I have completed a couple of sessions now at the riding centre.
The same clients come each week. The first session was taken up with getting every one's stirrups to the correct level, the right person on the right horse, and so on.
We did manage to go on a trek outside, along the bridle path, which was very pleasant, out in the fresh air. It was necessary to stop a few times, to get some riders comfortable, and used to their horses, but in the main it went very well.
The clients on the Tuesday session that I help at don't need to be held whilst they are riding along, so this makes it easier for the side walkers, who are able to avoid the puddles and obstacles on the ground. We just have to hold them when going in and out of the barn, (going from light to dark environments can sometimes spook the horses), we have to be prepared for this eventuality.
I have had a different client each week, and each one has thoroughly enjoyed their time, in their own unique way. One client is blind, and sings a tune to themselves, and smiles the whole way round, There are children and adults and each get something from their experience.
The ponies/horses are very placid and take all the noises and sudden movements in their stride.
Our little troop of 4 horses being led by a pony handler, with one rider and two side walkers either side, and the instructor behind with a megaphone, is a merry little parade, chatting and squealing and laughing and singing.
The hour session is over very quickly, after we have finished the trek, we come back into the arena and have a little trot, depending on ability. All too quickly the clients are led up to the dismounting block where they reluctantly bid farewell to their pony/horse, until next week.
The helpers have a 15 minute break before the next clients arrive. Someone has usually made cakes or cookies, and there is tea or coffee to drink.
I leave each week, feeling that I have helped to put a smile on some one's face, and that thought puts a smile on mine !