Friday, August 25, 2006

Whoooooah, Horsey!

Yesterday my sister, brother-in-law, niece and wife went for a horseback ride through a nearby provincial park. The ride was scheduled to start at 7pm, but with 13 people at the stable to go riding, gearing everybody up and mounting us on the horses was a 20 minute affair.

The horses were well behaved to (to the most part). My wife's horse, whose name escapes me, was somewhat flatulent at the beginning of the ride. Otherwise there were no issues there. The horse and rider in front of my wife were a perfect match. The Horse and rider had a bad temper. I guess the horse didn't like being followed as he did the occasional kicking type movement at my wife's horse. We joked about the horse's bad manners to which the rider rolled her eyes, and smugly defended the horse. My wife and I rode side by side for a few minutes. She hung back and I went behind "Bad Manners". It wasn't more than a few minutes until "Bad Manners" had issues with my horse, Whiskey. Once again, "Bad Manners'" rider piped up with concise directions of what I was doing incorrectly. As the typical male I am, I simply turned the selective hearing to tune her out.

The rest of the ride went uneventful. After the ride, we met up with my niece's grandmother who elected not to ride, and we had an evening picnic in the park.

By now it's late dusk. We pull into the parking spot next to a bbq pit, and unload the van. My niece Proclaims, "Hey, didn't we do a geocache around here a while ago." My sister and brother-in-law must have cringed as they are trying to keep me from catching up to their find total. So without GPS we went to collect the geocache, and signed in as finders.

We heated up our grub over an open fire, as I was out of white camp fuel. Apparently Kerosene doesn't make for a good replacement as it engulfed the stove in flames 2 feet high.

As we finished our meal, jokes of wild animals coming to feed on us and aliens crossed the conversation for the benefit of my 9 year old niece. My brother-in-law, in attempt to settle her fears again, told her that if wild animals were near, we'd see their eyes reflect from the flashlight beam and he shined the light across the field. About 30 meters away to the east he spotted something; yup bright reflecting eyes! It was a red fox. Looked like it was still younger, and obviously not aware of our presence as we were downwind. We watched the fox for about a minute until it had enough of the blinding light and it ran off into the bush to the south. We discussed the cool factor of the sight, and panned the flashlight to the left, about 60 degrees when we spotted a young doe grazing, maybe 20 metres away. We attempted some photography, but with next to zero luck.

Shortly there-after we headed home. We crossed the fox again as we were leaving the park. We headed home, and discussed how fun the day was. Tame horses and then wild animals all in the same day. What could be better??

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