Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – Ride with Birthday Girl Callie

Woke up to a beautiful morning, fed the horses, and while I was waiting for them to finish their breakfast, played fetch with Lola as is our habit. After getting some amused looks from our neighbors across the road (Lola can be very entertaining to watch), I crossed the road for a chat and met, Max and Tracy and Callie, who's celebrating her 17th birthday today. We had a nice chat, and Callie took over throwing the ball to Lola for a while, until dirty looks from Apollo reminded me I had to take off his feed bag before he could eat his hay, so what are you standing over there for, Mom? As it turned out, Hubby didn't quite feel up to riding today, so I offered to take Callie along, since I didn't want to ride alone. She had never been on a horse in her life, though she had been planning on taking the ranch ride later this week, so it took a little extra instruction. After she helped me get the horses ready, we went through some basics, but I wasn't too worried, Clio is pretty much bomb-proof, at least usually. Of course, as we were walking past some corrals toward the trailhead, one of the horses kind of jumped towards us, and Clio stepped into a trot, then a bit sideways, not much, but just enough for a newby who forgot to hold onto the saddle horn as she had been instructed to lose her balance, and she did a slow motion fall onto the dirt and gravel road. She brushed herself off and immediately was ready to get back on, with just a scrape on her arm to show for it (more will come out later, I'm sure! 🙂 ). But she was actually glad it happened so early, it was the lesson she needed to learn how important balance is! We headed down the trail, around a field, then across the road to the REAL trails, which turned out to be a lot more challenging than I thought they would be, especially for a novice like Callie, but she had learned her lesson, and listened well to what I told her about going up and down hills, so we headed into the woods with confidence. The trails here are not very well marked, especially at the intersections, we got lost many times throughout the ride. I had made a GPS trail to follow, but there was one intersection (at least it looked like an intersection on the map) that we could never find, so we missed the trail we wanted several times. Our mistake actually turned out to be fortuitous, as it actually brought us past Loretta Lynn's actual residence, a beautiful, bucolic setting with a very modest house (for a star like Loretta!), guest house, barn, cows in the pasture, a really nice spot. Again, we couldn't find a trail marker, until we turned around and finally saw a sign across the road indicating a one-way horse trail. We headed down that, which followed along the river in the right direction, and finally came out at the end of the field where we had started. It was a great ride, beautiful country, though the trails were quite rocky (and naturally, one of Apollo's boot fell off and had to be re-installed), and even Clio's boot turned sideways at one point and needed to be fixed. There were some pretty good grades, which made it interesting, and Callie certainly learned a lot about balance today! No more falls, though, as she remembered to hang onto the horn! We were gone more about two hours, going just over 5 miles, just right for a determined novice, though I suggested she take some aspirin as a precaution tonight, as she was going to be sore! By now the hip where she landed hurt more than the arm scrape, as I suspected it would, but nevertheless, she was a trooper and was glad it happened as it did. She helped me rinse the horses down, and came over later to help me feed them as well, so I think she might be hooked! Hubby, bless his heart, had a cold beer waiting for me in our lounge chairs when I finished, and we sat and chatted with Cali for a while, until it was time for dinner when we all went our separate ways. She came back again, though, when it was time to feed the horses, and helped me with that as well. It's so refreshing to meet a millennial who is grateful and appreciative, and not afraid of work! Nice job, Mother Tracy!

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