36lbs of Might

I gave Red Feather a nuzzle on Sunday, again thanking him for keeping my baby safe during her second horseback riding lesson.

It seems my just-turned six-year old has found her calling.

Hala on Red Feather

I know every little girl loves horses. I did at her age. I still do. I’m not sure what it is…for me it was that whole fuzzy, furry, lovable ‘pet’ thing…but also the power associated with a horse. I felt much more than my age when atop a horse. And my tiny peanut of a daughter…all 36lbs of her…must feel strong and sure as she grabs the reigns and clicks her heels.

36lbs and she’s telling this majestic creature where to go and what to do…and she does it without hesitation and without fear. Her tiny voice yelling “JUMP!” or “Woah!” is really enough to make you laugh a bit, thinking this powerful animal will obey…but Red Feather dutifully does as she commands, thus giving her confidence and even more spunk as she attempts to post at a faster trot.

And a cowgirl emerged.

Maybe my little girl’s love of riding won’t last long. Maybe this is another phase. But I doubt it. This is the two-year old who wanted nothing more than to ride a horse. This is the three-year old that wanted nothing more than to ride a horse. This is the four-year old that wanted nothing more than to ride a horse. This is the five-year old that insisted for her sixth birthday she was getting on a horse.

…and now she may never get off.


  1. Oh, I was that kid. Begged to ride a horse at 3. My father had a friend with horses, and he didn’t know what he’d gotten himself into when he put me on, led me around, and I refused to get off for two hours. If your girl is like me, you may wake up one day to find that you own a horse. Or two. That you know all about the fine points of currycombs and jodphurs and oats. That an inordinate amount of your time will be spent by the side of a riding ring, wiping off boots, chewing your nails in anxiety and cheering. And you’ll get an inordinate, wonderful amount of time with your girl, seeing her do things you can’t believe on the magnificent back of a horse.

  2. Good for her. My 7YO has been begging to get on a horse, but I was afraid she was too small. Now that I see your daughter, I may not be able to stop her.

  3. I am still that kid at 29. I found a lovely lady on Craigslist over a year ago (thanks to a local and small community over by her, family friends of ours actually ended up knowing her…so it wasn’t as scary) who put an ad out for someone to ride with and help her groom and tack up her 3 Paso Finos because of a wrist injury. This has grown into a great friendship. I use to go weekly and then life got busy…but after a trip this past weekend, I know I need to find time for it. It gives me SUCH joy and I hope to be able to keep doing this for a long time!

  4. How cool. She looks great up there.

    I feel the same way about horses. Large animals in general, really. They make me feel more like myself. I love them.

  5. Now that I’m home and on your website, I can comment here!

    I love this entry – as I said yesterday on Twitter, it reminded me of being a camp counselor working with the younger girls during horse camp. They were so less afraid than I was – and I gathered their strength.

    When do we see a picture of Erin on a gentle beast?

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