Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Horses and Family Bonding

Overall, it’s been a pretty low-key summer for me. I have done some contract work in New York City, I have read a great deal, taken French lessons, taken a few day trips, but mostly, I have been home. It is not something I regret, but I wanted to do something I had never really done before the summer ended, at least not significantly. My sister suggested horseback riding, and I jumped at the chance. I have been on a horse before, but I was sitting behind my cousin and someone was leading the horse down the well-trodden path in India several years ago. I have great pictures taken from that experience, but I don’t really consider it horseback riding. It was like a pony ride, only the horse was an adult. It was time for me to immerse myself in the fundamentals of horseback riding on a trail. My cousins, siblings, and I agreed that we would ride before the summer ended.

On a weekday morning, we drove to a place in northwestern New Jersey, which is an hour away from my house. The stables’ owner suggested that morning would be an infinitely better time to go horseback riding, and he was right: it was almost 100°F that day, and our ride was completed before noon. We all had different experiences with our horses; I felt that my horse was annoyed with me because of the way her head would fling up when I was handling the reigns throughout the ride. Still, I enjoyed the trail ride through the forest, and the laughs we all had when we were confronted with massive horse flies and bees. Maybe it wasn’t so funny at the time, but we laughed anyway, because it made the insect onslaught easier to bear.

While the horseback riding was wonderful, it was the time spent with family that made the experience incredible. I don’t get to see my cousins much, so this was a great opportunity to have fun and re-connect with them at the same time.

What fun experiences have you had this summer?

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