I'm sharing Ava's blog with you. She is my sister's oldest, the first child born into our family, my God-daughter whom I love so much (I love all my sister's children, of course!).
Ava wasn't even two years old when she first rode a pony and fell in love with horses and started dreaming of show jumping. She started taking riding lessons when she was five and you could soon see her potential as a rider. They bought Ian when she was 9 and her talent was obvious, and soon her little sister's as well. Isla is steadfast, perseverant and committed to whatever she does, and she also started jumping with Ian. And with Ian, my sister's childhood dream of riding horses became a reality, together with her own girls.
Ian was a great teacher and an interesting sight at competitions -this sturdy, black-and-white Irish cob whom many could not believe could be a jumper. But he was really good at it and the snickering would silence when he started to jump! He regularly placed well and Ava and Ian even won first place -and these are competitions where a child competes together with adults.
At 11 years old Ava got a permit to compete at regionals and they did it once before Ian started to get ill. She is soon turning 12 and I hope that they will find another horse - no one can be what Ian was, but another animal soul to bond with, be friends and companions and working partners with.
Here is a video of them at a competition