Yesterday was Rachel and Julia's last meeting of 4H for this year. Much to their dismay, I might add, because it also marks the end of Horsemanship lessons at the farm.
Did I mention that both girls are obsessed with horses? Well, they are! The biggest trauma of their lives is that we will never be able to own a horse. Rachel has been plotting about volunteering at the barn for Miss Barbara in exchange for lessons, and I've had to remind her that while she is very responsible, she's 11, and insurance might not allow Barbara to let someone inexperienced take care of horses (even if she has memorized volumes of horse books!)
So yesterday they both got to ride A. Rod (yes, he's named after the Yankees player), a gorgeous thoroughbred--the darkest brown with black mane and tail, huge and shiny. The younger group rode first while the older kids had the book lesson, and then they switched. Since so many of the girls wanted to ride A. Rod, Rachel ended up going last, which worked to her advantage as it was getting on towards 7:00 pm--most of the moms were hurrying their kids home to dinner, so she got to ride the longest. When Julia saw Rachel riding so long, she started sulking by the fence, wishing that she were up on his back.
So when Rachel went to get off, Barbara asked me if Julia could have another ride because she looked like she was about to implode....of course I said yes, and called Julia over. I went to help her on, but she just put her foot into the stirrup (from a step stool) and swung herself on. Barbara was impressed--she said that anyone so small who could hoist herself up so easily should definitely ride more often.....
With nudges from Rachel, I asked her how much she charged for lessons. The answer was $25 for a half hour lesson, which she said usually went longer than a half hour. Doesn't sound like a lot, really, but with two girls wanting to ride, and it being every week....I guess she saw my face, because she said we could definitely work something out. She gave me her card, and we left, elated.
So maybe, just maybe, we will work it out for the girls to ride. It would make them so happy, and it would make me happy by proxy, since riding lessons were something I always wanted as a child but never got--growing up in Brooklyn isn't terribly conducive to horseback riding! What I'm hoping is that we can pay for one lesson and either Rachel or Rachel and I together can work for the other one. Of course I'd have to leave Ben and Emma home, so it would have to be at a time when Matt is home....but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!