My son went to his 3rd ever riding lesson this week and boy did he learn.
Having invested modestly in a pair of tesco jodphurs and wellies, he mounted today with a whole new level of confidence, sat bolt upright and heels down, very much looking and feeling the part. Lots of trotting work he was rising well , but getting a little carried away with his pony club kicks, tipping back as he did so.
'Sit up a bit', I encouraged from the side lines, not wanting to say too much, but aware how easily your seat can send the wrong message. At the same time I thought to myself, 'shush, leave him be, look at that confidence, don't worry so'.
Besides, he was on a lead, so all good right? Absolutely spot on, until we had a change of lead. So confident was his stance that there was no cause for alarm at a 30 second gap between one girl departing and another taking up his reins.
He was clearly sure that he knew what to do and kicked his (now un-lead) pony ahead and I watched with alarm as he didn't rise out the saddle at all, but leant back and gripped with his legs....well we all know what happened next.
And so, a little ahead of his peers in the beginners class he had his first canter, only half way around the school until we had instructor intervention, screaming as he went, hastily dismounting once back at a halt and legging it out of the school.
He got back on, with a little coaxing, and had a smile back on his face 5 minutes later. Lesson learned, I hope and with a bit of a post mortem on the way down the road, he now knows how NOT to canter too.
I have to say, 'Well sat', little boy, but next time remember the saying is 'scream if you want to go faster'!