I was talking to a girl that I was trying to impress and she mentioned that she likes horses. So, me, being the charming guy that I am, offered to take her horseback riding. It might be hard to believe from reading this blog but I can actually be pretty charming when I want to be. At the time, I didn’t even know if there was a place around here that you could ride horses. But, since I do a lot of other activities (hiking, tubing, camping, stuff like that), I knew that I had two things on my side: the Blue Ridge area is both scenic and full of trails. I figured there had to be something.
After a quick online search, I was able to locate a horse trail place nearby. I talked to the owner and arranged everything. He promised that there were a couple of easygoing and experienced horses that would provide a good ride for two complete novices like us. That was reassuring. The last thing I wanted was to struggle and look like an idiot in front of this girl. That was kind of the opposite of where I wanted to go with this! I texted her and told her the good news and she replied back right away about how excited she was, which I took as a good sign.
I picked her up and she couldn’t stop talking about how much fun we were going to have. Her energy was both appealing and contagious. I really started to get into it, too. To be honest, I am always up for doing something outdoors, especially when it is a new experience.
We arrived at the barn and owners brought us out to the stalls so we could meet our horses. They matched my date up with a beautiful brown horse whose name was Honey. They offered me a horse – a Tennessee Walker horse, supposedly known for its “smooth gait”. That sounded more like a brand of scotch than a horse! I ended up choosing my own horse, another brown one named Teaspoon.
They showed us how to get up on the horses and a few basic commands with the reigns, then led us off on a beginner’s trail. I’ve heard that riding horses is good exercise but I never understood why, it always felt to me like I’d just be sitting there and the horse would be the one getting the workout. I learned my lesson today! I have sore muscles in places I didn’t know I could be sore. But I have to say, it was really fun. The horses were great, the trail had a lot to see, and it was a perspective I don’t get often (being on horseback has its advantages). When we got back to the barn, we were able to give the horses a little treat as a thank you for the ride. I thought my date was going to die from sheer happiness.
Not only am I going to see her again, I might even try horseback riding again. It could be fun to get one of them out on the trail and see how fast they can go!