Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Equestrian Challenge: Day 4

Day 04- A ride that impacted your life

This one really made me think....

I have two that I'll talk about, although i'm sure i'm ignoring a couple really good rides in the process. I have been blessed with some spectacular rides, but these two particular rides are two that have a pretty long-lasting impact.
The first is the first time I rode my horse. :)

It was a bit of a gross rainy day in 2010, Jingle would have been 6, I was 18, and I got to the barn and was told I would be riding a horse named "Jingo". Everyone seemed a bit worried about the whole situation, I remember thinking he had a really pretty forelock. :) I rode with a "beginner" group, and the only hiccup of the entire ride was that he didn't want to go up a very large, steep hill. I got someone to come right infront of me, parked his nose in that horses bum, and away we went. He did awesome. Later that night, I broke my wrist, and it wouldn't be until almost a year later that I saw ponyboy again. For some unknown reason, he settled into my brain as my "favourite", and now, he's mine. *Cue sappy music*

The second was the 2012 "Counsellor Ride" this summer.

The "Counsellor Ride" was something I had organized as a thank-you for the counsellors that worked at the ranch this year. Very rarely were counsellors allowed to do this, and I begged, pleaded and reminded the owners daily until I got the go-ahead to do it. Generally speaking, we pull our horses shoes and kick them out onto lease land until mid-September when they are brought back in, and sent to winter pasture. However, since this was the last year, and the sale of the horses was in mid-September, the horses were to stay closer to home. It was towards the end of august and it was disgustingly hot. I had tried to pair up everyone with their 'favourite' horse, or a horse that I knew they would have a good ride on. It was stressful, and it literally made me stomach ache thinking about dissapointing someone, as this was to be the last ride many of us would ever have at the ranch. 

Getting ready to head out

Me & King Ponyboy

I obviously rode King Ponyboy (Jingle), and he was AWESOME. I hadn't ridden him much this summer, but I knew he'd be fine and sure enough he was wicked. I weaved around the massive group (I think over 20 of us were on the ride? I can't remember) the entire time. A couple times I took off on my own little path, away from the masses, and he was fine to just follow my lead. It was honestly the perfect ride with my horse.

Best boy.

Doing our own thing...

We headed to the "Far Lookout", and hung out there for awhile, and then took a different way back. We stopped at a spring, and then meandered home through the river for quite awhile. Towards the end, I fell to the back, and walked through the last gate with two of my bestfriends. It was a pretty bitter-sweet moment. A part of me was so amazed and happy to see so many lovely, wonderful friends, on such beautiful, strong horses ahead of me. Another part of me realized that we were coming "home" to the shed for the last time.

Heading Home

So, how did this ride "Impact" me? Well, it was totally symbolic of my experience at the ranch, and it signified the end. Thankfully, it was able to symbolize the "end" in a really beautiful, pure way. What amazed me the most was how happy all the horses seemed. We had horses ranging from "counsellor" horses, all the way to our intermediate - juniour horses, and each one seemed happy to comply and come on this last ride with us. It almost felt, as corny as it sounds, that they knew this was their last ride too.

There was another side too, a negative and dark side, that for me made it slightly easier to walk away from the ranch. I walked those last couple minutes knowing that I was coming home with my heart-horse, and quite a few heart/forever friends, and that is really what was so important, and significant about that particular ride.

Saying goodbye in the shed....


  1. Oh you are a day ahead of me, lol. I like your thoughts on the last ride with the crew, seems like a perfect ride to me :)

  2. Don't know where you were working but it sounds like your last ride was bittersweet. I used to live at Black Diamond and got married on horseback out at Anchor D ranch- wonderful folks. Love the photo of you and your horse splashing through the water.