Welcome to SPORTY GIRL BOOKS. At SPORTY GIRL, we want to give all girls the chance to love, watch, play, read, and write about any sport that interests them. We look forward to the day when the words, "You play like a girl," is the biggest compliment anyone can receive.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Athlete Interview with Horseback-riding Julia

Julia is our youngest interviewee yet, at seven years old. She loves all things horses and has taken Western lessons over the past year. She lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and dreams of one day owning her own horse. 

Hi, Julia, and welcome to Sporty Girl Books. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
*giggles* I'm entering the third grade this fall, and I play the piano. I like to visit both my grandparents and ride their horses (though one of them only has English and one time she flung me off), I like to play outdoor games like Kubb, build forts, ride my bike fast, play card games (spoons is my favorite), and I read all the horse books I can find. I went to my first rodeo on the 4th of July. One day I want to be a barrel racer and live on a ranch.

Can you tell us about your horse lessons?
Riding bareback for the first time
I take lessons from Penny. The first thing she taught me was how to jump off of a horse and keep my hand on the reins. It's still one of my favorite things to do. I just hold tight to the reins, grab the mane, and slide off on the left side. I prefer to ride bareback, but sit a good Western saddle. Horse lessons are all about remembering who is in control, me, or the horse. As my teacher likes to say, "Itty bitty girl, big strong horse, but who's in control? Itty bitty girl."
If I don't pay attention, Wind Prince will ride me around the ring where he wants to go. When I ride, it's important that the horse does what I'm asking, and I don't let him take me around the ring, so we work to go and stop at my commands. One time my instructor told me to go twenty steps and then stop and hold still for as long as I could before going again, so I stopped Wind Prince, my favorite horse, and we waited for ten minutes. My teacher was shocked I could wait that long.

Can you tell us about this favorite horse?
Julia with her teacher Miss Penny
Wind Prince is a dapple gray. He is the sweetest boy, but I always remember that horses have two ends, the biting end and the kicking end. So far, I haven't been bitten or kicked, so that's pretty good. I like to groom Wind Prince after our lessons and we talk to each other. It's important to be gentle around a horse and get all the sweat from riding off them so they don't get sores. Did you know horses could get sunburns?

I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm around a horse! What are your favorite horse books?
For Christmas my mom got me the first book in the Horse Diaries series about an Icelandic filly named Elska. Now I've read all the Horse Diaries books. They're really good and written from the horse. (Now I'm reading Dog Diaries, which are the same thing, told from the dog). I also read Black Beauty.

I'll have to check out the Horse Diaries and maybe revisit Black Beauty one of these days. Thanks for being on Sporty Girl Books!

1 comment:

  1. Robin, I missed this post because I was off grid teaching horseback riding! I love to work with kids on learning and noticing ways to effectively communicate with their horse and to understand what their horse is trying to tell them. Thanks to you and Julia for this fun interview!