I went horseback riding for the first time yesterday! Horseback riding is something I've been wanting to try for a while. Horses are so majestic! A couple months ago, Chris (my husband!) spotted a Groupon for a trail ride at Red Buffalo Ranch in Collegeville, Pennsylvannia, which is about an hour away. I was so excited when he told me bought the Groupon! He knew I'd been stressed and wanted us to have something fun to look forward to (*heart eye emoji*). We waited a few weeks to schedule our trail ride so the weather could cool down a bit. Autumn weather snuck up on us and we ended up needing to get out our winter coats! It turned out to be a chilly but pleasant day.
Once we check in and chose a helmet, we were allowed to pet the horses while we waited for the trail ride to start. (I'm pretty sure my helmet was too small and probably intended for a child, but it was the only velvety one that didn't look like a bike helmet and I wanted to look the part! Not sorry.)
We were handed a card with the name of our assigned horse. Chris was paired up with Belle, who was one of the horses we had been petting earlier. She was a solid, muscular horse! Chris was the tallest guy in the group so I'm guessing that's why he was matched up with Belle. They also match you with your horse by how much riding experience you have, if any.
On the ranch's website, they have little bios of all of their horses. This morning, I looked up our horses to learn more about them. "Belle is a 16 year old, Belgian Mare. Belle arrived at our doorstep in an interesting way. She was on her way to the slaughter house when the ASPCA noticed she was being transported in an illegal manner. This led to her being seized and ultimately being brought to Mike. Although Belle is a big horse, she is sweet and gentle with kids. We use her for the larger or taller riders who she carries without complaint." (Aww!)
I was paired up with Pocono. "Pocono is a 12 year old bay Thoroughbred Gelding. He is a great western horse and loves going for trail rides. Pocono is a new edition; he is very sweet and easy to ride." I can attest that Pocono is in fact, very sweet and easy to ride!
We were given a 90 second crash course... how to go right, left, stop, and go. Then off we went! At first a couple people were having trouble controlling their horses. Part of me thought what did we just get ourselves into! Why did I sign that waiver? But everything went fine! Chris found Belle to be a little stubborn. She was a bit slow and wouldn't speed up! Pocono was wonderful to ride. He kept trying to stop and graze and eat leaves, which was adorable, but I had to keep him moving or else we'd have a horse traffic jam.
The trail ride went all through Evansburg State Park. There were some beautiful views and we even saw a few deer. The weather was perfect and we had such a great time! Horses are such beautiful creatures. Riding a horse just felt so natural to me (shoutout to Pocono for being such a good horse!). I'll definitely be doing another trail ride soon. Chris and I were both saying how we wished we could ride the horses faster. There was an open area we rode through and it was so tempting to go rogue and ride off into the sunset. Maybe it's not too late for us to become horse people!
Have you ever gone horseback riding before? Tell me all about it in the comments! xo