Don't bother with riding lessons in the UK!

Trip Start Jul 12, 2009
Trip End Aug 18, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Idaho
Monday, August 24, 2009

We were up early to see the horses being driven from the mountain to the valley. It was a great sight with the horses galloping by (loping is the word over her) being herded by the wranglers, then off for breakfast.

The first thing to do this morning was to get the boots and chaps sorted out. Kids first and Edie was given a fantastic pair of sparkly pink riding boots (not quite boy but she loved them). The kids looked really cute with their chaps, boots and jeans (ours in their riding breeches which wasn't quite cowboy) As you have to wear a riding hat until you are twelve their outfits were slightly spoilt by the safety element but as parents, happy that they wore them.

Everyone booted and we were then allocated our horses. Mine was a gorgeous Quarter Horse by the name of Wyatt and Ian’s a massive chestnut coloured horse by the name of "Big Red". All the kids had horses not ponies which was surprising.

The Western style of riding is significantly different to the English riding style. Prior to our trip to the USA Ian and I had spent a fortune at Wimbledon Stables riding two hours at a time and paying the price physically and it was not long into our first ride that we realised that it had it been a complete waste of money. We did not need to bob up and down when trotting, our reign was to be long when galloping and never grip the side of the horse with your legs. The stirrups were longer and you bottom wedged into the saddle pretending that you were balancing a bowl of punch between your legs with a curved back – as if you were riding a Harley. Forget posture, slouch those shoulders and you are off. The only similarity was that the balls of your feet were on the stirrups.

It was hard to erase all that we learnt and we looked a couple of berks with our up and down motion when trotting – Wyatt looked back at me and was not happy with what was happening in the saddle.

We went for a scenic trek across the mountain and thoroughly enjoyed the views of the mountain ranges around us. The children went off on their trail too, Edie being led by Jeannie on foot. They loved the cowboy feel.

The afternoon Ian and I went clay shooting experiencing 12 and 20 gauge guns. I was blind as a bat and Ian was ace shooter. The kids went on a climbing experience on a climbing wall where Lily and Katie succeeded in climbing the full way and ringing the bell.

The night was a cowboy games night at the ring with Wranglers resulting in the adults wrestling goats and putting boxers on them then to the Saloon for drinks. It is similar to skiing with all the fresh air and activity you are shattered by 10 and ready to crash.
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