Sometimes it’s good to break out of the circle, to change the routine, to travel a new route.
Our Wednesday group of kids from KGVI is very quick to learn the routine and pick up the exercises. They arrive eager and ready, quick to get helmets on and quicker still to get on their horses.
“Let’s go! Let’s go!” Mark says as he sits on Pink Lady. Without being asked he reaches over to stroke her neck gently and his face breaks into a toothless grin. He is six and is waiting for new front teeth. When we get in the round school, and he sees that we are the only ones in there, Mark tells us, “Now we must wait.”
So we stand patiently and wait for the others to join us and then we change their expectations. Instead of doing our exercises in the round school, we take the kids for their first out ride across the road. They cope admirably with the change, filing out of the round school one after the other, ready for anything.
It is Tandiwe’s first time riding and she is visibly terrified. She crouches over her horse and yet is also determined. Halfway through the ride she gets caught up in the exercises, in stretching up to the sky, in flying like an airplane, in windmilling arms and reaching forwards and back to hug her pony. She forgets to be scared and sits up straight and engaged. Leona provides us all with music as she sings through the ride.
As we walk along I try to picture what it is like for Mark, the height from which he can now see the world, the summer heat on his face, the children who wave from their home as we pass by, the tall gold grass waiting, like us, for Zimbabwe’s rainy season to turn everything green.
The other horses walk behind Mark and Pink Lady and the dusty road stretches out ahead of us. And I think it is good to get out of the round school sometimes, to do these exercises in a different way and to spend some time just looking at the world. Because everything looks better when you are sitting on a horse.
- Joeleen Sissons
- Sandy Paul
- Tracy May
- Clifford Kee-Tui
- Debbie Paul