Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Pony Up And Ride

Saturday we headed out to a nearby camp for a little ride. It's the same camp where I spent a very rainy two days with E1 last fall - due to the rain we spent a lot of our free time tromping back to our cabin to change into drier clothes than what we currently had. It was a bit of a Murphy's Law kind of experience which culminated in the camp director (an experienced rider) being thrown from his horse and carted away in an ambulance (he broke his collar bone)...and so our group, which had been doing crafts while waiting for our turn to ride never got a turn to ride the trail.

Why yes, those are pink cowgirl boots.

Last weekend, while we were eating cake at a family wedding, E1's Girl Scout Troop spent the day riding horses at that same camp. Since it's been on Rob's list of fun things to do with the kids, we went ahead and scheduled a ride for just our family. They provide helmets, and even have some boots (they request smooth-soled shoes with a 1" or more heel) - I almost fell over in shock when I found a pair of 9 1/2D boots. They were ever so comfortable.
E1 heads'em up

Giggle Girl E2 moves'em out (and after the initial giggling, was uncharacteristically quiet).

We arrived early and spent that time walking around the barn and petting the horses. All three girls were enjoying giving those beauties their attention...and then our guides arrived...and E3 went into shy-mode.
She didn't want to ride after all - she wanted to stay at the barn with me. There was much negotiating. I convinced her to ride while I walked along. Then one of the guides and I had to negotiate with her some more to convince her (after watching her sisters and dad ride around the arena) to just try sitting on the pony they'd chosen for her. It was nice having the guide there during negotiations - he was just as firm as me, but E3 didn't whine as much to him. He told her I wanted to ride too, and if she didn't ride she might have to sit in the barn. Harsh, yes. And no, I probably wouldn't have left her alone, or with strangers for that matter. But, it convinced her to try riding the pony to the arena...and to let me walk her pony around the arena...and to let one of the guides walk her pony so I could get on the horse they'd brought out for me.

E3, the reluctant rider.

The guide that was walking her pony even encouraged her to ride alone - without him leading. And she did.
"I want to go again!"

A good time was had by all. We WILL be going again.


Glenda said...

I'm totally digging the pink boots!!

Sounds like a fun time all around :)

Ali said...

Evan wants to do this so badly! It's hard to find good trail-ride places within a couple of hours of Portland. There are some, but they're really expensive.

Nancy R said...

Ali, this is a church-based camp and not only was it the closest option Rob found but they were the cheapest too. The staff was very patient and nice - they gave us permission to have our picnic snack by the lake too.

Glenda, E2 and E3 were the only boot-owners in our household. Thank goodness for Barbie brand boots from Target!