We’re very lucky to live in horse heaven on the Mornington Peninsula. Or should it be the other way around? Sometimes I suspect the horses have domesticated and trained the Peninsula folk to worship them. I know friends who have acupuncturists, physiotherapists and farriers for their horses, and on special occasions, hairdressers who do fancy horse french braids. I on the other hand, have not seen a manicurist for 4 months and suspect that my hairdryer is cultivating mushrooms somewhere under my bathroom sink.
Horses are absolutely stunning creatures though. The kids love feeding carrots to the horses next door and started showing an interest in riding, so we started lessons recently at a peaceful, spacious riding school called Cowarie Park (http://www.cpridingschool.com/) just 5 minutes from our house.
The kids have only had 4 lessons so far, but I’m so impressed with the quality of the equestrian teaching here on the Peninsula. I think Finn was doing rising trot properly on his third lesson, and it is so cute to see 4 year old Dylan bouncing along wonkily with a huge grin on her face when the pony bursts into a springy trot.
Just look at that grin! Animals really are magic for children. It is a real confidence booster for a tiny little girl to realise that she can control a creature 5 times the size of her. It also teaches children to listen carefully, have a deep respect for animals and learn to develop their communication and coordination skills.
Over here, horse riding is taken very seriously. Our instructor Kellie West teaches friends of mine with 3 year old kids, and even the small ones are taught all the basics thoroughly from day one in the full arena.
Going over the poles.
Finn waiting patiently for his turn.
Finn has always had a quiet confidence around animals. He looks like a natural on the pony!
Leading Bonnie back into the stables after a hard day’s work.
Our riding instructor Kellie shows the kids how to take the tack off and brush Bonnie. Ponies love the sensation of a brush, it’s like a massage for them.
In my next life I’d like to come back as a horse on the Peninsula for sure!