Find horses? How about *ride* a horse?
This morning Ronan, Nieve and I headed to our local hiking spot, Arastradero Preserve, for a walk. Ronan enjoys hiking as he gets the freedom to explore at his pace. Nieve is less of a runner and more of an observer, always alert, pointing out animals, flowers and the ever-present horse poop (this was also a favorite activity of Ronan's when he was her age).
Give a four year old boy an inch...
...and he'll climb to the top of the haystack
Usually the highlight of our hikes is coming across horses from Portola Pastures being exercised on the Arastradero trails. Most of the riders are both friendly and patient, meaning the kids get to pet the horses, ask their names, and if they are very lucky feed the horse a treat.
Ronan learning how and when to give a horse some water
Today luck took them a step further; not only did they get to meet several horses they cajoled a very friendly equestrian, Larry, into letting them ride a horse. Larry was great, from explaining the basics of horse care to telling jokes; he also introduced the kids to his friendly dog Marcus.
Nieve looked like a pro on a horse... and she loved it
It was very kind of Larry to take the time to entertain the kids - they loved meeting/feeding/grooming/riding his horses and talked about it the entire walk back to the car and ride home. Given how much both kids seemed to enjoy the stables I wouldn't be surprised if they took up riding when they become a bit older!
Nieve and Ronan ready to set out on a ride