After a few more instructions and demonstrations, like different commands and how to make her trot, canter, and walk, Jocelyn finally decided I was ready.
“Are you sure?” I asked hesitantly, my stomach clenching and twisting into knots a sailor would envy. “I – I don’t think I have enough training! We’ve only started today!”
But Jocci only nodded. “You’re a fast learner,” she explained. “You’ve caught on very quickly. Now relax – if you’re nervous, it makes Coconut nervous, too, and the last thing you need is to ride on a nervous animal.”
I gulped. How on earth could I calm down? I was close to shaking! I wasn’t sure I could ever ride Coconut. I loved animals, I truly did – but – what if I fell off? What if I injured myself?!
“What if -” I began, but Jocelyn held up her hand to stop me.
“Behind every ‘what if’ is a new adventure,” she quoted from American Girl. “You’re ready.”
Ready or not, I couldn’t calm down the nervousness in my stomach, but I took deep breaths to steady myself as I swung my leg over.
I sat tall and straight like Jocelyn taught me, and my muscles conformed to a state of riding an animal. I gripped Coconut’s fur tight. I made this clicking sound with my mouth, squeezing my legs ever so gently and Coconut started off!
“You’re doing it!” Jocelyn cried.
I screamed like a little girl. But that’s to be expected – I am a little girl!
Jocci ran to me. “Oh, Jessa, I’m sorry! Are you alright?” She offered her hand to help me up, but I jumped up no sooner than she extended it.
I brushed off my skirt. “I’m okay!” I declared. I walked a little stiffly back to Coconut (I wouldn’t think of giving up), but it was a determined walk nonetheless.
Jessa’s First Circle on Coco
I was so excited when Coconut took a few steps. Click above to see a video Jocelyn took of my very first circle riding on Coconut! It will open in a new page but still on Delightful World of Dolls.
“No problem – you’re a natural!”
P.S. Yesterday, February 28th, was Ellie’s birthday! Stay tuned tomorrow for her birthday post.
P.P.S. Happy Leap Day! Anyone’s birthday today?