Do you have a bucket list? Things that you want to do and accomplish in your life before your time is up?
I don’t have an official one but there are several things I’d like to experience. Heck, I even have a list of equine specific goals.
In the last few years I have been checking off some incredible bucket list items. Horse related, non-horse related. Life is good.
I know this seems to conflict with the last post, Summertime Slump, but with chronic depression you can still enjoy some amazing things and love them. There are great days even amidst a slump.
A few “horsey” things on the list:
- Own a horse
- Have horses at my house
- Attend Mustang Makeover
- Attend Equine Affaire
- Try Mounted Archery
- See wild mustangs
- See the Chincoteague Pony swim
- Participate in a cattle drive
- Camping with horses
- Swimming with horses
- Hunter Pace
- AND I KEEP ADDING TO THE LIST
I’m starting to wonder if I might want to participate in a show someday…and this weekend I might even go for more experiences. We shall see….
A couple of things on this list are complete…and two things were completed this past weekend. Can you guess which two?
If you guessed camping and swimming you’d be correct!
Back in May my friend contacted me about joining her camping this summer. We set a date and made it happen.
I’ve never been camping before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I packed some food to share and some extra clothes, some blankets, and my pillows. My friend had a horse I could borrow and three of us went away for the evening. I borrowed Fred, the chestnut gelding. We also took DD, the little paint mare, and Gator the grey gelding.
Pulling into camp I learned there are many corrals available. We stopped to unload the horses and turned them out in the corrals. We then found our camping space which was a short walk to the corral area. As my friend expertly backed into our campsite I marveled at her precision. Backing a large 3 horse goose-neck trailer is no simple feat, but it’s even more impressive when doing it between trees and dense forest. We unpacked a bit, set up the cot I’d sleep in, and ate lunch.
After lunch we enjoyed a trail ride. We bushwhacked, went through some dense foliage, and enjoyed the beauty of the forest.
Later in the evening we attended the Painted Pony Rodeo in Lake Luzerne, NY. My friends new a couple of the girls competing so we stopped in to cheer them on. After paying for parking (Really? At a paid event?) we found our parking spot in the back 40 thanks to one grumpy and salty parking attendant. We found our seats, said hello, and enjoyed the show.
The two girls slept in the “mother’s attic” part of the goose-neck while I stayed on a cot below. It was a cool night; we had spectacular weather.
In the morning we had eggs and blueberry pancakes. These girls know how to camp!
Since checkout is at 11AM we packed up and moved the trailer over to the corral area. By 10:30 or so we were tacked up,taking photos of the gorgeous ponies, and ready for our next adventure.
The girls took me to a spot on the Hudson River and we played in the water with the horses. It felt bizarre to take my shoes off. First, I ditched my helmet and left it on the trailer. Now I’m barefoot and swimming with shod horses. This goes against everything we’re taught!
Oh but how I enjoyed it!
Fred was reluctant to get in the water but he did. We went out far enough to get a stride of real swimming and Fred decided it was far enough. Once he had his fill he was quite adamant about drying off. We coaxed him back in a few times.
Gator and DD both loved the water. They stood pawing and playing until it was time to go. If DD had it her way we’d stay in the water all day.
On the return trip home we stopped at a mini golf spot for an ice-cream. Bon’s Ice Cream has a hitching post for horseback riders to “park.” The horses were happy to take a break and stood patiently.
On the way back to camp we took one last canter. At the beginning of our trip I was under the impression that Fred was a lazier type of horse. He was slow to lead and he trailed behind the girls, moseying along.
I fell in love with this horse.
Despite his eagerness to walk along, he was super willing and super responsive. He collected with just a touch and he caught up whenever I asked him to.
I experienced his smooth jog and his energetic trot. We also picked up the canter, which to my surprise sparked interest and excitement from Fredi. He even broke to a flat out gallop on a couple of occasions.
I took up the rear, but when the group cantered Fredi wanted to GO. He got under himself, collected, and booked it. There was a stretch of trail where we could let the horses loose, and I believe we all were surprised by his enjoyment of this part of our ride. Although he loved the running he listened very well and came back when asked. This horse made me feel safe.
I came to learn he was professionally trained for reining. I’ve always been interested in reining, I don’t know a lot about it but enjoy watching (maybe I should add it to the bucket list?). I looked up his video on YouTube and embedded it below. Enjoy!
We finally returned back to camp, loaded the horses and made our way home.
My first camping trip in the books. I had such a nice time thanks to my girlfriends. Words can’t properly describe my gratitude for such beautiful people in my life. I’m blessed.
Now that I’m thoroughly addicted, I need to figure out a way to do this more often.
It’s my dream to trail ride with Blade but there’s no way he could canter and gallop like we did. First, I need a truck and trailer.