Taking a Challenge

Jordyn with all her Christmas gear on her Snowney.

Jordyn with all her Christmas gear on her Snowney.

Jordyn, who agreeably trotted all over as a toddler, has been unwilling to trot since I put her up on Feather and Feather bolted away.  Jordyn went flying to the ground.

Understandably, Jordyn was not interested in trying to trot her pony again.   And the more the family has pushed Jordyn to try again the more resistant she has become.

Jordyn was spending a couple of days with us over the holidays.   We were visiting with our friend Kathy.  She challenged Jordyn to try trotting.  But this time she challenged her to count her trot steps.  She told her, “just see how many you can do!”

We got home and immediately Jo was ready to ride.  She started with some basic walking around the arena.  At one point early in the ride, Snow pulled his head and reins out of Jo’s hands. Frustrated she said, “I hate this pony!”  I got her organized with her reins and feet in the stirrups.  She looked at me and said, “I want to trot!”

I was surprised.  Somehow when Jo and Kathy were discussing this, I thought it was going to be on the lunge line.  I started to walk with her towards the lunge line.  “No, Granny, you need to trot alongside me!”

Oh, what a great idea!  I can’t think of many things I can do better than run through deep sand in cowboy boots with two bad hips.  But by God, if Jo wanted to try to trot, I would give it a shot.  I grabbed hold of Snow’s bridle and started shuffling down the long wall of the arena.  Jo was second guessing her decision but I was moving forward.

It was a pretty great scene.   Fat, white pony being virtually dragged down the arena while a little girl fearfully hung on for dear life.  Oh, and granny’s limping and stumbling along like a Friday night drunk.

But miracles do happen.  Snow started a little jog.  Jo’s eyes lit up.  And she started counting.  We made 32 steps at a trot before granny and Snow slowed to a walk ( I blame Snow).   Lauren and I both applauded her brave progress.  Then she wanted to do it again.  We made 64 trotting steps this time.  It is really pretty awesome because Jo gets so focused on counting and beating her last number, she relaxes and just trots along.

Next day at the barn, she ran to tell Miss Kathy how many steps she had taken. Jo hugged her and said,  “Thanks for the great advice!”

Jordyn’s parents and other grandparents came down yesterday to see her finally trot Snow.   Thankfully, Jo glad agreed to allow Lauren to jog beside her instead of me.  Probably, because they feared I would slip and fall and Snow would just trot right over me.  I am also thankful because this time Jo and Snow trotted 108 steps.

Jo with Lauren as she prepares to meet another challenging day on Bruno.

Jo with Lauren as she prepares to meet another challenging day on Bruno.

Lauren has been facing her share of challenges as she has focused her vacation time on getting Bruno started as sport horse.  He has been difficult and argumentative.  But she has gotten some terrific tips on how to work with him instead fighting against him.  She has learned what makes the big horse listen and do as she asks.  Today they successfully navigated a short course of jumps.  He cleared a three-foot jump with ease.  A week ago he was barely going over a trot pole.

My girls are standing up to meeting new challenges.  Kendyll got in on the fun riding along with Lauren and Jordyn.  Holiday fun!  Thanks for riding along.  Enjoy your holiday.

Snow is being a trooper!

Snow is being a trooper!

2 thoughts on “Taking a Challenge

  1. GREAT entry–and “exercise for all.” (I “feel your pain”–I have recently started having pains down my right leg–starting in the rump and going to the ankle. Sciatica. I know that condition has nothing to do with age, but I highly resent “falling apart” at this time of my life. Anyway, glad you’re getting YOUR exercise and Snow is learning he still has a job and it involves being well mannered. And thumbs up to Bruno as well. Sometimes all you need to do is show them “the way.”

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