I'm a suburban guy who grew up in New Jersey and don't know horses from a Ford Mustang. I first rode a horse last February at a working (e.g. "dude") ranch in Texas. It was fun, and I actually "steered" the horse a bit for the hour we rode and it was a pretty good experience.
My wife arranged this during our 3 day trip to Yellowstone. We took a half day ride.
It was a different experience. My horse, probably selected for my novice status, named Tiber...pretty much drove himself. Occasionally I had to move him one way or the other. And even when we were about 1000 feet above Golden Gate and several of us nearly passed out from terror, the horse was very steady. In fact, all 8 were. The leaders, Carrie and Shannon, were great, very professional, friendly, and competent. It was a great trip, about 4 h long. It started out very simple, going through a meadow, then slightly uphill for a while. We then went into a forest downhill trail which was pretty muddy, and at that time one horse carrying a little kid actually fell, and the kid went flying. Fortunately he fell "uphill" so it wasn't a long way, and he dusted himself off and literally got back on the horse.
Lunch was included, at which time two horses got into it - the same one that fell - poor kid - and my wife's; as my wife tried to turn her's away the other one reared up and came down with its foreleg through her reins, so they were now locked together. My wife fell off as she was trying to get down.
So we knew that this was a possibility, but i have to tell you, Carrie and Shannon were on top of both of these incidents. I mean, they snapped to it and rode up to control the situation, cool, calm, professional. Once everything was straightened out they changed the order of the horses a bit, and we then climbed up through the HooDoo's, along a VERY steep trail with a pretty good....drop?....to the left. The horses were solid as HumVee's, and everything went off thereafter without a hitch. It cost a couple hundred for the 2 of us, and was a memorable experience. I wouldn't do it again but what i WOULD do is go with these guys on one of their 6 day back country pack trips. That's how competent they were and how much confidence I had in their leadership.
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