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A Time to Grow

This has been a time of discovery for my girls.  They left the barn they rode at for a year.  Due to construction we could not make lessons for three weeks and I thought to myself that there must be a closer place.  We found a barn 10 minutes away where I could drop the girls off and return to pick them up if I had something pressing that needed my attention.  This barn has group lessons which intrigued my girls and most importantly the girls would be split up.  

The time has come that it is no longer appropriate to do everything together.  If one girl gets more lesson time and attention it causes resentment and bitterness.  They need space, room to grow and discover, room to fail and pick themselves up again, or to succeed on their merits and celebrate without fear of hurting feelings or taking away from one another.  

It has been a season of horses and barns.  Lilah rides at the barn 10 minutes away.  She loves her group lesson.  The trainer is strict, disciplined and always asks for her best.  Because the expectations are so clear, Lilah delivers her best every time.  Her best may not always be pretty.  One pony gave her a run for her money and she had to dig deep and learn lots to control him and have him respond to what she was asking from him.  The lesson here is perseverance and determination.  She did not give up.  She learned how to tack and untack and how to put on a lead line.  She has ridden bareback and trotted with no stirrups.  She has exercised with the group as well as jumped over the cross rails giggling like crazy.  In just 6 weeks, my little girl has grown.

Grace has found her own way too, at another barn, a bit further from home, and a perfect fit for her.  This barn focuses on equine therapy, is smaller, more intimate, and does not offer group lessons.  Grace feels at home here and wants to spend as much time at this barn as possible.  The setting is tranquil, on the hill above a reservoir, shaded by trees, populated by rescued cats and therapy dogs.  For Grace, it’s a little slice of heaven.  It is also just the right balance of structure and nurturing, for Grace needs both.  She is eager to jump and cantor and compete again.  This will come.  Hopefully she will be volunteering here as well, merging her love of kids with her love of horses. 

We have also visited a friend’s barn and watched her ride.  Her farm was so welcoming, allowing us to watch a lesson, visit with the horses and ask questions.  I love that they are able to share something they love with a friend.  It makes the bond of friendship stronger and gives them the opportunity to talk with someone who “gets it”.  These girls.  I imagine great things are in store for them.  I love love love watching them discover themselves and their abilities through horseback riding.


  1. Oh Jess I am so glad they have both found these lovely places. I just love all your pictures. It just shows how much they love this and how much they have both accomplished. Beautiful!!!!!!!

    1. It has been a hard journey the past few months but they have both found what they were looking for. I am happy that they are happy.


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