It' s time to catch up on my blogs - before I forget the important facts! I have been catching up on my riding, and it's been great, thanks to the help of family and friends. Last summer, Bill and I couldn't do a lot of riding, for various reasons. We said, "Never again! We will hire enough help to allow riding time - and beg enough friends to ride with us." You see, we don't feel we can ride alone on our mountain (wild animals, etc.) because if something should happen and the horse comes back alone, the other one can't just take off from the Lodge and go looking. This year we hired our 2nd daughter as our office manager (again) and hired her daughter to help with breakfast and cleaning the rooms. Then we did, indeed, line up a group of friends who wanted to ride or learn to ride, and have been keeping them busy.
One of our more fun rides was on July 6th, when we finished cleaning early and decided to take "the office manager" with us for her daughter's inaugural ride alone on the mountain. Our grand-daughter, now 10 yr. old, has become quite an accomplished little horse lady, practicing exercises on the horses bareback, learning the correct cues, cleaning, tacking-up, etc. We had been making a point of staying on the town streets where we wouldn't have to worry so much about the odd animal popping out at us, or running into livery rides and such. She soooo wanted to go ride the mountain trails under her own power. We had ponied her and taken her double as a passenger, but it looked like the time to go it alone. (Also, Jesse had finally decided it was OK to listen to her cues; for 5 yrs. she had been packing her as "the child", being led.)
We gathered up all the horses: Bill on Ranger, me on Estes, Nelle on Washoe and our grand-daughter on Jesse. We had a marvelously uneventful ride; the most memorable part being the conversation. You see, the 10 year old spent the first hour of the ride "instructing" her mother on proper horsemanship etiquette. It made us giggle when Nelle finally said, "OK, I know how to ride! How come everyone thinks I've never been on a horse?" We had to remind her it had been a couple of years since she had been able to ride - between having a new baby, getting her Master's, and work. In the end, our grand-daughter was pretty proud of the job her mom did keeping our grass monster from eating. And the grand kid got to navigate some new territory on her own.