Blazing Saddles

This is our view from the cabin. A storm was rolling in. Not too shabby!
This is our view from the cabin. A storm was rolling in. Not too shabby!

First day at the dude ranch was a success! We woke up early for a breakfast ride this morning and chose our first horses of the day. After studying all of the available horses, I settled on Okie, a black-coated horse who misled me into thinking he would be calm. Okie didn’t exactly jive well with the other horses. While we were waiting in line to mount the horses, Okie bit at the neighboring horse’s neck. Then, during the ride Okie headbutted the horse’s rear in front of him! He literally head butted. It didn’t help matters that my saddle was slightly off-center, so I had to overcompensate by leaning a little more to my right. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ride to breakfast, but it ended up being worth it because the food was absolutely delicious. My favorite breakfast meal is simple – eggs, bacon, potatoes, and they had all of these freshly cooked plus more. The other meal options at the dude ranch are limited. I cannot strictly adhere to the Whole30, so I’ll be adding a few extra days at the end of my 30 days. I’m not overly concerned; I’m basically not purposely adding carbs when I do not have to (which unfortunately means passing on the extra fluffy pancakes). It’s training me for the after-Whole30 lifestyle.

Some of the horses. Credit to one of my sisters for this picture.
Some of the horses. Credit to one of my sisters for this picture.

Since Okie and I didn’t exactly bond, on the next ride I chose Tonto. I figured Tonto had to be a good horse because of his allegiance to the Lone Ranger! He was much more cooperative. My saddle was not crooked, and we got into a couple nice trots on the second trail ride. I think my trotting lessons last week made me feel more comfortable balancing on the horse while I was bumped up and down. I’m happy I took them!

We had a few hours before the next ride, and our cabin is located on a little pond. Since we had an odd man out, I kayaked alone. It was my first time kayaking, and it was a good workout! My arms and back were already fairly sore from my workout session on Wednesday, and kayaking certainly reminded me of that. I didn’t get a chance to lasso here, but at least I did get in another new activity! We should have more opportunity tomorrow to canoe and kayak, too. I more or less drenched myself each time I switched sides while rowing. I’m hoping I can figure out a way to avoid this while kayaking tomorrow. If you have any tips, comment below and let me know please!

Candid kayaking
Candid kayaking
Look at me! I'm kayaking!
Look at me! I’m kayaking!

For our final ride of the day, I decided to go with Waffles, a slightly larger Tonto-lookalike. Waffles was lazy! He tried nibbling at the tall grass, and his trot was really more of a fast walk. They joked that he was a fatty, and now I get it! I still enjoyed riding him more than Okie, though. What amazed me most about the horses is that they really did follow each other single file. I can’t imagine lining up a whole bunch of humans on all fours and dealing with all of those smells.  The horses really did every variety of bodily function that they could. Luckily, we were outside, and the nose adjusts very quickly. I will say that despite the rain, I’m pretty sure the mud was caused by a different form of precipitation…

Tomorrow, we have a few extra folks joining our party, and the entire immediate family will be reunited. It’s definitely a wonderful time having everyone together. The wifi is really poor here, so I most likely will only be able to post again on Sunday when I’m back in Madison.

Not quite blazing the saddles on the trail rides, but hopefully we’ll get some more trotting in tomorrow! Have a wonderful weekend!

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