It’s no secret that Ella loves horses. Is there any little girl who doesn’t?
Being only four, no matter how tall she is, limits our resources when it comes to riding lessons however, so we were thrilled when my mom arranged a visit for Ella to a local barn with her friend Debbie and Debbie’s Daughter Lisa, an award-winning Hunter-Jumper!
We drove to the barn and Ella was quietly excited on the ride over. Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Roger came along to watch – which was perfect, because Ella loves an audience! She posed for a quick snapshot in her adorable helmet before meeting her pony for the day:
“Skittles” is a former champion, but in his twenties now, and so gentle, he makes the perfect introductory pony for a little first-timer. Doesn’t it look as if they are sizing each other up?
It’s important to brush the horse before saddling up, to remove any dust or loose hair that might cause the saddle to irritate him. I was so surprised that Ella was willing and eager to jump right in and help groom Skittles!
Lisa led Ella and Skittles over to the corral to have a ride around:
Look at those curls bouncing! Ella was happy to try a trot (naturally, she was talking the entire time to Lisa!):
She spent about 20 minutes riding and was not interested in dismounting. Here she is with the gorgeous Debbie and lovely Lisa on her final lap:
Debbie asked Ella if she wanted to lead Skittles back into the barn, and Ella couldn’t have been more willing. Look how tiny Ella is in that big barn:
Finally, it was time to brush him again and offer some snacks to the sweet Skittles. It amazed me how quickly Ella bonded with this pony. We also met Lisa’s Thoroughbred “Mac” which she rides on her local High School’s Equestrian Team. He is SO huge and SO beautiful, but all my photos turned out a bit blurry, so I’ll have to wait until I get some files from my mom so show you Mac.
We were really fortunate to have had the opportunity to introduce Ella to horses. As soon as we bid farewell to Lisa and Debbie, Ella asked in a quiet voice, “When can I ride horses again?”