Luckily, at Pete's school's annual fundraising picnic, a local horse ranch had donated a gift certificate. I put in a bid, then proceeded to intimidate any other parents who sniffed around it. And what do you know? I won. Today we headed north to Cypress Trails Ranch, ready to ride out into the wilds on barely-tamed horses.
The wilds of Texas turned out to be picturesque woodland around a large creek, and the barely-tamed horses were...heavily tamed. I rode Crow, Hannah was on Aria, and we followed Tammy (human) and Joe (horse) at a gentle walk along the sandy trails. These animals knew what they were doing; any time I tried to urge Crow to maybe turn, or speed up, he responded with an annoyed snort and just kept following the leader.
It was all very relaxing, even when Tammy asked me what breeds of horses we have in the UK and the only answer I could think of was Shetland ponies. The morning wasn't too hot - it got up to 109F later - and the gentle rocking of the saddle was most relaxing, even if it didn't quite live up to my rodeo dreams. Still, every cowboy has to start somewhere.
The ranch. You can volunteer here and earn "horse dollars". I'm thinking about it.
Hannah's horse Aria eyes us up. "Uh oh, tourists."
Out on the trail.
And...back home. It wasn't the most event-filled ride, let's be honest.