After too many episodes of Horseland, we went real on the kids: off to a horse show in Westminster! We saw the 7ish kids do some show jumping, the teenagers do an event that involved riding around the arena together showing off how well they could walk, canter, trot and change directions, and then the teenagers doing some show jumping.
I had two responses to American riding (having been an avid British Pony Club rider in Singapore and then Wales myself, waaaay back in the day):
1) It's far too soft on the kids. Fell off at a jump? Get back on! At least ride your horse out of the arena! (Not what happened this morning when a young girl fell and then had help running her stirrups up so she and her horse could walk, separately, out of the arena).
2) It's far too hard on the kids. The riding teachers heckle the kids as they are doing their trip round the jumps. One girl caved under the pressure and started crying. Another was told, harshly, to "Smile already."
Clara had this response to the outing: "Mummy I know for sure that I am half horse, and half cat."