Horsin' Around...

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One of the major selling points Matt used to get me to agree to come here was the fact that there is a very nice equestrian center 5 minutes from our home.
I pictured me and the girls taking lessons, hanging out at the stables...
*snort!  Crap...dreaming again.
Okay, well, not a total dream.  My two lovely little ladies are taking lessons...but even that wasn't for certain until yesterday.
Since we arrived here I kept bugging Matt to go check about the lessons.  I desperately wanted something for my girls to do outside of the house (and everyone else's house).  He finally got around to it and set up a day for us to go and have the girls ride.
We wake the girls up with the idea of riding...get to the stables...and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  After 40 minutes we're pretty sure no one was coming.  Well, wasn't that fun.
Later in the week Matt goes back and makes sure someone will be there the following Thursday.  We arrive for lessons at 7am.  Told the guy will be there at 7:30.  k....  So he comes along, with a horse.  I grab Lily and think if I can just get her on the horse, he won't question just how little she is...fingers crossed.  The trainer is confused though.  He thought it was just Sara.  With my head held high, I just smile and say.."nope, both girls will ride please."  So, he sends another guy to fetch a second horse.  
We now have both girls in the saddle.  Both with helmets too big and falling in their eyes.  But they're riding!  I was SO happy.  
(quick side note...if you know anything about me, you'll know that I am a horse fanatic.  have been since I was three.  took lessons for a bit when I was 8, collected Breyer horses, drew horse pictures, read horse books....etc.)
Anyway, the girls do great.  They listen to everything the guy says...no freaking out, no tears, just smiling faces.  Lesson over and we chat with the guy about future lessons.  Then being bold, I ask..."isn't there any way that I could take lessons too??"  He says "I'm from Egypt and there I train women to ride...but here, in Saudi, no."  He literally told us he was afraid the religious police would shoot him if they saw him giving a woman a lesson.  (okay, now I'm sure that wouldn't happen...but it is Saudi...who knows)  Matt even asked if he bought a horse could I then ride?   nope.  
So, I am literally going to be one of those parents who lives vicariously through their children.
The next week Matt goes on Tuesday afternoon to pay for the lessons.  He comes back and tells me that they are saying the girls are too young to ride.  They need to be at least 6.  I am devastated.  They had so much fun!  They can't take this away too!  Matt said he had to go back and talk with the owner.  I begged him to do all he could so the girls could still ride.  He left (and this is where I had my mini heart attack)...I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin waiting for him to come back.
And he did...with good news!  Supposedly they just didn't want the girls riding with the older kids...so the created a "new class."  Just for my kids.  Totally stoked.  Lesson the next morning.
So, today was the second lesson.  Our Egyptian trainer still didn't seem over eager to be working with our girls.  After the lesson he said (in so many words) that with the older girls he can just stand in the middle and they ride around him.  With our girls he (and the other guy) have to walk along side them the whole time.  It makes his arm sore.  (I swear he seriously said that)  Oh, it's a 30 min lesson by the way.  Can we say l.a.z.y?  But whatever.  We paid.  He was told to train.  We'll be there twice a week.  I'll be curious to see how tomorrow goes....
So, here are a few pix of our girls up on horseback.  Makes my heart swell.  So proud of them.  And SO happy they have an activity to do!  :)


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