(PIC: Shayla with a wrangler on a cattle drive today.) I hadn't realized it'd been a week since I last updated. All is fine; we've just been busy.....working and playing.....OK, much more playing than working (smile). Shayne picked Shayla up from school at 9AM on Friday and they went to Aunt Marty and Uncle Jeff's to help load the horses. Next they were off to the destination they'd been waiting for since August - SMOKE RISE DUDE RANCH AND RESORT. (I'm still trying to figure out the "resort" part, but.......it definitely met every expectation I had of a dude ranch! This place was so cool - four hours from home down in southeastern Ohio.)
I wasn't exactly anxious to go spend the weekend in a "rustic cabin" without a bathroom and eating by campfire, so I joined them on Saturday. Aunt Marty was so sweet she said to me, "I know this isn't exactly your cup of tea, but you're such a good sport to do this with your family." I really had a fabulous weekend. I would never have gone alone, but to be with my awesome family was glorious! I love them so much and I kept telling myself not to wonder about what Christi would be doing and how much she would have loved this place. I tried to focus on all the fun and there was plenty of that!
Shayla was in all her glory and had the best weekend possible. I'm exhausted so I'll most likely share additional pictures later, but I must upload this video tonight as I think Aunt Marty and my mom want to see Shayla lope. This is like a cantor, I think. It's not a walk or a trot but the next speed. Shayla's never been able to do it before, but when she entered the "Extreme Cowboy Contest" this afternoon, she got "Pickles" - the horse we rented for her at the ranch this weekend to lope THREE times! She was so proud of herself, and we were so proud of her too! She also sat on a Belgian Draft Horse for the first time, spent time with the Equine Dentist who worked on Aunt Marty's horses' teeth, had lessons with amazing riding instructors, went on a cattle drive and three trail rides.
I also had a lesson, but I'm positive I did not receive a passing grade. When I complained to the instructor this morning that although the six hours in the saddle were lovely, my back, neck and bottom were killing me she told me that is because I was too stiff. I have to relax on the horse. (Ha! Me? I have so much more respect for all Shayla does with her weekly horse lessons now that I have had one lesson myself. Notice the "orb". I think Christi was trying to comfort me, knowing how scared I am around those horses!)