Camping and Horse Back Riding

When my children were young my husband and I purchased a membership in a real live cattle ranch in the mountains which had been re-created into a camp ground.

When my husband and I first visited the ranch we both fell in love with it for different reasons. I felt this was a wonderful place for our family to be together in a safe, outdoor camping atmosphere. My husband fell in love with the horses that were housed in the barn.

Of course before we could go camping we must have the correct camping equipment. We needed to purchase, two tents, four sleeping bags and various other camping gear.

On our ranch there were three ways to camp. You could camp in a tent, or bunkhouse with eighteen rooms and two bathrooms with a complete kitchen, or if you owned a motor home you could leave it on the ranch.

We loaded up our car for the first time, we were all excited about our first trip to adventure. My husband and kids could not think of anything but horse back riding and fishing.

The ranch is vast and extends in every area. It consisted of a large playground for the kids, a pool, and tennis court. There were three man made lakes great for fishing. A few years later they added a three hole golf course.

I was raised in the city and had never ridden a horse. My kids had never ridden a horse either and they couldn’t wait to hop on and take off.

After our tents were set up and we had eaten it was pitch black. I had never been outside in the mountains at night and the feeling was eerie. I was sitting down resting when my husband said, “I want to show you something.”

We walked out into an open field and suddenly I was surrounded by five huge horses that towered over me. I really could not see the horses but could feel their presence. I was over come with fear. After all I had never been near a horse before let alone five in the pitch black in the middle of the open field in the mountains.

He said, “Open your hand.” I did and he placed some small pieces of carrots in my open palm. He instructed me to keep my hand open and the horses would eat the carrots right out of my hand. It was totally amazing. I even was able to pet them before we turned and walked very carefully out of the open field.

The next morning our family of four was the first to the barn to sign up for horse back riding. My husband jumped right up on the horse he was assigned. My son managed to mount his horse. My daughter managed to mount her horse also but I had to use the mounting stairs.

We were riding along (not to fast) I was really beginning to enjoy my first horse back ride. Suddenly, my horse changed gait and picked up speed. Totally surprised, I lost my balance and the next moment I was hanging from the horse with my head almost hitting the dirt only attached by one stirrup. I yelled, “HELP,” loud and clear and my husband came to my rescue.

That first camping trip will always stand out in my memory and I hope my kids remember it also.

We continued to camp out on weekends and holidays for many years. These are the memories that cement family relationships.

I hope you enjoyed my article. Please feel free to check out my other articles. I love to hear from you.

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