Over the years, we’ve introduced David to many different extracurricular activities, and while living in the English countryside he began taking English riding lessons at a nearby riding stable a few miles away from our home in Bridge Street Hamlet.
Rural Suffolk was a beautiful place to live and the road we drove to get to the stables was like a page out of the past – a very narrow, winding way, bordered by tall hedgerows and farmer’s fields with quaint, little, stone arched ‘humpback’ bridges.
David continued his riding lessons here in Suffolk for a few years, along with the karate lessons he previously began in Germany, up until his commitment to the Sudbury Storms competitive swim team began taking up more and more of his time.
We’ve always tried to let David have as many opportunities to try new activities as we could, without pressuring him to continue on once he began losing interest.
English riding lessons were something new for David, although he had taken a lesson a few years prior in Germany, but it was only an opportunity for exposure to the sport.
It was quite common to see classic English hunts taking place when we previously lived in Oxfordshire, as well as here in Suffolk, and we’d frequently see riders passing by in front of our home in Bridge Street Hamlet as well.
I took these pictures during one of David’s early riding lessons, and while his pony challenged him at every opportunity it could, all-in-all, David took pretty well to the sport.
Here David’s pony had a mind of its own and ran around the jump instead of going over it – just one of many dynamic aspects of learning to control a large, strong, stubborn, opportunistic pony!
This time David succeeded in convincing his pony to jump the barrier, which is one of life’s lessons that needs to be learned – a sense of determination to keep trying if at first something doesn’t work out right in the beginning.
After the lesson, David rides his pony back to its stall where he would proceed to groom the pony before finishing the lesson – afterwards we’d make our way back home down the idyllic, narrow, country lane…between hedgerows and over stone arched ‘humpback’ bridges!