WARNING! Proud mama alert!
Just thought I'd throw that out there, because as I'm creating this post and looking at these photos yet again, my heart is busting out all over. The girls 'performed' as part of an 'end of the year' display of what they've learned at this new riding school, Mauritiushof. The day was to include all sorts of games and events on horseback, and they'd been practicing every weekend for months. And yet, because the venues in which they performed were so different from anything we are accustomed to in the U.S., they couldn't really explain to me what they were doing.
This first event included the eight senior, more advanced girls who showed off their dressage talents in a costumed routine, set to music. The Biologist (below on the right) described it as "synchronized swimming on horseback". The mama's mouth was agape the whole time. Simply beautiful!
Next up, The Thinker!
Anyone ever heard of vaulting? The kind of vaulting on a horse? She had told me she was practicing to do 'tricks' on a horse. "OK, Darlin'.........do I need to be worried?"
Open house day arrives.....and yes, I probably should have been worried........See for yourself.....
This was the girl who just a few short years ago would not go near a horse!
Next, the Biologist and the Comedian compete in the Jump and Drive.........
A fun, timed, cross-country course where, in the last leg, a 'helper' scoops up the rider of the horse and takes her through another course around barrels.....in a wheel-barrow!!!
The Biologist prepares her horse......
The Comedian keeps her scooped and flies around the barrels!!
The last event was a team event where different levels of riders competed in mixed teams.
Sisters ride together for the opening leg....
I am a proud mama. But not necessarily because of their equestrian skills. Those are a bonus. Keep in mind that all of this in going on in Deutsch! In German! The friends they've made here, the learning that has taken place. Truly amazing what God has done. Both girls have grown and matured. The younger has discovered a love of animals that surprises the mama. She only began this venture on horseback 9 months ago, and her abilities astound all of us!
And here's the kicker! After seeing the oldest shine this day, the champion owners (part owners of the school and called 'champions' by me because of all the awards and trophies displayed in their barn) from the Netherlands asked the Biologist if they could train her personally, on one of their show horses to get ready for the show season!
What a great day in the sun!!