This week we will be running five My Life in South Leeds stories from young women who are part of the Shine Project.
Hello! My name is Grace and I love horses. I am 10 years old and live Belle Isle.
One morning my mum took me to my aunties and said you’re going riding, so me and my auntie got in the car and set off. We got there in half an hour and were ready to tack. Tack means to put the riding gear on the horse. But first we had to groom him and muck out his stable. I brushed his tail and mane, picked his feet, brushed his body, refilled his water and food bowl. Then I had to muck out. Yuck! You have to do all of this before you ride. Once I had finished, my auntie asked me to go get the tack. It was really heavy. I brought it back to the stable and my auntie started tacking. In five minutes she was done and I was ready to ride.
I put my hat on and the whip in my boot and climbed on. I had to kick him on so he would move. I had the whip, so he listened to my instructions. My auntie instructed me, and told me where to go and what to do. At that time I couldn’t canter; that means a horse will run fast. My auntie wanted to teach me how to, so she did and started giving me instructions. She shouted, “Now, go into canter!” I kicked him as hard as I could and gave him a tap with the whip. He didn’t spook, as he was used to a tap.
I began to canter and it was great! I managed to do 5 strides of canter then suddenly the horse shot off with me still on him but I couldn’t hold on and I lost one of my stirrups, let go of my reins and was thrown off! I hit the floor quite hard and hurt myself. It was quite a shock! I jolted my back quite a bit so had to go to the hospital for a check over. They gave me some medicine and they told me to rest for a while. It did hurt but I was soon OK!
Thank you for reading my story. Even though this happened I didn’t give up horse riding and soon got back on a horse! I want to encourage other people to have a go at horse riding because it is an amazing experience and really fun even when you fall off!