Riding School

Mia and Leon went to a riding school called El Rancho Grande from July 20th through July 24th. It was their first time to be away from home, family, relatives, and friends for so long. They didn't know anyone at the school before they went but the got used to it right away and didn't seem to get homesick at all.

  • Taking care of the horses [small] [big]
    Learning to care for the horses is an important part of the school. Here Leon helps brush down a horse.

  • "Boss" explains the rules [small] [big]
    Although everyone who teaches at this very Western school is Japanese, they are all called by names like "Boss," "Martin," "Kathy," and "Nancy." Here, "Boss" (in the white cowboy hat) is about to explain the rules of a friendly little competition on the last day of the camp. You can see Mia standing next to him. Leon is on the left edge of the pack of kids. As you can see from this picture, the school is located in a very pretty area. The day before this final day, Leon's group went for a long ride in the mountains. Leon was proud of crossing a mountain stream on horseback.

  • Mia rides first [small] [big]
    Not bad for a beginner!

  • Leon goes next [small] [big]
    This picture shows Leon guiding his horse around the traffic cones on the obstacle course.

  • Final stretch [small] [big]
    Leon and his horse speed up on the final straight away. This event was timed.

  • Musical horses [small] [big]
    Here they are playing a variation on the musical chairs game. There is one more horse than there are open spots in the middle. When the music stops you have to guide your horse into an open place before anyone else does. (The dog is just horsing around.)

  • Mia played too [small] [big]
    In the background (toward the left) you can see poles that mark four places the kids can "park" their horses.

  • Galloping Mia [small] [big]
    I think you can tell from the horse's mane that it is moving at a pretty good clip!