Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy Trails...

Here are some pictures from the girls' ride last week. This was the first time that they rode without Bob and Brenda walking beside them using lead ropes.
Wasn't it a nice day for a ride?

This time, Bob and Brenda rode their own horses with Hannah and Ellie. David didn't even stay and walk. He dropped them off and came home.

This is Brenda in between Hannah and Ellie. Bob is busy taking the pictures.
The ride lasted for a couple of hours. Hannah and Ellie said the horses started to get naughty. They wanted to stay in the field and snack on the grass. A lot of their pasture grass is short from their eating. This field was the equivalent of children being in a candy store and wanting to sample everything.

One day David and I will go for a ride. We told Bob and Brenda that the last time we rode horses was on our honeymoon. It wasn't the enjoyable rides the girls have experienced.... although it was a memorable one.
It was a trail horse ride in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. David and I made the mistake of saying that we had ridden horses before. By that we meant we'd both been on a horse once or twice. Not that we were ready to don chaps, boots, and a hat and head out west to gather cattle.

But that must've been what they meant when they asked the question. They gave me a horse and said, "This one doesn't like to ride the trail, and usually wants to try and get home as fast as possible." And to David they said, "You have to go last, your horse doesn't like other horses." Silly us, we still got on the creatures.
The trail guides were women. Mean looking cowboy women who seemed to chew and spit and have a look of loathing upon us "city slickers" wanting a horseback ride experience.
After going over the instructions --which doesn't matter on trail horses, they do what they want anyway; horses may be beasts of burden, but they're definitely not dummies --we set out on the trail. First the cowboy woman guide, then 6 or 7 other "city slickers", myself next, then David on the anti-friendly horse and the last cowboy woman guide bringing up the rear.

The setting was beautiful. It was a great sunny day and we saw wonderful views and the guides relayed some great information about the land we were seeing. We stopped on the trail in front of one of the mountains to view "The Sleeping Indian." David took the opportunity to change the film in his brother's very nice Cannon EOS SLR camera he had loaned us for our honeymoon (what a nice brother).
My horse, wanting to get home and not mess with stopping, gets too close to the horse in front. But I had listened to the instructions from those cowboy women. I knew to pull back on the reigns and give some more space between me and the rider in front. I proceed and my horse obeys very well, too well in fact. It backs right into David's horse who promptly decides to bite. They had told us his horse doesn't like the others.

Suddenly I'm on a bucking bronco and like any "city slicker" (especially of the female gender), I screamed and tried to calm down the horse (and myself). Those cowboy women trail guides came riding fast and got the horses calmed. David's had even started bucking. He, being a farm boy, although not a horse rider, was able to ride that horse holding on to the open camera with one hand. What a stud. I married the right man.

Those mean women, still with disgust in their eyes, spat, "That's what you get for getting too close to each other."
Thanks for that. I was only trying to do what they had said.
The rest of the trail ride went smoothly and I was glad to get off and neither David nor I have been on a horse since.

So when our daughter asked to learn to ride horses, these repressed memories came flooding back to my mind. She suggested she could learn at the Camp near our home on the trail rides. Although we know the family very well who runs the camp and they would have been a-ok with the girls riding, I knew I would have to be there with them and I don't know a thing about horses.

Then I remembered Bob and Brenda, members of our church, and asked if they would be willing to teach the girls. Oh they were so delighted and have done an excellent job. They love horses and want all people to enjoy them, even David and I. So I imagine we'll go for a ride one day. And I just hope it will look like this and not the picture in my memory.

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