Horse riding & picnic

Originally published on Glowless

I’ve always thought a horse ride would be rather romantic. You know, when the horse isn’t crapping and your bum isn’t starting to go numb. I had visions of Princess Buttercup and Wesley galloping through the hillside and pictured Map Guy and I doing just that. If you ignore the fact that neither of us wore fancy clothes, managed to go any faster than a quick trot, the fact that I look nothing like the delicious Robin Wright and replace the ROUS’s with kangaroos, it was EXACTLY like The Princess Bride. Swoon.

Recently I took Map Guy on a special surprise date trail ride experience and gourmet picnic that was worlds away from our usual Sunday shenanigans (of hanging around in PJs til noon) yet barely ten minutes from our house.

Despite always wanting to go horse riding, until now my only experience consisted of being led around a park oval by a spotty teen about twenty two years ago at a fete. With that in mind our trail leader, Jenni, gave me the reigns to the gorgeous Chrissie who was perfect for a first time rider like me. Chrissie had absolutely no sense of personal space and just wanted to follow the horse in front as closely as possible, her nostrils practically up Estelle’s backside. Don’t worry, Estelle is a horse.

Map Guy, with even less experience on horseback than me having never even been on one at a fete (really? and you call yourself a country boy?), got the slightly stubborn and perpetually hungry Bertha and pulled up the rear spot in our trail ride trio. Bertha liked to stop for snacks quite a bit and really, I can’t blame her. I like to stop for snacks too, particularly on days when I carry a grown man on my back. By half way through, Map Guy was a pro at keeping Bertha on track and with the group.

We rode through the equestrian centre property out the back of Wanneroo, down the road and in to the state forest and the Gnangara Pines. Which shouldn’t be confused with Gangnam Pines – the easy way to remember is that in Gnangara the horse riding is not imaginary and has far less call for shouting out “Oopa!”.

As our confidence grew, Jenni asked if we’d like to try a trot and tentatively we agreed. A quick note to any women thinking of taking up this experience – wear a sports bra. TRUST ME. Three short trots later and the girls definitely couldn’t handle any more.

It was so relaxing and I completely understood what Jenni meant when she said that this is her therapy. Out there with the bush and the ‘roos, the world is just so quiet and peaceful.

After an hour and a half of riding we headed back to the stables for the second part of our romantic day date – the gourmet picnic! I was expecting a few nibblies on a rug but instead we were greeted by a cute table all set up and platters of quiche, cold meats, cheeses, dips, fruit, crackers, strawberries and chocolate. And to top it all off, champagne – possibly there to make sure we were too sozzled to notice each others’ helmet hair. It was bliss and I can’t wait to go again!

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