Sunday, September 21, 2008

Horsing Around

I have said that I was not an athletic kid while growing up, but that doesn't mean that I didn't earn some medals along the way. Back in the day, circa the mid to late 1980s, I used to be quite the horse rider. I earned a few gold, silver and bronze medals for my show jumping prowess. Here are a couple of shots of me in action:
I haven't ridden for a good 17 or so years though! Wow...I can't believe it has been that long... Anyhow, this weekend it was time to get in touch with my old horse riding self and my inner cowboy. A friend and I signed on for an afternoon of horseback riding followed by a steak dinner and a bonfire complete with marshmallows. Yum. My friend got held up in traffic, and long story made short, she wound up missing the horseback riding part of the day. So...it was down to me and a few other strangers. Our guides picked out horses for us. This guy was not for riding, but he sure was cool as he had his own cowbell around his neck!
Here's me, eagerly anticipating my horse:
Yes, I decided to cowboy it up with my classy Lone Star beer shirt (courtesy of a friend of mine who worked for the brewery in San Antonio), cowboy hat, and cowboy boots straight from Aldo. Authentic! I was paired with Tonto. Things between Tonto and I were all good in this picture:
Once it was time to make our way out of the corral and on to the trail Tonto and I got squeezed between two other horses. I guess Tonto didn't like that so he backed way up and wasn't so sure he wanted to be a part of this adventure. At this point I was warned that Tonto was new to the ranch and would likely get picked on by the other horses. Oh goody... I reigned him in and attempted to set off on the trail. We got a bit of the way out, but as soon as we approached a mud bog he decided to throw a fit and would not cooperate. Luckily one of the folks working the ranch asked if I would like to swap horses so I bid a hasty farewell to Tonto and made my way over to my new trusty steed, Pistol Pete. Here is a shot of the back of Pete's head:
Pete and I got along much better. We mostly walked, but every once in awhile the horses had a chance to gallop for a short ways. I can't remember what I used to do during the gallop as I was bouncing in the saddle a ton. Ow... The scenery was pretty fantastic out there though. Unfortunately I couldn't get too many good shots, and the one below doesn't even do it justice. But we really lucked out with some amazing weather and having a chance to see the trees just as the leaves are turning colour.I was pretty proud of the fact that I got to wear my Aldo cowboy boots to do something relatively cowboy-ish. So far they have only been used to hit the rodeo in San Antonio and to wear around downtown during Stampede here in Calgary. So here we are, a shot of my cowboy boots in action:Afterwards it was back to the ranch to socialize and enjoy our steak dinner. Then we gathered around the bonfire to roast some marshmallows. Delicious! It was a really fun day, however my saddle has forgotten how sore a saddle can make it, so needless to say it is a wee bit painful to sit!



14 comments:

teacherwoman said...

Great photos! Looks like a great time! I love horses!

She Who Makes Waves said...

Yeeha!Yahoo!
Look at you!

Oh what a great time you had! I try to imagine that saddle bouncing and it makes me laugh!

Thanks for sharing your day with us!

RoadBunner said...

I took english riding lessons for 10 years when I was younger. It's been 8 years since I took lessons and over 2 years since I've even been on a horse. Kinda sad. Thanks for sharing the photos!

I should get Mario a cowbell to wear :)

audgepodge said...

What a fun idea for crosstraining :) Looked like an exciting day! And it's not often you can bust out your fun shoes in these kind of posts...

Laurel said...

Oh my gosh!!!

I used to show too when I was younger! I rode western then switched to english and jumped a little too. That was when I was 11-14. Gee, that means I haven't been on a horse in...ALMOST 20 YEARS! Holy crap!

You forget how much leg strength it takes to hold on to a galloping horse. Are you sore?

I have been DYING to go out and do some riding the past couple of years! I am so jealous! I would have LOVED to go out with you. It looks like so much fun! And the steak and marshmallow parts sound pretty good too!

Lily on the Road said...

Oh too much fun! Thank goodness you said you had switched horses because I was looking at the one paint and then the next picture was of another...

Where were you? In Banff?? Years ago I did a ride out of the "Outpost?"...something like that, it was a hoot.

Glad to hear you are a "horsey" gal too!

Crack me up the boots are from Aldo's, now that is funny, living in Cowtown with the Stamped and all!

Marcy said...

That looks like a fabulous day! I've only been horseback riding once in my life when I was a kid and I had the horse from HELL. Never again LOL

Runner Leana said...

Laurel - I have rediscovered my inner thigh muscles. Ouch! If you and J ever decide to hit Alberta for a holiday then we can meet up for a trail ride.

Lily - We were out past Cochrane by about half an hour. I know there are some trail rides around Banff too though. I may have to look into it next year.

Wes said...

I took the kids and the spouse on a family vacation to a horse ranch in New York. Jeeezus I could hardly walk by the end of the vacation. I picked out one golden horse (honey) I think to ride all of the time. I'm sure the poor thing cringed every time it saw my fat butt coming.

I was bringing up the rear on one ride when I got left behind a bit. I'm having a blast just yelling my head off and all the riders up ahead stopped at the end of the clearing. Honey and I just came barreling into them and came to a sudden stop. The ranch hand chastised me for not controlling the horse better, but I just laughed. I told him Honey knew what she was doing far better than I did and she could stop when she wanted too... LOL...

They call me coooowww boy :-)

i am Susan said...

I am not a huge horse fan, but looking at your post really made me want to become a "cowgirl". I love the pictures...beautiful time of year, isn't it!!

ShirleyPerly said...

Yeehaw, what an adventure!! Man, if you learn how to shoot too, you could be a pentathlete :-)

Thanks for all the cool photos!

Rainmaker said...

Marshmellow's! And Steak! Mmmm....

Sonia said...

Real cowboy boots!! Awesome! Love the pics, you look real at ease on that horse, just like when you were competing =)

Run For Life said...

Oh this post makes me miss riding! Looks like you had a great time, thanks for sharing. :)