bapak treated eldest son khaleef to his first horse-riding training on his birthday. we went to a humble little stable, somewhere in wadi al-amardi for khaleef to pick up a lesson or two in being a good horse-rider.
as we know, islam encourages its followers to follow the sunnah of prophet Muhammad SAW; to follow his practice and his good deeds. and one of the favorites of our beloved Rasulullah (SAW) is horse riding. horses and riding were a big part of the lifestyle of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW (peace be upon him); for transportation and sports. who knows khaleef might end up loving this sport and taking it up seriously?
well, for a start, it’s so wonderful that khaleef gets to ride, steer, pat and feed a horse! thanks to mr. khairul for this awesome experience, and hopefully a good start for something more!
“thanks bapak for this amazing birthday present!” haha. he wishes! this is ‘leader’, the horse khaleef used during his horse-ride training
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arriving at the humble stable somewhere in wadi al-amardi, not as huge and spacious as I expected, but turns out to be more intimate and small.
younger brothers waited on the side as big bro got the briefing before getting on the horse
the instructor, uncle ali prepared khaleef with a safety helmet. uncle ali might look fierce, but he’s really just very enthusiastic with his big booming voice.
lesson 1 : balancing
first lesson : balancing. you can’t ride a horse well without a good balance says uncle ali. khaleef did a lot of sitting-down and standing on the horse over and over again. gradually it became harder as khaleef must put his hand on his waist, and then on his head – while continuing to rise up and down.
uncle ali had a good exercise as he walked and followed the horse! he took khaleef on ‘leader’ round and round the training ground. first, he held on to the strap as he took khaleef around. after a few rounds, he slowly walked further away from them, and finally he just let khaleef ‘leads’ leader round the training ground.
restless! but they actually enjoyed watching the horses in action
lesson 2 : steering the horse
after the training on balancing, uncle ali taught khaleef how to lead the horse.
khaleef learned :
- how to use the bridle and strap to steer the horse left or right
- how to make the horse move or stop
- and the sounds you can make to tell the horse to move and stop – sort of a clicking of the tongue to the teeth
khaleef definitely enjoyed this lesson more than the lesson on balancing. to balance on a horse, you need strong thigh muscle, and khaleef found it to be too tedious, tiring and sakit! yeap, he even cried because he said it was too much, too painful!
uncle ali the instructor might seem to be so garang and firm; and he does have a loud, rough booming voice; but he was really friendly, funny and kind. he talked to khaleef, pujuk and calmed him down. he immediately stopped the balancing lesson, and started on the horse-steering lesson which khaleef enjoyed more.
thanks cool uncle ali!
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I love these series of shots. it shows a deeper connection between man and beast, that is unspoken yet pure and sincere. khaleef got to pet a horse so up close, and also gave him some ‘motivational talk’! haha. ‘leader’ is such a gentle, sweet horse and I hope that the next time khaleef comes for more training, ‘leader’ will be there waiting.
feeding the horsies
conversation with kahfi. hihi. love this shot!
time for the younger brothers to have their moment at the stable. they totally enjoyed feeding fresh crunchy carrots to the obliging horses.
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taken from ‘muslim equestrians south africa’ website. for more hadith on horses, click here.
overall, khaleef cried during the balancing lesson, but he totally enjoyed steering the horse. I’m just glad that at the end of the day, he loved riding horses, and wouldn’t mind doing it again – minus the balancing!
happy birthday again, my little baby khaleef. hope you get to meet ‘leader’ again some day!