Tonight was the last time I will get to work with my physically challenged adult ladies this year, and I must admit that I will miss the company! Their strength and determination has been a source of inspiration for me that I will not soon forget. For the millionth time, it strikes me as completely off base that women are so often billed as the weaker sex. Watching these ladies ride is a testament to just how strong women can be and it makes me proud to know them and to be able to help them along on their journeys! Without therapeutic riding, many of the adult riders at the center would be hard pressed to find a physical activity they can participate in, making the role these horses play even broader in its spectrum. I can’t help but reflect on how hard these horses work; they also deserve to be recognized for the huge contributions they make to so many lives!As the last Thursday evening class of the Fall session, we took it easy and tried to have fun tonight by letting the ladies do what they wished for much of the class. Some concentrated on patterns, but my rider, mounted on Ceeray, wanted to trot as much as the instructor would allow and even asked if she could try riding without a leader! As a sidewalker, I only had to walk alongside Ceeray in case of emergency – no direct hold was required. Her independence, competence and skill matches virtually any novice rider I’ve ever seen and I have no doubt that she will eventually reach her goal of riding solo.
As we parted ways I could tell everyone would miss the weekly lesson and talk had already turned to the Spring session, which will most likely be here before we know it. Winter is tough in a stable, however, and I can’t help but shiver as I consider what my one Saturday a month of barn chores will be like when we are experiencing freezing temperatures! Brrrrrr!!!