It's More Than Just Riding Lessons

by L.F..
(Thornhill)

It started something like this ...."Hello, I've been riding on and off since I was 3, but never had any lessons. I see your sign said you specialize in adult beginners, but even though I'm not really a beginner ....."

That was 12 years ago, and I have Saskia and Harmony Ranch to thank for more than just riding lessons.

First off, I learned about humility. (Oops, so much for years of riding under my belt.) It was frustrating, to say the least, to learn that I wasn't a natural like "daddy" encouraged me to believe. But I enjoyed the lessons and continued to come up because it was the only way to be around horses.

Then, somehow, the magic of Harmony Ranch started to work its way into my bones. Sometimes I would find myself driving up just to hang out and watch others take lessons. Or maybe just to have extra grooming time with my current trusty steed.

One day, a beautiful black mare stared out at me through the bars of her stall and I felt my heart skip a beat. It just so happened that my husband also took a fancy to her, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Eleven years have passed, and I crave time spent up at the barn with my black mare. They have not been easy years, but with Saskia guiding me, I believe I have grown.

Her never ending encouragement has truly been tested. It's 5 steps forward, 9 steps back. And each time I'm down, she takes me aside and helps to pick up the pieces.

As a teacher, Saskia has shown skills that I wish regular school teachers had exhibited. If one explanation doesn't work, she tries a different one. And on and on until she detects a little light in my eye that says, yes, now I understand.

Saskia never gave up on me, and because of that, I won't ever give up on her. They say that we learn the most from those who expect the most. And for that I am forever thankful that Saskia never felt compelled to apologize for demanding excellence in those around her.

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