We went horseback riding!

We got back from our horseback riding today. While I didn’t particularly like the person who owned the stables, riding a horse was damn awesome. I have only been up that close to a horse once before. This time I rode around in some trails (definitely not safe trails), got to comb him out and just be around horses. The funny part is both and[ profile] finnegwyn both had huge allergy attacks, I didn’t. There was no itching, no hay fever, nothing.

The day started early, I was up by 5am, while the wife was up by 7. We got ready and were out of the house at 8am. We took one of the back ways to and arrived there a bit after 8:40. She was ready to go and we headed to Safeway to pick up something to nibble on, batteries and liquids for the ride. When we got there we got some baked goods, some liquids but forgot the batteries. Meanwhile the wife went to use the bathroom there and when she opened the unisex bathroom door she found someone had puked all across the floor. We found it hilarious, but she ended up having to use the McDonald’s bathroom instead.

We got to the stable around 10:15am, about 45 minutes too early. We realized we had forgotten the batteries and went down to the corner store to pay a huge chunk for batteries there. Once we got them, we headed back to the ranch and waited for 20 minutes until it was time to go in. We walked into the back yard area and I was a bit disappointed. There were literally dozens of chickens everywhere, the entire horse saddling area was dirty. No, I don’t mean messy in the course of working with horses, rather that hasn’t been cleaned in a long time feel.

I saw the horses and went up and stood next to them. They were really cool, and no matter how much bitching I might do in this post, I very much enjoyed being around them. This is when the wife and F both discovered they had allergies and I didn’t. We volunteered to help brush them. Evidently they haven’t had baths in a long long time, but it was fun nonetheless. Eventually we saddled up and she took us into the arena area so she could “give us a short lesson”. In the end she showed us nothing, just yelled to not let the horses get too close to each other (I am not joking, she didn’t show us anything, and I explained to her I had never been on the horse). I had discovered that they didn’t have stirrups long enough for me. I ended up on a large horse with my knees bent at a weird angle just so the tips of my toes could be in the stirrups. I certainly didn’t feel secure in the saddle.

By the time everything was settled down we engaged in a relatively fun trail ride. There were a couple of problems. The first is the owner for whatever reason was walking the horses. This resulted in all 7 of us (there were two other groups as well) with horses that kept wanting to go a little bit faster and running into each other. This is when she announced the horse I was on would kick other horses (and he got a little push with the other horses, another area I didn’t feel secure in, since I have never ridden a horse without a person holding the reins and leading me in a circle).

We traversed a path that had overgrowth that would hit me in the face, had very steep hills (and I sort of had to troubleshoot myself riding down and up a hill, surprisingly I dislike riding down hills more than up hills). Then at the end of the ride my horse’s rein came undone from his harness and I then spent a couple of minutes trying to get the horse to stop with just my legs (that was awkward) and all they owner could do was roll her eyes at me while her daughter reattached it. Also, the owner never mentioned that we should not let the horses eat the grass, until mine started to eat the grass (and I wasn’t sure if it was ok), when I asked, she yelled that it was a group like us that gave them these bad habits and not to let them do it.

We got back in the pen after over an hour of riding and she held the horse while I tried to get off. I discovered something, my left ankle (the one I had surgery on last year) doesn’t pivot. I literally couldn’t turn my ankle so I could pull my right foot out and dismount on the left side. Once again she was annoyed (even after I explained I don’t have sideways pivoting in that ankle due to surgery). Eventually she let me get off on the right side. I petted the horse and helped take the saddle off, then the lady sort of just ignored us so we left.

Overall I LOVED riding a horse. I never realized how cool it was to just be around large creatures like this (I also liked the cow that was there as well). I talked to E and we are going to look for a horse stables closer who will give lessons (after we take a ride and find out if we like them). I did however really dislike the owner. Not only was she condescending with everything to new riders, she wouldn’t show me anything (I seriously wanted to not do anything that might endanger the horse or make him uncomfortable), she also was just plain rude to everyone. In addition all the horses had sores where the saddles were. I thought it was strange, and it didn’t seem right, but after the ride when I talked to E and F they both confirmed it should never be like that.

The end result, I am definitely doing horseback riding again, if we find the right person I will blow my monthly allowance money in order to take lessons. That was an awesome experience, even if the owner sucked. Oh, and my hips hurt, I think partially the normal hurt from riding a horse the first time and partially due to my stirrups each being at least 3 inches too short.


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