Riding

FIRST TIME IN A RIDING ARENA

Lili had her first ever riding lesson in an arena yesterday. It was a great experience, but challenging for Lili as the instructor spoke zero English. (Uncommon, but still possible in Finland especially in the rural areas.) Tonight we will see another riding school.  Here are a couple of pictures from yesterday of Lili on  Ellu.

The terminology is not totally intuitive to pick up on the go - here is a taste: 

walk - käynti

trot - ravi

canter - juoksulaukka

Phew. Well done Lili! 

 

 

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LAST NIGHT AT CABALLOS Y VINO

Out of all the things we have done in Andalucia, we will probably remember our time at Caballos y Vino the most. This is the home ranch of Sandra and Luis where Lili took her riding lessons - eight in all, consisting of six lessons and two long trail rides.

At the end of our month in Spain, Lili was able to freely canter on her own, ride a barrel race course at trot and canter and do several horse care chores all by herself. Her posture, confidence and joy of riding were all increased by leaps and bounds. And it was lovely for Sandra to have a student for a longer stretch as she often gets clients who only visit once or maybe twice.

A happy girl cantering with Spirit. 

A happy girl cantering with Spirit. 

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The trail ride on the last evening, first setting out with clients Ben and Alex from New York, and then coming back in the low evening sun.

The trail ride on the last evening, first setting out with clients Ben and Alex from New York, and then coming back in the low evening sun.

We have also got to know Sandra's parents Alfred and Barbara who are visiting from Germany and for our last evening we had a dinner together. They are such lovely people. Alfred would normally putter around the ranch with handyman work such as fixing a car, regrouting the masonry, preparing the outdoor pool for the summer season or power washing the patio. Barbara and I would sit, chat and do handwork - I picked up crocheting and have made many little coasters and cotton flowers, some with beads.

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Sandra's sister Manuela is coming to visit in a couple of weeks with her little son Max who is four. Alfred made a swing for his grandson, and Dante is testing it. All worked great!

Sandra's sister Manuela is coming to visit in a couple of weeks with her little son Max who is four. Alfred made a swing for his grandson, and Dante is testing it. All worked great!

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Here Alfred is showing his carving skills. Sandra won this ham at a local Horsemanship competition at a Romeria gathering. Note the special ham holder apparatus! 

Here Alfred is showing his carving skills. Sandra won this ham at a local Horsemanship competition at a Romeria gathering. Note the special ham holder apparatus! 

Here is our outdoor dinner after Lili's ride.  Dante made pasta with Gorgonzola and we also had a lentil stew and broccoli with garlic and balsamico. Sandra whipped up sautéed sprouted lentils (in the frying pan) and they were so good. We will definitely add that to our lentil repertory. The food was gone in a whiff and then it was time for our goodbyes. 

Here is our outdoor dinner after Lili's ride.  Dante made pasta with Gorgonzola and we also had a lentil stew and broccoli with garlic and balsamico. Sandra whipped up sautéed sprouted lentils (in the frying pan) and they were so good. We will definitely add that to our lentil repertory. The food was gone in a whiff and then it was time for our goodbyes. 

And what a lovely gift Lili received from Sandra at the end of the evening - she gave Lili the small riding  boots that we were able to borrow on the day we forgot to bring her cowboy boots. When we got home Lili washed the new boots for about half an hour in the shower and wore them at home all morning. Thank you so much!

And what a lovely gift Lili received from Sandra at the end of the evening - she gave Lili the small riding  boots that we were able to borrow on the day we forgot to bring her cowboy boots. When we got home Lili washed the new boots for about half an hour in the shower and wore them at home all morning. Thank you so much!

We hold so many happy memories of Sandra and her horses. Our hearts are full.     Until we we meet again! 

We hold so many happy memories of Sandra and her horses. Our hearts are full.

 

Until we we meet again! 

RIDING WITH PABLO

Here is one more huge gift we received from volunteering at Sayulitanimals: we got to know a really great place where to ride horses  - at Vista Paraiso with Pablo Braunschweig. People drive here all the way from Puerto Vallarta to take lessons.

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It is a gorgeous riding school with many lovely horses, and a proper jumping ring. Karen rides here, and took us with her one day to see the place. It looks like we may end up having time for six  lessons before we move on next week. 

Wow... I like it here. 

Wow... I like it here. 

Here Lili is practicing in the kids ring with Snowball. She is learning to keep her hands lower - check other photos for progress.

Here Lili is practicing in the kids ring with Snowball. She is learning to keep her hands lower - check other photos for progress.

Lili likes this picture. The helmet was a bit too big and it was falling on her face, but Lili thinks it gives a certain solidity, a 'military look'. This was also the first time Lili was riding with a crop.

Lili likes this picture. The helmet was a bit too big and it was falling on her face, but Lili thinks it gives a certain solidity, a 'military look'. This was also the first time Lili was riding with a crop.

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Here is Lili with Planet. 

Here is Lili with Planet. 

Nice riding girl portrait. 

Nice riding girl portrait. 

Learning to care for the gear.

Learning to care for the gear.

Showering Planet. It was a hot morning so I think both rider and horse were a bit sweaty.

Showering Planet. It was a hot morning so I think both rider and horse were a bit sweaty.

 

And here are some of our friends for inspiration: 

 

Karen doing a beautiful jump.  

Karen doing a beautiful jump.  

This is one of the 'big girls'. Unfortunately I do not know her name.

This is one of the 'big girls'. Unfortunately I do not know her name.

And here goes Stephanie on Apollo.  She has been such a kind and supportive teacher for Lili.

And here goes Stephanie on Apollo.  She has been such a kind and supportive teacher for Lili.