Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Horses and Riders

okay, so they are not that cheap!
Our Christmas present to the girls was horseback riding lessons.  For quite a while; even before we left Los Angeles,  Oleana has been begging for horseback riding.  Actually anything having to do with horses.  She just wanted to be around them.  I have to say, she does seem to be unusually comfortable around the huge creatures.  Unfortunately, riding lessons in L.A. were a bit beyond our means.  In fact, as I recall, it cost more just to park your car at Will Rogers Park than it costs for a riding lesson here in Kenya!  Not everything is less expensive in Kenya (for instance, we have decided that "Os" breakfast cereal is just not in our budget) but there are some things that are decidedly more affordable. 

That's Oona on Hedgehog and Oleana on Sololo and James, one of the instructors.  They are learning to ride English style, which means "posting" when you trot.  This took some getting used to and resulted in some very sore legs and bottoms after the first few lessons.  Now the girls seem to be getting their rhythm and balance and they come home not quite so sore.

Do you see the cloud of fine red dust floating all around Oleana?  This is African dust.  The soil here is very red.  By the end of the lesson, the girls are both covered in a fine layer of this red dust.  It also stains quite badly, so eventually everything here takes on a redish earth tint. 

This has been a wonderful experience for both girls so far.  For Oleana it is a passion.  She wants to talk about it constantly.  Leading up to the lesson: " what do you think we will do today?  Do you think I will trot on my own?  Do you think I will ride Sololo or Vanishing Trick?"

For Oona it is a source of pride.  The other day after school she says:  "You know, my friends don't believe me when I say that I ride horses.  They think I am too little or something."  I love this picture of Oona posting, tongue out, concentrating. 

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