Let me start by say "I would never say anything to anyone to intentionally hurt their feelings". Well, sort of. I tend to be a tad sarcastic, but it's all in good fun! And usually it is directed toward those in my closest circle. My point is...I don't intend my blog to be any different. Nothing said on here is intended to hurt anyone's feelings, merely to open your eyes. Most of you are ignorant to horses/trail riding/livestock. That's not a bad thing! It just means you don't know any better, you live in a different world that I do. There are a few things I want to shed a little light on for you though. Everything we do is for the safety and comfort of our guests and our horses. ( you will most likely hear me say this on more than one occasion in my blog) Our horses are super gentle! We wouldn't put you on anything we didn't fully trust, but please remember, they are still horses. Living, breathing, free thinking animals. Anything could happen. While we do everything in our power to ensure a carefree and safe ride, we cannot control everything. For example: deer, rain, lightning, falling trees, windblown kamikaze plastic sacks, crashing airplanes...you get the idea. Anyway, you will do well to remember this when signing up for a ride and you try to shame/guilt someone into joining you. OK, now, I don't mean just "someone". I mean that someone who may be a little over weight, or a little over age. (see what I did there) I see it all the time. The entire bridal party shows up for a good time, all 12 of you. But Candi
(Just a random name I pulled out of the air) doesn't really feel like going. Everyone cheers her on "Come on Candi! You have to ride! We can't go without you"! Never mind the fact that Candi has been struggling with her weight since childhood and more than likely on the short side of the height chart. She knows in the back of her mind that she probably should not ride, and deep inside feels very uncomfortable with it, but you all guilt her into it. Because "OMGosh, it's going to be so much fun"! Let's take a step back for a sec...horses are big. They are strong. Truth be told, her weight probably isn't a problem for horse, but her short legs and physical inability are. Candi needs to be tall enough to reach her legs around the side of the animal carrying her. This is how you balance on a horse. If you, or Candi, are unable to sit up strong and balanced it is incredibly hard on the horse, and unsafe for the rider. This same scenario is interchangeable with elderly guest. Of course we want everyone in the family to able to ride together, but sometimes it's just not the smartest or safest thing to do. If you are thinking, "but my grandpa is in great shape for his age", that's not good enough. It needs to be "he is in great shape", period. I know several 70 something guys and gals that can ride circles around me, that's not the kind of people I am worried about. I am worried about the ones that can barely walk up my hill, use a cane, have hip problems, knee problems, back problems etc...Think about how straddling a 12-1500lb horse for an hour is going to affect their joints. Probably not favorably. And what if (God forbid) their horse stumbled on rock or made a sudden movement? Would they be able to hold on, balance, stop their horse? I mean physically, do they have the strength? What if they didn't and were to fall? What would happen to their brittle bones? The way I like to look at it is, would you let your elderly grandparent/short overweight friend climb on a bar-stool to change a light-bulb? A 1200lb bar-stool with wheels. Probably not. All I'm saying is - take these things into consideration before you insist EVERYONE has to ride. 9 times out of 10 these people don't really want to go, they only do it because they were shamed into it. We want all of our guest to have a great time and leave us knowing we did everything imaginable to ensure their safety and comfort. Please just think about these things before you make your reservation, hopefully it will save you/Candi/grandpa from a little embarrassment or discomfort during or after your ride. Our ride is beginner friendly and our horses are big teddy bears but horseback riding is a physical activity. Even our gentle, slow paced ride. Not everyone is meant to ride a horse. I wish everyone could, but sometimes it's better to leave someone behind than to risk their well being. Besides, that's what the casino is for! They will thank you later!