Okay, so the horses don't belong to him - what I mean is the boy and horses, any horses. He has been looking forward to this summer because Karen Nelson has agreed to teach all of the kids to ride. Josiah L-O-V-E-S horses. He has read every horse book that he has been able to request through the state of MT library system - most non-fiction - on training horses, riding horses, horse breeds, the whole gammit. He is now, officially, in horse heaven.
There are 6 horses at the ranch. Dreamer and Tina are old faithfuls - anyone can ride them. Zippy is well named - he is spirited. Mocha is a sweet horse but has not been ridden much - not what you would put a kid on without help. Becky is just being broken this summer. Karen Nelson has ridden her a few times, but she is not ready for anyone else. Lily is the newbie - three years old and big. Karen is working with her this summer. So there is a lot of horse activity going on at the ranch.
Last week, everyone went riding with Mrs. Nelson and had a great time. When they were done, she told Josiah that he could go ride bareback by himself if he wanted to. So, he took off on Mocha (he likes Mocha) for a ride while we were all hanging around outside. She was being stubborn and would not go anywhere he wanted her to go - she wanted to go back to the hitching post with all her buddies. He stuck to it and made her get moving. It took a long time, but he finally he got her across to the other end of the archery field where she couldn't see the other horses. For another hour, that horse fought him off and on, but he didn't give up. She threw him off twice and bucked once (he was able to stay on that time, he says due to some instruction Karen had given him that day). It was great that he was alone, because he had no choice but to get back on and ride. If he had been with other people, it would have been easy for him to give up or be afraid. When he got back he was so excited - he had a great time. When you get thrown off a horse - TWICE - and can talk about how great it was, you know that you have a thing for horses. Yesterday Karen gave him the green light - he can go to the field, choose a trusty steed and ride whenever he wants. Now he is living the dream.