We had a very exciting adventure. Dave, my daughter, Lexie, and myself, had planned to ride our horses to The Parshallville Cider Mill. The biggest reason that we were going on this adventure, was because Lexie had expressed an interest last year. On our way home from the farm, we had passed the convoy of horses, wagons, and vehicles on their way back from the cider mill. Lexie noticed them, and asked if maybe sometime we could do something like that.

Since I now have Petey, to go on these adventures with, I thought it would be a fun thing to try. Because the ride was organized by Dave’s friends, he found out the details and we signed up. And, there were many things that I both learned and observed, but two of them really stuck out..

We were ready considerably earlier than the convoy was ready to pass the farm drive where we were planning to join in. So the three of us, took a small walk on our horses up Allen Road. It went smoothly, and was very fun. Horses were calm, riders were happy.

As we were waiting, our horses were getting a little restless. And the 10-year old was getting a little restless also. Finally, when the time was right to join up, my horse wasn’t so sure this was a great idea.

One of the big reasons why I wanted to share, has to do with what we learned from the mobile confidence course. I was on the ground, planning to get up on Petey, after he saw the approaching party and was calm enough for me to get on. That worked, and we set off walking with them.

There were some things that I am willing to bet my ex racehorse, ex jumper, had never seen before. One of those things was a mini pulling a cart. And on the cart, were some Flags. There was also, golf carts and lots of kids around. Some of them were getting piggyback rides, complete with whooping and hollering.

My big brown horse let me know that this was a little above his comfort zone. Because of what I learned from the mobile confidence course with the water hazard, I knew he got much more comfort from me when I was on the ground in these really tough situations. So, I did an emergency dismount and he and I walked in this manner all the way to the cider mill. The information and lesson I learned from MCC helped make us have successes as a horse and human team.

The second reason why I wanted to share this is really just a proud mamma moment. As we were walking around in the group, or rather, jostling in the group, Lexie was pretty uncomfortable with the unfamiliar horses very close to Anny. I am pretty sure that we were joined by some people that did not have much horse experience at all. This was pretty overwhelming to Lexie.

She mentioned to me a couple times that these people and horses were not supposed to be so close to horses they didn’t know. Really and technically, she was right. She also said at some point in time, that she didn’t think these horses were very happy. That she would think about that, whether or not the horses were enjoying this experience, was what I was so proud of.

So, the three of us left the mill before the rest of the group, from Lexie’s suggestion. We had a great trip back, I was even able to get on Petey after I led him a few minutes. (I know now that in a crunch, I can get on him without a mounting block!)

I had one other great moment after the ride. We had turned our horses out, and I was filling water tanks. As one was filling, I saw my big brown horse grazing near by. I called his name and started walking toward him. He lifted his head and walked to meet me. Such a good boy, Petey! I will call the day a great success…..and much fun!

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