For her seventh birthday, Seth's niece, Liliana, asked for a pony.
She didn't get one, but she did get the next best thing--a birthday ride. When I saw the pictures on Facebook, I told Seth, "We need to get that girl to Colorado!" One thing led to another, and, with Carol's help, we were able to invite the entire Buxton family to spend Thanksgiving with us.
They arrived Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, they brought a cold front with them. It was twenty five degrees and snowing on Thursday morning. This may have deterred most people, but Lilie and I are horse girls. We're not afraid of a little cold. We bundled up and headed out to the barn.
I check all "my" horses every time I go to the barn, so our first stop was Sprite's stall.It was love at first sight.
Then we caught up with Santana and his owner, Mindy.
We got him ready and led him to the ring.
Up to this point, Lilie had been absolutely fearless. However, she was understandably nervous when it came time to climb aboard such a big horse.
Because of that, the first part of her ride...
was all about getting her to relax.
Once she was comfortable, we practiced walking,
and walking again.
We walked with one hand in the air...
and we walked over poles.
Then we practiced steering around cones.Since Lilie was doing so well...
we decided to go for a little ride outside the arena.
We walked to the parking lot where Lilie's dad was waiting with her little sister, Ivelyse.
Then it was off to the twenty runs to check on Goldie and Chino.By this time, Lilie's fear had vanished. She was completely at home on Santana's back.
On that note I decided it was time to call it a day. Although Lilie insisted she was fine, I could see the cold was beginning to take a toll on her.
We led Santana back to his pasture.and fed him a couple treats.
Then she leaned into me and whispered through blue lips and chattering teeth, "Can I ride Sprite now?"
It's official: Liliana is a true horse girl!
I love my niece!