Madly in Love

By Lisa Sleeckx

We have a small horse farm in Ohio where we share our love of horses with others by offering lessons, camps and trail rides for all ages.


We usually don't start lessons until maybe the age of 7 or 8 years old but we had a call from a mom who asked if we could please give her 3 year old girl some lessons... 


She said, “She is madly in love with horses and won't leave me alone about it!” 


So, I decided to check her out and give it a try, with the understanding that a 3 year old attention span is very short. 

The first lesson she shows up at her face was full of spunk and confidence. And admiration for me - the one who was going to make her dream come true


And, I noticed she had the cutest curly hair I’d even seen. 


The first lesson I told her that she has to ride with me on my horse so I can show her how to hold the reins, and what to say and where to go. 


I put my hand over her little hand and started teaching her how to neck rein. 


We started in the paddock and after two laps she asked, "Ok, what's next?” I decided to take her on the trails in the "forest"… 

We were in the forest for a few minutes when she took her one little hand and removed my hand from her other little hand.  I smiled and allowed her to do it, to see how she would do with the reins alone…


And to my surprise she was doing pretty good!


She was imitating what she'd felt me do up to that point. 


About 20 minutes into our 45 minute lesson she said as sweet as she could, "Next time I don't need you.  I can ride my own horse. I know where to go and what to do". 


We left the forest and came back by the apple trees to give the horses an apple treat, and then finished up. 


As we approached her mom, she said, "Mom I know what to say!” Her mom replied, surprised by the remark, “what did you say?” And the little girl said "Good boy!".  Just the way I had probably said it on the ride, with much love since I adore our herd. 


I know that reading the words she said won't have the impact that she has had on me with her sweet high pitched, hopeful, ornery 3 year old tone.


The second lesson came and she was super excited to see me and the horses. I let her know that I am going to allow her to ride “Cinder” all alone today -  her face was glowing. 


We started to groom him when her mom left to go to the restroom, and in that same sweet voice, she looked at me and said, "Cinder likes me more that he likes you".  I'm like “Oh really?” 


The words of this 3 year old took me back to the feelings I once had at a very young age when I also yearned for my own horse… she wanted this so badly, and I could relate. 

She then said, “Cinder knows me, he knows what I look like.”  She said this while she was brushing him in the same spot for 5 minutes.  She was dazed by this experience for sure. 


I led her around the arena for maybe 10 minutes, and once again with her 3 year old tone, she asks, "What's next? Can we go to the apple tree?"  I then realized that this little girl’s lessons will have to be designed just for her. 


I now look forward to our adventures together and to hear her cute voice each time, and I wonder what she may say. 


I hope that this little story puts a smile on  your face as you enjoy your little ones or wait for grand children to come.  


With love and to the love of horses...

‘Til next time, Lisa


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