I spent a lot of time at barns when I was young. 4th grade is when I got the horse bug, and I was pretty obsessed for a few years. Outside of school, it was pretty much horses and volleyball. This carried through college when I spent a couple of years on our school's equestrian team competing at other universities. For our school, it was a club sport but the competitions were funded by the school, and we got to travel to huge universities and spend days at their awe-inspiring barns and equestrian training centers. One year, I was the team manager which my brother-in-law branded as equestrian team cheerleader to irk me. It's still a thing.
Anyway, today was so cool. I got to spend a few hours at a stable with some students and their families--and Tyndall.
The smells. The dirt. The manure. The hay. The leather. The tack. It was so very familiar yet not. Because we are in Thailand, and everything is different on this side of the world. Yet not. Because the horses/ponies/dogs of the barn were so very familiar.
You know what else? My dad often made the trips to be at my horse shows. I have several special memories of him watching me ride. And today I got to watch Tyndall ride, and it made me feel close to my dad. I'm tearing up even as I post this. It was so unexpected but delightful. A day I will treasure for a long time.
Tyndall? He was okay. He was proud that he was brave to ride the pony. He liked the cool stuff he got to wear, especially the gloves. He was nervous and wanted me to walk beside him. I did for awhile but then let him go by himself. Then he was bored and wanted to go faster. Or get off. He tried to get off, but then it was his turn to go into the trotting area, so he decided to give that a try. When the instructors and leads had the pony trot, he liked it but his hat was too big and flopped around a lot. He was ready to be done after that, so I let him be done. He was more excited about petting the horses and the hedgehog that my student Nut brought to the barn and the barn dogs. Tyndall is definitely a lover of animals. I'm so very thankful for that!