Here are some things that I have learned so far about horses and horseback riding:
- The horse's tailbone is longer than ours. Our tailbone stops by our hip bones, but a horse's tailbone goes past the hip bones down into the tail.
- When you groom a horse, you have to use the right brushes in the right order. The rubber curry is first, second is the hard brush, and the soft brush is third. You rub the rubber curry around in small circles. This loosens up dirt and shedding hair, and it gets the blood in the muscles circulating to help warm them up so the horses don't get stiff. You brush with the hard brush the way that the hair grows. This sweeps off the dirt and loose hair, kindof like a broom. You brush with the soft brush the way the hair grows, too, and this makes the hair smooth and shiny. Those are the brushes for the horse's body. There are other brushes for the mane, tail, and face. There is also a hoofpick to clean the hooves.
- When I pick up the horse's foot to clean its hoof I am safer when I am closer to the horse. That way it can only push me, not kick me.
- When I am putting the horse's foot back down after I clean it, I need to step away from the horse so it won't step on me. Trust me on this.
- You have to sit right so that you can be safe and so that the judges will give you points. If you are not in jumping position, you need to sit up straight. You always need to press your heels down.
- Posting is when you push into your heels and make your seat move up and down while the horse is trotting. You have to do this at the right time, with the correct leg of the horse, so the horse does not lose its balance. That's called posting on the diagonals.
Here are some things I've gotten to do at riding lessons, and goals I'm working on:
- I got to ride Black Beauty. She is a large pony. Her trotting is very smooth. I like her very much.
- I did 5 minutes in jumping position. That means I stay in jumping position that whole time. I have to do it for 10 minutes before I am allowed to canter. We have to wait to canter until we can do 10 minutes so we can be sure that our muscles are strong enough so that when the horse starts to canter we won't fall off. Jumping position is when you are kindof halfway standing up, leaning towards the horse's neck, but not all the way.
- I've gotten to ride without stirrup irons when I am walking and when I am trotting! This helps me to get good at keeping my balance, and that's good so if one day I am in a show and I lose one of my irons I can just keep on riding anyway.
- I've learned to guide my horse, which means I can tell it which way to go, or to halt or to go again, using my legs and the reigns. I'm still practicing this. When me and my brothers can all guide really good then we can all ride in the ring together at the same time.