For as long as I can remember I’ve been mad about horses. Despite being a somewhat timid and bookish child, I managed to gather enough courage to pester my parents incessantly for a pony. It took many years of pestering – okay, so my temerity may have meant I didn’t nag hard enough in the early years – but eventually my persistence was rewarded.
That first pony was named Creamy and I loved her with complete devotion. The only thing better than setting off for a long ride on my pony, was stuffing a book into the waistband of my jeans (so my Dad wouldn’t notice; he did not approve of this multi-tasking.) I would stop somewhere along the way and read while Creamy grazed or napped. The happiest of happy days.
Through my teenage years I progressed to Sooty then Jimmy and finally Cerise. My last riding horse before university. My devotion didn’t wane, but it took a sabbatical and while we still own horses they are not saddle horses. I’ve ridden my sister’s horses, driven our horses, and taken an occasional trail ride while on holidays. And as the years passed, the idea of a holiday devoted to nothing but horse-riding rose to the top of my Bucket List.
In June I did just that, at a Montana dude-ranch. My assigned horse was a dude named Woodrow and we spent a wonderful week riding mountain trails and loping across high-country pastures. It was everything my horsemad-teenage-heart could have wished for. With rustic cabin accommodation. A cowgirl hat. And pie.
|Day 1: Meeting Woodrow
|Day 2: on the trail
|Day 3: with Emigrant Peak as a backdrop
|Day 4: hay-ride with these big Belgian beauties
|Day 5: the high country
|Boots off, my cabin home
Do you have a "bucket list"? Is there one thing right at the top of your list, or one thing you've longed to do/try with a backstory dating back to your childhood?