The rainy weather has made scheduling lessons difficult. One hour it’s sunny and warm, the next one windy and wet, making riding unsafe. I seem to be canceling when it ends up being sunny and showing up at the arena in the pouring rain. After several days of cancellations, I was frustrated at my time being wasted and called Lauren, Sammy’s mom, to invite Sammy out for this evenings feed and clean. Sammy, age 7, can’t get enough of the horses, but her family can only afford two lessons a month. Helping out at the barn is a freebie for the parents and it would be a good excuse to give Cowgirl, who is shedding buckets of hair, the grooming she’d been needing.
Turns out I couldn’t have called at a better time. Yesterday quiet, shy, submissive, obedient Sammy had thrown herself on the ground, wailed and sobbed and fumed at the injustice of only getting to ride twice a month (rather than once a week). I told Lauren it was the kind of story I loved to hear. It’s because of passion like this that I’m willing to endure the pain, suffering and exhaustion that comes with caring for horses and teaching kids to ride. Lauren said to me, “I knew you’d say that. My first thought was, ‘ugh, I wish she’d stop’. My second thought was, ‘this is going to make Deb happy.’ ”
After forty-five minutes of scrubbing hair off of Cowgirl (Sammy called her the sand storm because of the clouds of red hair that floated off her), Sammy and I did manage to saddle up and go for a short ride, which she enjoyed immensely, even if I did insist she keep her hands off the saddle.

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