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07 June 2013

Pony days

Here's a little secret.  When I was growing up, just about the only thing I was EVER interested in was horses.  Many would argue that absolutely nothing has changed.  I am loving watching Jessica learn to ride.  And I'm loving capturing it through the lens, and just observing the emotion, and the thrill that I think is unique to being with a horse.  I think it's a very special thing.  Even looking at the images of Jessica waiting to get on her pony this week, a gorgeous little mare called "Tinsel" reminds me of every Christmas and Birthday present list I ever wrote out.  They always looked the same:
  1. A Horse
  2. A Saddle
  3. A Bridle
I remember saving up a deposit, and then getting a personal loan in 1992 to buy the County dressage saddle I still own and ride in.  It cost me $2500.  I was told I was mad and what a waste of money. 

The images I took of Jessica and Tinsel this evening are below.  They were in the outdoor arena, so I'm glad I had the camera.  I love photographing kids riding, because I love bringing out the bond between child and horse.  It was almost dark by the time the lesson finished.  Not that you'd tell from the wonderful images my D4 takes.  It is indeed an amazing camera. And I'm certainly noticing the benefit of its increased buffer for raw images.

There was one moment (not captured by me, my heart was in my mouth and she was too close to me for my 300mm lens and she was going away from me at the time) which caused us alarm!  It was Jessica's turn to trot off on her own, on a 20m circle, and trot to the end of the ride.  She gave Tinsel such an enormous kick in the belly that the good little pony dutifully shot off into a brisk canter.  It was a bit of a "what was that for!!!!!!" reaction from the pony, who also did a pretty amazing walk-canter transition, and it took Jessica by surprise (not to mention all of watching parents, especially me, and her instructor Nikki).  She's not cantered before and for a moment I feared the pony would shy and tip her off.  And there's nothing you can do to help, you just watch and hope for the best.  But my little girl kept her cool after the initial shriek she let fly.  She planted her tiny backside firmly in the saddle, sat down, held on, and asked her pony to stop.  And she didn't fall off.  The other 2 mothers that I was sitting with and I held our breath, then exhaled with relief.  Nikki, who's is Jessica's excellent and young instructor, was hugely relieved!  I was proud of how she rode it!  That's my girl!!!  Bum in the saddle (well, mostly it was in the saddle!).  Moving with the horse.  And sticking on.  And she was hopelessly excited after that, about the fact that she's now cantered, and she loved it.  

1 comment:

  1. Great pics! Often young riders tend to hang on their horse's mouths when they're still getting the hang of it but your daughter looks like she has lovely soft hands- tell her she looks like a natural :)