I have horse crazy kids.
Having horses to them is such a luxury, something only "other people" get to do. Stories of my childhood are just that to them, stories. The concept that they are just one generation away from farm living, country loving, pig,goat, horses owning, oats and hay smell loving, rodeo loving genetics is beyond their scope of comprehension.
But I know better, and the origin of their love of horses is no mystery to me, it's in their blood.
|Me, Taffy, and my favorite bonnet.|
|Getting pulled behind the horse on an inner tube, and riding w/my sis in the field.|
|At home w/my sis and Sweetheart and Taffy..I'm the nudist.|
|These are me(orange coat), my sis, and dad at home. The top right sums up the majority of my childhood, my sis and I would ride for hours out in the woods, day after day.|
|The top is my sis when we where in our towns parade, bottom are me and my dad...I could ride before I could walk.|
|More at home. Not a bad way to grow up, huh? On a side note, I recently found out this 6 acre property I grew up on is for sale for 50k. Kills me to not be able to snatch it up.|
Last Friday, the kids had the "best day ever!!" Our friend, Randy, takes care of a horse out at one of the ranches on Castle Rock Rd in Walnut Creek. The concept of stables like this was foreign to me as a kid. We had horses....at home. They were just always there, you could look out the window and there they were. The idea of being a city person and owning a horse and 'renting' a space away from home to keep it in, and then going to 'visit' it....never heard of such a thing. Now older and maybe a bit less country, I understand that is the way the majority of people own a horse.
Most of the local ranches are in the foothills of Mt. Diablo, who's terrain tends to look straight out of any old western movie, and is covered in trails any horse would love.
The ranch Randi's horse is at was really neat to see. Each horse has his own grassy area and shelter and tack area. Her horse is Finney, a 20 something yr old retired race horse (his race number is tattooed inside his lip). He's a big boy, Randi is my height - 5ft 9, and Finney is a smidge taller than her at his shoulders. Finney's owner comes out 5 times a week to take care of him and either ride him or "turn him out" - run him in circles in the round arena. Randi goes out one day a week to feed him, turn him out, and wash him down.
She was very kind to let us accompany her out to the ranch to meet Finney and his buddies and have some time with the horses.
|As you can see, there was a fair bit of outfit planning earlier in the day.|
|We had a 10lb bag of carrots that I divided up among the kids, and Randi had 2 ten lb bags...needless to say all the horses had a special treat or two or three.|
|That's Finney w/the eye cover on.|
|Check out that pile of ....manure.|
|This stunningly handsome horse is called "Dude", as in blonde surfer dude. He's a Kiger Mustang, and his coloring was all natural and amazing!|
|I could not get over how amazing this arena was!!|
|Randi w/Finney, it was time to take him and turn him out.|
|Then it was bath time. There are two stalls, like a car wash, where you can wash your horse.|
|Seriously, I have never seen him this happy! He had a grin like that the whole time, over cloud nine happy, happier than Disneyland happy!|