Yesterday the girls had their horseback riding lesson. Rachel was on A.Rod--which is a compliment to her because he's the thoroughbred stallion, and a huge horse, so Barbara pays a compliment to someone by letting them ride him. Julia was on Annabelle, one of the gentle mares Barbara uses for the younger kids. At first she was tentative--we hadn't gone to a lesson in a few weeks because of conflicting schedules and vacations. But after Barbara refreshed her memory on how to control the horse, she was doing excellently.
All of a sudden, no one knows how it happened, Annabelle started trotting! Julia has never trotted before, and I could see she looked scared. As it happened, Barbara was out of the ring because her 3 year old stepdaughter was at the farm unexpectedly and had fallen off a bench. I was walking with Julia and Annabelle, and I didn't know how to tell Julia how to behave to get Annabelle to stop--not really. I told her to keep calm, and I trotted so I could catch the rein by Annabelle's mouth and pull her to stop, but before I did I could see Julia settling in, really riding, and then assertively pull the reins back. She made Annabelle stop by herself!
It was like a glimpse into the woman Julia will turn into some day.