Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saddlesore Surprise

Yesterday was Kailey's 9th birthday (last year of single digits, Kiddo), and Diane came up with a great idea. She made some reservations and told the girls to get ready for a surprise. Their only hint she gave them was the clothing they had to wear, which should have been an obvious tip-off: jeans, their cowgirl boots, and cowgirl hats. Let's just say that the girls aren't very good guessers.

Kyra's contribution: "Where are we going? Jeans-R-Us?"

I looked up at Diane and shrugged, "Well now what are we gonna do? She guessed it!"

Kailey's guess, as Diane slathered her in sunscreen, was "We're going over to Grammy and Papa's house and hanging out in their backyard." She clearly doesn't have a firm grasp of the concept of "surprise", which made the surprise all the more special.

There is a horse stable a couple of miles up the road on the way to my in-law's house. We've driven by it roughly a hundred thousand times in the four years we've lived in Tucson. Yesterday, we pulled in. And the girls freaked.

Now THAT'S a SURPRISE. Diane's folks met us there, though her mom didn't stay to ride. We signed the release forms, fitted the girls with riding helmets, and mounted up for the trail ride. Kailey was up first and was matched with a horse named Rooster, though he should have been named Turtle (he was slow), or Turkey (that's what he acted like, giving Kailey some problems on the trail).

Kyra was next and her horse was Sardine. He too gave her problems. I think both of the horses knew they had inexperienced riders and just dared the girls to take control of them. One of the wranglers eventually gave Kyra a stick to use as a switch to keep Sardine from stopping too much.

Papa climbed aboard Big Boy, Diane was matched with Geronimo, and I was destined to wander through the desert on a horse with no name. Kidding. My horse was named Major...or "Major Pain" as the wranglers called him while I threw my leg across the saddle. They weren't kidding. As soon as they led him into the line for the ride, he began nipping at the butts of the other horses, which would make him a "Major Pain in the Butt". I think he was testing me and eventually behaved as I continually pulled back on his reigns.

It was a beautiful Spring day for a ride; sunny, but not too hot with temps in the low 80's. We were out for about an hour, which was just about right. Any longer and I probably wouldn't be able to sit today.

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The girls had a great time despite their cantankerous mounts, and Kailey proclaimed the experience as "the best birthday ever!" I'm glad, Sweetie.


Anonymous said...

I love the look on Kailey's face, she was so happy! I'm glad we have the picture so I will never forget how happy and excited she was at that exact moment.

-Geronimo's rider

the battered ham said...

Yeah, I'm glad that Geronimo's rider was thinking ahead with that camera. Good job!

And it's a good thing her Major Pain in the Butt husband knows how to crop a picture so we can get the most out of it. Geronimo's rider should keep him around, I think.