Thursday, March 26, 2009
The first day of spring was almost a week ago, and the weather up here at FPC is beautiful. Despite some strong spring winds, most days are filled with sunshine and warmth. This can only mean one thing - it's time to start riding! After a lazy winter in the corrals, it's time to get the horses brushed out and tacked up for our first weekend of rides. Though I may groan as I roll out of bed long before my alarm usually rings, these days remind me of why I moved to Arizona. There is something wonderfully magical about putting a child on a horse. Their excitement at meeting their assigned steed is often mixed with some worry as they try to remember from which side they are supposed to mount. The initial moments of trepidation when seeing the vast measure of animal before them are quickly followed by exclamations of how their horse is the best horse in the entire world. After a quick review in the arena, we head into the national forest on a trail ride. We keep our eyes peeled for squirrels, horny toads, deer, and even the occasional coyote. The new riders point out the wildlife and try to guess which direction would bring us back to camp. Finally it is time to head back to the catch pen and dismount. Everyone says goodbye and promises never to forget their new best friend. A quick break for some water, and it is time to start all over again with the next group of soon to be riders heading down the hill to the boot barn.