When I was in third grade I was gifted a horse by my parents (perk of growing up on a ranch) and was suddenly and completely infatuated with all things horse. I read horse books, hung horse posters on my walls and joined the local Horse 4-H club. Despite my extreme allergy to horses, which caused me to come home from each 4-H meeting with eyes swollen shut and a difficulty breathing, I continued in my love affair with horses. A couple of years later my 4-H leaders moved away and I found myself riding less and less, though I still adored my American Quarter Horse named Copper.
To my surprise, when Goosey hit second grade she also developed a horse obsession. She read books, researched horses online, and even went to observe a friend’s therapeutic horseback riding session. Unfortunately for Goosey, we do not live in a home that allows us to buy her a horse. But, when a horseback riding lesson showed up on Living Social last fall I knew I had to buy it for her.
We gave the riding lesson to Goosey for Christmas. About mid April I realized that the lesson voucher would expire at the end of May. I picked up the phone to schedule the lesson only to find that I couldn’t make our schedule match up with Taylor River Farm’s schedule….until June. But never fear! Kristin, the super enthusiastic woman on the other end of the line, told me that they would still honor the Living Social deal past the expiration date. And so we scheduled it for June 2nd.
Taylor River Farm is about an hour from our house. It ended up being a wet, cold Saturday, so we decided to make a family outing of it. We loaded everyone into the car and off we went. The drive was beautiful and we were impressed with the grounds and facility when we pulled in the the Farm. When we walked into the barn Kristin was waiting for us and explained how everything would work. She whisked Goosey away to help saddle her horse, Whisper, and the rest of us were shown the observation area.
Thirty minutes later Goosey appeared in the arena decked out in a riding helmet and ready for her lesson. She had a fantastic time learning to sit properly on an English saddle, to use her legs, and to take control of the reins. After the 30 minute riding portion of the lesson Goosey was able to help unsaddle and groom Whisper.
Overall it was a great experience. The stables were well kept and the horses lovingly cared for. The “human” areas (observation area and restroom) were well equipped, but definitely needed some cleaning. The staff was welcoming and knowledgable. Goosey can’t wait to do it again, though I’d love to get her on a western saddle….but I think that’s just the ranch girl in me talking.