Get ready for the craziest riding post so far

Tonight’s session at the stables was a bit different, and an absolute BLAST

Has20Juin14-01Caramiel, the buthead midget Shetland, and Camille

Before you jump to conclusions and scream animal abuse, let me just say that Caramiel is the stables’ mascot, a much loved iconic individual that everybody dotes on and spoils with abandon. Plus, Camille must weight about 75 lbs. Tops

Has20Juin14-04Other than that extra, and very special guest, the lesson started rather normal

Has20Juin14-06Marla was on before everybody else

Has20Juin14-05Anaé was here this time, riding Amourette

Has20Juin14-07Marla went next to last in line

Has20Juin14-08It was all reasonably usual, bordering on boring

Has20Juin14-09The coach appeared to be in a so so mood, and the girls got liberally yelled at for mundane faults, not enough security distance, ill positioned hands or feet…

Has20Juin14-10Nothing that could ruin their fun, though

Has20Juin14-11Suddenly the pace was picked up, and Gwen sent everybody galloping (one after the other). Marla, who usually insists on staying at the trot, even loped a few strides without really noticing 😉

Has20Juin14-12Eclaire zooming around, as usual

Has20Juin14-19Then things got *really* good, and they started jumping. O joy

Has20Juin14-13(I love that tail !!)

Has20Juin14-02

Has20Juin14-03All five ponies have very different jumping styles, so do their little riders

Has20Juin14-14It’s not what it looks like. And it is. Clearly, Pirouette wasn’t too happy about going over that bar. But while she could probably have very easily escaped Marla’s control, she didn’t

Has20Juin14-15Instead, she jumped *completely* crooked (I have to admit I have never seen that before, ever !). And weirder yet, Marla didn’t seemed psyched about it one bit !?

Has20Juin14-16That looked a bit more like a rodeo move than a clean jump, but over they went, both of them. And of course, galloped away, with a smiling Marla on board. I was a little shaken, but happy

Has20Juin14-17Here Amourette chose the easy route : not jumping. Period

Has20Juin14-18So Gwen had her going around a lap, and she went over nicely the second time around

Has20Juin14-20Polhaar, also known as “Madame Popo”, is a stylish fullbred Welsh pony, who has the scariest jumping technique imaginable. She looks like she’s gonna stop cold before the bar. Then goes vertically up from all four feet in a brutal and shuddering way

Has20Juin14-21PMSecond lap for Marla and Pirouette. Still crooked, but a bit better

Has20Juin14-22And still coming down a bit rough ! Thank God, Marla seems to have naturally comprehended the safest position to adopt. Hands down, shoulder blades back, and sitting deeply in the saddle

Has20Juin14-23Then everybody calmed and slowed down a bit (jumping tends to raise horses’ emotional state quite a bit)

Has20Juin14-24and geared up to do it in the other direction

Has20Juin14-25It was a gorgeous summer evening, and parents were numerous and engaged

Has20Juin14-27Here comes Eclaire

Has20Juin14-28Who sprawls over the bars with arched back and extended front legs

Has20Juin14-29Polhaar, in her terrifying sheep/goat hop

Has20Juin14-30The little Ambre is brave, but 100% crops of her face show she’s a little unsure about the whole deal 😉

Has20Juin14-32And Marla’s turn. Gwen had to ask her to reach the jump nearly all the way at the walk, otherwise Pirouette gets real excited and performs much bigger jumps than needed, that Marla can’t quite sit though yet !

Has20Juin14-31Here on the right at the gate, you can see my not very confident husband, quite concerned with his daughter’s safety !

Has20Juin14-33But it went *beautifully*

Has20Juin14-34Up, and down. Just smooth

Has20Juin14-38Oh, that’s precious

Has20Juin14-37Amourette

Has20Juin14-35Miss Fright

Has20Juin14-39And lil’ Caramiel again, with all parents pressed at the gate to enjoy that truly unique show…

Has20Juin14-47After that Gwen called a race !

Has20Juin14-40And was stupefied to see Marla and Pirouette loping away to the goal

Has20Juin14-41Yes, Marla who never wants to canter !

Has20Juin14-42Just very serenely loping to victory !!

Has20Juin14-43The next time they were all checking on each other and eager to start. But Gwen had said “trot only, please”

Has20Juin14-44So they did, except Eclaire who cheated and loped anyway, lol

Has20Juin14-46She can trot pretty fast, too !

Has20Juin14-45Here their mission was to catch Caramiel !

Has20Juin14-49Who had no intention to be caught 😉

Has20Juin14-48And decided a little rebellion was in order !

Has20Juin14-50Next game, they tied a rope to the back of his saddle to act as his “tail”, and the other girls had to try and grab that

Has20Juin14-51In pursuit

Has20Juin14-52And finally, after a messy mélée where I suspect Camille to have arranged Marla’s win, my baby got the “tail” and “won”

Has20Juin14-53PMAll in all girls just had fabulous fun with their respective ponies, and one another, under the loving eyes of their amused parents. It was a cute and fun evening, which also honed their riding skills quite effectively.

We are leaving first thing tomorrow morning for Virginia, where we rent a fantastic lakefront property with NO internet access. So don’t expect any post for a little over a week, but the NEX7 and lenses are coming along, and I promise a load of pictures when we get back !! Be safe, have fun and…
STAY TUNED 😉

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About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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