When her mom asked if I would come out to the arena to document Ellie's first ever riding show I was so sad that I couldn't stay through the whole day for her because I had a wedding to photograph. But we made the best of it and I got to spend a couple hours with her as she prepared her horse for a great show.
At just 6 years old, and heading from Kindergarten to First Grade, this beautiful little sprite takes a lot of responsibility with her horse. She went out to the field to get the horse on her own, but not until after she had helped to set up the outside arena for the big girls who would be jumping rails later in the day.
When the arena was all set up, off she went to fetch her horse - all by herself! I am not super familiar with all the ways of caring for a horse, but I had assumed that a little one like this was going to need quite a bit of help. And I was wrong! She managed it all by herself and I was impressed!
Once in the barn, Ellie went right to work cleaning and brushing her horse so it would be beautiful for their time in the arena.
Then it was out to the practice field for some warming up - can't take your horse into the arena with cold muscles! Ellie isn't tall enough to do all of the work of getting her saddle on the horse, but she stood on her tippy-toes and got her share of the work accomplished.
Then came the walking the horse around. Her mom got them started, and then Ellie was on her own!
Mom and little sister watched - perhaps little sister was a little . . . shall we say bored just watching. That feisty little one will be up on a horse all on her own soon!
I loved every minute I could be with Ellie for her first event. I've got much more to show - but I'm saving the black and whites for this week's "Black and White Friday" blog post.