Our youngest daughter will be celebrating a birthday this week. I can hardly believe she will turn 11 years old! Already!
Last year, admittedly it was a huge transition for my hubby and I, having no more children residing in our home in single digit ages. A first!
It hit like a ton of bricks, probably because we had become used to having little ones and adult children all at the same time within the family.
This young horse crazy gal has a small wish list resting on my desk, just in case I might want to think on one or more of those particular things. She's been shopping the "Greenhawk" flyer, of that - we can tell. :)
She's crossed the threshold of "little girl" in many ways since our move to this area.
It took some time to get used to the idea but this young gal now holds a job and heads off to "work" every Saturday.
Her horse instructor has give her and the other young ladies about the same ages (10,11,12) specific extra duties each week for volunteering their time, wisely grooming this bunch for next summer's trail riding and horse schooling lessons.
She takes her responsibilities at the horse barn very seriously. The horse loving community there is utterly positive in nature and the ages vary from mothers to young ones, perfect for real tried and true healthy socialization.
Everyone follows a rhythm working happily altogether and are fiercely protective while watching out for one another.
I too love to hang around there, watching my girls enjoy their love of all things horse. And many of the gals have adopted me as their secondary mother, coming for a visit on their horse rides (horse poop on the property and all...laugh) , or with their lunches in hand during breaks from the barn chores.
I still find myself making my way over there throughout the day to make sure everything is alright, especially when the temperature plummet colder.
Our daughter is very diligent to her preparations and wonderfully organized.
- She is sure to pack her lunch the evening before and fill her water bottles full to the top with hydration for the day.
- She packs her bag with her horse wear extras; warmer clothing, gloves, helmet, whip, and snow pants.
- She heads to bed the night before a bit earlier so she is rested for her job. :)
Her "work day hours" consist of those between about 10:30am and depending on what her name on the white board entails for duties and chores, she completes her work day between 3-4:00pm, though a few times she and/or her sister remains until dinnertime.
This horse was very playful this day, bumping her
with his nose while she was cleaning out his hooves.
with his nose while she was cleaning out his hooves.
She loves to groom the horses. She masters over them well, without fear (gulp, not sure about this) when turning them in and out of the fields and she is strict and bossy when necessary. This is almost foreign to me to hear her like this, very serious and very thorough at accomplishing her duties and tasks for the day at the barn.
In return for her efforts throughout the autumn, winter, and spring - no doubt she will acquire many free horse riding days in summer, free horse camps and plenty of interaction with her beloved horsey friends.
Ask her what she does there and she'll tell you;
"I'm the pony trainer."
And she is.
Many a cold footed mama stands watch in the barn's indoor viewing window, trying to maintain some sort of warmth during winter while watching their daughters riding inside, me included.
She's been jumping horses, something I'm just not terribly comfortable with yet as the last time I stood to watch her, she cut the corner too close before rounding to jump and went flying off her horse right under the window I was standing at. Just like a baseball runner flying into home plate, she slid on her chest into a face plant stop. My heart was in my throat. Then she jumped up and smiled at me. ugh...
When returning home after a hard day's work, she speaks of "her horses sold over the week or the new stock she now has to work with", speaking as owner of all, just like all the other young gals who ride and work alongside of her.
Last week she was shaken up a bit when she found out her favorite pony was being sold. She wanted to check the funds in her bank account and have her sister pitch in to purchase it as their own.
With her passionate pleas to continue the training of this particular pony, the owner has now decided to keep it for a while longer. So, our daughter's bitty funds are still safe. Besides, her instructor felt if the girls owned this pony, it would not allow them to advance properly to be concentrating on only one horse when she has 30 or more at any one time for them to ride and learn from.
Our daughter is just thrilled her favorite pony will remain at the barn. Needless to say, she's now working extra hard to prove to the owner it is worth keeping for the summer schools ahead. The look of "content" beams from her sweet face from the results of this past week.
A pool of sweet young ladies surround her while at work, I can see warm friendships forming and amazing great memories to come from there.
When her older sister isn't working at her own job, joining her for a ride or work session, both our girls are happy as can be with their location and proximity to this horse stable.
It is during heartwarming times such as this I am completely reassured and I know for sure - we were directed by heavenly guidance to settle down right here where we live. Horses merely a block away? Amazing.... Or is it?
Where will all this lead over time? Who knows.
I will however be eternally grateful for how this lovely presentation came upon us. Already ordained. Of that I am sure.