Hello everyone! Welcome back to Liee’s Corner. Today’s post is another Throwback one, but it’s a little different. It isn’t about a trip, but rather a place that has been a big part of my life for four years : The ranch. When I was younger, I used to horseback ride. I fell in love almost instantly with this sport and the animals.
I discovered the ranch I went to through a friend that had been riding there for a while. They offered summer camps and I signed up to one of them and went with her. It was a really nice experience. There were two groups, a beginner’s one and an advanced one. We would ride two hours a day, one before lunch and one after. When the other group was riding we had activities, movies, played in the park, learned about horses, etc.
After that week at camp, I immediately knew I wanted to continue visiting this ranch and continue horseback riding. A few weeks later, my parents signed me up for lessons. At first, riding a horse was almost intimidating. Fun, but intimidating. These animals are so big and have a mind of their own sometimes, so of course it was a little nerve wracking to progress and go faster. As of the third lesson, I got to gallop. Of course, I wasn’t sat on the fastest horse, but it still was amazing.
As the months went by, I started to get more and more involved regarding the whole ranch. I would spend entire days there, just helping around with caring for the horses, cleaning the stables, etc. Some people would find it too much or even boring to be there for 8 hours a day, but I was so passionate about this whole thing, I loved it! As I grew older, they gave me more and more responsibilities. I got to ride ponies to help them exercise, got to help desensitize a pony that was scared of many things, helped with pony tours for children and birthday parties. I was basically working there, but loved every minute of it.
In addition to all the fun I was having just hanging around with horses, I also met some amazing people. I made very nice friends over there that I would see every weekend. We were a little gang, all around the same age, but especially all sharing the same passion which brought us pretty close. We would spend weekends over at the ranch, laugh, talk, help, etc. It was really nice to have people around me understand and share the passion I had for these animals and the ranch.
In the winter, we would ride indoors and in the summer we would sometimes ride outdoors as well. It was so nice to ride outdoors feeling the sun and the wind, seeing the trees and the other horses all around. I started out with a lesson once every two weeks, and then, after I’d say about a few months to a year, I got to have a lesson every week. I got better and better and learned to do so many new things. It was so satisfying to progress every lesson and see myself achieving new things and getting better.
My favorite horse was the oldest one there. He was in his late twenties and was a beautiful blonde horse. He was a bit slow, very calm and so so sweet. I loved him a lot. I would bring him treats such as apples and carrots pretty much every week. It is incredible to develop a bond with an animal so big and majestic. Horses are incredible. I’ve always been impressed at how amazing they are. People sometimes tend to assume that humans are the superior race and that animals are simple minded. I’ve come to find that horses are actually very complex beings and they all have their own personality. Some are calm, some are filled with energy, some are social, some prefer peace. A bit like humans. Plus, they get to know you and remember you. It feels nice to be appreciated by a horse. Seems kind of lame, but it actually is really gratifying.
Every year, I would sign up to a week at the summer camp, even though I had lessons every Sunday. It was fun to see people that didn’t have lessons on Sunday’s and that we’d see only during the summer. It was also fun to have an intensive week of riding. Of course, I graduated to the “advanced” group. At the end of the week, we put on a show and parents came to watch. It was always a nerve wracking moment as I hate feeling watched and performing under pressure, but at the end, we all felt so proud and happy.
I quit horseback riding because I wanted to try dancing and singing. It was still a massive part of my life for four years though. I’ve actually learned a lot during my time over there. First of all, I learned how to care for others by taking care of the horses. I learned to maintain relationships by meeting all those new friends, but also by connecting with the horses. It also helped me gain confidence. To see myself progress and achieve things I thought I would never be able to was really encouraging and empowering. To be honest, I do sometimes miss this place, the horses, the people, the feeling it brought me. But most of all, I am thankful for everything this place brought me.
Well, this pretty much sums up my whole experience at the ranch. It was so nice to take a trip down memory lane and revisit these photos and these moments. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this post. If you’ve enjoyed it, don’t forget to like it. If you ever had a similar experience, I would love for you to share it with us in the comments. To see more posts like this, don’t forget to follow my blog either via email or the WordPress platform. I will be back next Sunday, until then, you can go follow me on my social media which is linked down below or head over to my Youtube channel to get updates!
See you soon,