far back in the saddle while Freckles trotted with her on his back for the first time, but Miss Celia corrected her.
Two hands on hips while trotting
Ah, now we're sitting up a little taller in seat. Nice job, Soph!
Trotting in the Half-Seat position
Lesson Two ended a bit early, as Sophia developed a bruise on her leg that Miss Celia didn't want to open up into a sore. Still, Soph was all smiles as she dismounted Freckles!
Freckles gave Sophia plenty of kisses after their lessons, and she rewarded him with some sweetness of her own. She'll have to learn to ride various horses, so I'm not sure when we'll see Freckles again.
Sophia and I talked with Miss Celia after the two lessons about continuing, and we all agreed it was something she should do. And so, Celia sent us to Sunset Feed & Supply in Kendall to get the proper starting attire for her lessons. At the store, Jack was the same size as the little jockey statue upstairs... I've long been telling him he should be a jockey!
Sophia has tried on her paddock boots, half-chaps, and gloves approximately a thousand times since we bought them. She's has also asked me as many times when her next lesson is. It's Tuesday... so stay tuned for more photos of new skills!