yee-haw! last week, sean and i were finally headed up to pemberton (1/2 hour past whistler) to ride horses. it’s been one of the things on our to-do list for quite a while. and we did it the morning after the linkin’ park concert. sidebar: that was a little rough, waking up so early for breakfast and the drive.
i booked us with adventures on horseback because they didn’t offer the usual “nose-to-tail” trail rides. years ago, me and some girlfriends went horseback riding in whistler and it was just going up a hill and back down again. not too exciting. so i was sold when i read that this company’s 2 hour ride takes you through open meadows, old growth temperate rain forests and creek crossings. and i liked that the company is family owned by an actual cowboy and horse breeder.
we got up to pemberton after 2 1/2 hour drive for our 1pm reservation. when we got there, to our surprise and chagrin, we were told that we were now required by a recent change in the law to wear helmets while riding. so not only could we not wear our hat and baseball cap, but we’d be donning on helmets worn by other people. thank goodness we had bandanas! so although it’d suck because we’d looked like we were both waiting for the handydart bus, we didn’t let that get us down. we were going to ride horses!
our guide, michelle, advised us on how to mount the horse and the correct way to have our feet in the stirrups. she put me on honey and sean on holly. the funny thing was that i got the much bigger horse – which if you can imagine, i must have looked hilarious on. not only was it fun to throw my leg over a tall and wide horse, but i looked even more of a waif in the saddle. while sean looked a tad big on the smaller horse.
the reason for this was the order in which the horses naturally followed each other in a group. sean’s horse, holly, probably is used to bringing up the rear and for safety reasons, michelle probably preferred sean to ride behind me.
so with another couple of riders, the 5 of us set out on our adventure! i didn’t get to shoot lots of pictures because:
* it was much too bouncy on the horse and it was a challenge to aim and focus my SLR
* sean and i had a hard time taking pics of each other since it was single file the whole time
but here are some pics that did happen to turn out:
the view from my saddle
riding through open meadows and old growth forests
a fun thing that we got to do was have the horses break out in a trot a couple of times. sean and i were grinning and laughing whilst trotting, our cameras bouncing everywhere. we were being bounced up and down in the saddle so much, we were sure we’d be feeling it in our groin/thighs the next day.
kicking up sand clouds
and my favourite part of the whole adventure: the cool, milky green creek, which we got to cross twice!
entering the creek!
thigh high in the water
it was a fun-tastic time and a great introduction to horseback riding. we rode in a small group with a helpful guide. we were out there for over 2 hours. the horses were gentle and well-trained.
some tidbits and observations of the day:
* female horses have better temperaments, which is why we were all riding on females (except michelle)
* the top of a horse’s rump is spongy. pressing on it makes me think of walking on moss
* horses fart and a couple of times on the ride, sean and i rode through fart clouds from an offending horse in front of us
* be sure to close your mouth when trotting or riding through sand or your teeth will feel gritty. yum!
* my horse was a hungry, hungry hippo, stopping often to tear at some vegetation
* when a female horse has to go #1, it comes out behind, spraying like a frickin’ fire hose. i was waiting to dismount at the stables when honey answered nature’s call. sean was behind me, but luckily far enough away not to get sprayed, but close enough to laugh hysterically at the sight.
here’s some more pics of us back at the ranch and more importantly, helmet-less!
me + honey
hand-holding with holly + honey
sean + holly
me + honey
admiring horses on our trips out to southlands is one thing, but getting to ride horses out in the country was something else. we can’t wait to do it again.