A lot of you may not know that one of the passions of my childhood was horseback riding. When we lived in Brazil, we were fortunate to catch wind of this beautiful horse park that offered riding lessons. Several of my friends and I took lessons once a week. I remember the first several lessons involved sitting on a horse with no saddle, just a pad. We were instructed to do different things as the horse walked, trotted, or cantered in a circle: sitting frontwards, backwards, kneeling, and eventually standing on the horse's back. Beginning this way, emphasizing the importance of learning the feel of the horse beneath you, is something that will stay with me forever. In the 16 years since we left Brazil, I've probably been on a horse a grand total of 4 or 5 more times, but I have the best memories of riding as a little girl, and seeing a horse and rider still gives me a nostalgic thrill.
Anyway, our beloved upstairs neighbor Bethany is a girl of all trades. She's an embryologist at an IVF clinic, she's probably the best cook I know, she's a phenomenal dog trainer, and she's also a riding instructor at a horse park that offers equestrian therapy for the special needs community. She told me that their program was looking to start a Mommy and Me/Daddy and Me program, and that they wanted some photos of a toddler riding a horse for their brochure. Problem was, none of the people in charge of the program had access to any babies. So... would we mind if T were their model? Uhm, let me think about that -- NOT AT ALL.
|If this isn't the cutest, most hilarious thing you've ever seen, you have no heart.|
So on a Saturday evening when the light was just right, Ty and I drove out to this gorgeous park with T and put a little helmet on him (aaah!!!) and up he went onto the horse. One of us was obviously always steadying him, but he LOVED it. We walked the horse around and around this little corral and when the horse stopped, T started bobbing his head quite forcefully to get her to move again. The cuteness was overwhelming. I might have died several times just watching it all.
Bethany graciously gave us some of the photos, so I had to share them with you. I have butterflies just looking at them again.
|T loved her ears, and luckily Miss Idgie was terribly patient with him.|
|Be still my heart!|
|Definitely my new favorite shot of our family|