Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The summer riders

The Summer Riders by Patricia Leitch was another favorite title on my Scholastic book shelf. 
In this sequel to For Love of a Horse, Jinny's parents invite two unprivileged children to stay with them for the summer.  Much to her dismay, Jinny is expected to share her Arabian  mare, Shantih with the girl, Marlene.  How can she make her parents understand that this is a bad idea?  After all, Shantih is a hot blooded desert horse and completely unsuitable for a beginner.  Nothing good can come of this.
About a week ago, I hurt my back.  Seth listened to my symptoms, nodded his head and said, "Two weeks."

"No way,"  I responded.  "I'll be fine in just a day or two."

And I was, mostly, at least until I rode Rev.  
"I'm telling you,"  Seth said, as I told him about my relapse, "You need to give it more time.  Two weeks." 
So instead of riding, I went to the barn and groomed Rev, turned him out and took roughly one million pictures of him. 
That was fun for a little while, but eventually we both wanted to do more. 
Rev is a horse that thrives on work and attention.  He doesn't want to stand in his pen and do nothing all day.  Since I can't ride him myself, I decided to recruit some summer riders.
 Like Shantih, Rev really isn't a beginner ride and Ryan really is a beginner.  
Fortunately, I'm not like Jinny.  I love sharing my horses, and I know how to take care of beginners.  We started on the lunge line and did a lot of walk-halt transitions and changes of direction.  After a while, both Ryan and Rev were relaxed enough to explore the arena on their own.
Today it was James' turn.
Although he's younger than Ryan, James has spent a lot more time in the saddle.  He asked me if he could trot, so we headed right to the round pen.   Things started out well...
but then James' leg started to slip... 
and Rev got worried. 
We regrouped and talked a little about pace and contact. 
The second attempt...
was much better.
Look at them go!  Oh, this picture makes me so happy!
After the excitement of trotting, we went back into the big arena...
and James and Rev spent some time walking over little obstacles. 
I really, really, really want to get back into the saddle, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying this summer rider phase. 
"Forward the eggs!"


  1. The redheads are cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute together :)

  2. James looks GREAT on Rev!! :D
    Praying your back will hurry up and heal. :)

  3. I don't think you realise that those boys will probably remember that day for a long time. Coming from a non horsey family, it was my greatest past times enjoying rides on my mum's best friends appaloosas. I had no other access to horses and it really cultivated the horse lover inside of me :) You did a really lovely thing and Rev handled it really well.

    By the way, was Jinny the girl based in the UK and had horse drawings on the wall or something? I remember borrowing horse books from the library and never finished a series, wondering if that was the one :)

    1. Yeah, the Jinny books were set in a fictional part of Scotland somewhere. I remember reading them when I was younger and trying to track down exactly where but having no luck! XD

    2. What I didn't know until much later, is that Patricia Leitch wrote a whole slew of Jinny and Shantih books. The Summer Riders is actually the *third* in the series following For Love of a Horse and A Devil to Ride. As best as I can tell, most of the books were not released in the US.

    3. I've only got a couple that I found at charity shops over the years so I haven't even read the full series either!

  4. Tell Seth he has my permission to kick your butt.

  5. Great pictures of the boys on Rev and of Rev by himself! I'm sorry you hurt your back and I hope Seth is right and it's *only* two weeks. My back is one of the reasons why I can't ride right now. It's in back shape and I need to work on it some.

    I don't know if I ever read those books. The Summer Riders sounds kind of familiar, but I'm not entirely sure. I used to love when the Schoolastic book sales used to come around. I hope you and your family have an enjoyable 4th!

  6. Haha, you'll definitely make horsemen of them yet! Rev's very patient with them. :)

    1. I know I've said this before, but Rev is really the kindest horse ever. He is also completely honest and doesn't have a mean or sneaky bone in his body. He's too sensitive and reactive to be a really good lesson horse, but he does fine on a limited basis. The funny thing is that every time he gets really worried he makes a beeline for me. I guess I'm his safety blanket now!

    2. D'awwww! Horses like that are worth their weight in gold - even when they're unsure of something, they just trust in the person they know and work through it. :)

  7. I love these pics! His face tells the whole story, what a kind guy. He's really concentrating! Rev, I mean. LOL.

  8. They are adorable! Your boys remind me of me and my friend years ago, riding horses far too big for us and worrying people who saw us when we'd be zooming round all over the place. Good times haha. It's amazing how horses adapt to the riders ability though, most horses I've come across, I can ride fine and then a complete beginner can hop on and they'll look after them pretty much

  9. I think it's wonderful that the boys were willing to ride (esp. Ryan, who I believe had to be bribed :-0) and that Rev was SUCH a good boy! I love the photo of him with his tongue sticking out, too.

    Too bad I don't live closer by, as you would have noooooo problem getting me to come ride the beastie while you're laid up. I'm dying to ride and have no opportunity.