As difficult as it is to keep a straight face while teaching a kid wearing a large, pink, sequined helmet cover that shrouds her entire head except for two darting eyes, I must commend my young riders for braving the elements this year. It has been a particularly wet, cold, nasty winter and I have not heard one complaint from the “under 20” department.
I have arrived to teach in rain coming down sideways, in arenas with puddles fetlock deep, and winter chills that froze my toes, but the kids never cancel. When the arenas are closed, we ride the spunky ponies in the open fields, sometimes scary, but no complaints. One morning, a mother called to say her daughter was not well and may have to cancel. She called later to say the girl felt fine and would be out for her lesson, only to call back after a thermometer check. Seems she had told her mother she felt better because she wanted to go to the barn, but the thermometer told on her, and her fever sent her back to bed. Another student, that keeps her horses at her home, works diligently by herself between lessons, through inclement weather, to stay ready for upcoming events this spring.
It is this kind of dedication to riding that keeps me in business, and earns them the year-end awards. With this kind of commitment and passion, they will be winners, in riding and life. So, if the kids can show up to ride, I can show up to teach. Pink helmet covers or not.