by Bronwyn Jameson
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?
Oh that looks like so much fun! I always wanted a horse when I was a little girl, my cousin rode and the second she got thrown off that put an end to any chance my mum might've said yes. Given I'm hellishly injury prone, it was probably for the best.ReplyDelete
On my bucket list is actually learning to sew - it's something else I've wanted to do for a really long time and I've asked the husband to buy some lessons for my birthday :)
I've been lucky with horse-riding, Stefanie, avoiding any major injuries. But I'm aware this is only luck -- my sister fell off last week and was hobbling around at the weekend all sore and bruised. Sewing is definitely less dangerous AND you get the benefit of using/wearing whatever you make. I look forward to seeing what you make.Delete
Amazing pics, Bron. Never been into horses and I wouldn't subject any animal to my frame but log cabins in Montana? Yes please :-)ReplyDelete
Ever since my mum read AOGG to me as a little girl I have always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island and see the Lake of Shining Waters. Its on my bucket list and I will get there one day soon!
Oh, the cabins were amazing Amy as was the view from my porch...or from pretty much anywhere at this amazing place. I've decided that I am very much a mountain person who suppressed this for too many years of beach holidays!Delete
Knowing your love of travel and making things happen, I know you will get to PEI and see that beautiful lake one day.
What a wonderful experience, Bron. So glad you've got to do something so special.ReplyDelete
I have always wanted to drive a racing car around the track just once but think I've left that too late as i'm far more cautious these days.
It was, indeed, a special experience Sue. I smile right through my whole self whenever I look at the pictures and remember. Which is why you should totally try the racing car experience. If you're in the driver's seat you can go whatever speed you are comfortable with...and for the adrenaline rush, strap yourself in the passenger seat and let an expert take the wheel.Delete
It's never too late...until it really is too late. Do it!
That is fabulous I have neve been a horse person but one thing I have always wanted to do is visit The Scottish Highlands and that has a lot to do with my Mum who always wanted to do it as well and we would often talk about things we wanted to do of course visit a castle was top of the list one with turrets :)
Ah, Scotland. Castles, turrets, the wild highlands, and a Jamie-lookalike in kilt. Yes, please!Delete
Oh, Bron, that looks like the BEST adventure. I too was horse-mad as a kid...but unfortunately no amount of nagging was moving my parents on that one. A friend, however, used to have horses and I'd ride with her whenever I could.ReplyDelete
A few years back I looked into local trail riding...and I'm seriously tempted. I'd love to do it. But my horsemanship skills (which, to be frank, were never particularly fine) are seriously rusty...and then two people in my extended circle had horse accidents that left them both with broken backs. It scared me off, but...maybe I should revisit the idea. :-)
Michelle, I can imagine those bad accidents and injuries would be a deterrent! Being not the most courageous person, I did a LOT of research before choosing my ranch. The horses were wonderfully looked after, trained, and matched to the riders' abilities. Also they weren't stabled and hard-fed and ready to race/buck. Each night they were run out to pasture and back in the morning. Made a world of difference to their demeanour and their familiarity with the surroundings. So, yeah, my advice would be: do your homework. All riding outfits are not created equally.Delete
Bron, how utterly marvellous! It looks the most amazing experience. I had a lovely pony for many years and understand the horse made thing. It waned a bit when he threw me and I broke my arm (a big break, with the ends of bone not meeting, not a tiny fracture), but I still loved him and rode a bit afterwards.ReplyDelete
Not sure about a bucket list item. I always wanted to travel overseas, particularly to Europe, as I'm a sucker for the history I learned when I was young. I'm getting in some of that and thoroughly enjoying myself. My other 'to do' was to learn a language. Ha! I've got a tiny amount of a couple and really need to do something about that.
Annie, that does sound like a horrible break. I am not so sure I would have been brave enough to ride again after a bad fall. I think I have mentioned my temerity...Delete
You are living that dream/goal with your travels, and your knowledge and familiarity with European settings and culture really comes through in your books. I love that!
My Bucket list wish is to visit all of Europe, a Mediterranean cruise followed by travelling by train all over Europe, ending in the UK!ReplyDelete
I grew up on the edge of a city, about a mile from our house was a place called Farmer Browns, where you could "rent" a horse and ride around a small field. My sister was horse crazy and being older I always had to go with her. When I was 11 we went to Colorado to visit my aunt, and there was a horse stable in the fields behind her house. of course my sister, cousins and I had to go for a ride. They took us on a trail ride, and I was ton the last horse. Nobody told me that horses will sometimes stop when they do their business, and my horse stopped dead in its tracks to relieve himself, while the rest of the group kept riding ahead. I got panicked because they went over a hill and I could not see them anymore. The horse finished and it trotted really fast to catch up with the group. I was scared to death because I had never gone faster than a walk on a horse! That was the last time I was on a horse!
Laurie, I do understand about the forced pressure of an older sibling. My older sister was athletic and loved playing sports, so I ended up playing whatever she chose because that's where Mum drove us to training and to play. I didn't really mind except that coaches had the same expectations of me and were sadly disappointed. :-)Delete
Farmer Brown's sounds like an awesome place to start riding, although I'm so sorry you had the negative trail-ride experience. There should have been a point rider bringing up the rear so you didn't have that panic. No fun at all when it should have been a wonderful, fun day riding to your comfort level.
Hi Bron - I'm so jealous! I'd love to do the dud ranch thing. I did the Snowy Mountain ride many years ago, but that only made me miss my own horses so much I couldn't wait to get home :)ReplyDelete
Ha - dude ranch....not dud :)Delete
(LOL, I knew that!)Delete
My sister wants me to do a Snowy Mountain ride but I'm not much of a camper. Although it was blurbed as a decent level of camping. I need to discuss with you!
How wonderful Bron! Truly a dream come true. My daughter has horses and so I have learned to love them and look after them. But not to ride them! My earlier experiences on horseback turned me right off riding!ReplyDelete
Bucket list? To visit Ireland where I lived as a child.
Sounds as though you may have had a similar experience as Michelle, Kandy. But good on you for helping your daughter with looking after her steeds, through all the ups and downs.ReplyDelete
I did not know about your Irish background. I hope you get to revisit soon!
Love to hear about your fab time. Just not my dream. Now if you had a red one? xxfiReplyDelete
Not your dream, but totally mine. :-)ReplyDelete