Monday, February 15, 2010

Wednesday 30/12/2009 - Club Hippique

Today we'd book a horse-riding tour that I'd been eying off before we left Australia. It was a rain-forest ride ending with an equine swim in the lagoon. I've spent quite a bit of time on horseback but never had I experienced swimming with them. This tour was one of my selection.
The rain-forest was not like the rain-forests of my home town. If I were to describe it, I'd say it was more of a 'bush' ride. We were greeted and sized for helmets (funny little pony-club things) that made our heads look all out of proportion. Our horses were waiting for us. Mine was named Dancer and hubbys was White Balls (yes folks white balls! even though his balls from what I could see were not particularly white, not that I took too close a look).

Some of the other people on the ride had obviously not had much experience on horseback. I offered one guy some assistance, by suggesting that if he lowered his hands and curled the reigns that he would have more control. The woman he was riding with was curt in saying "Don't do that!" I ignored them both, nothing was going to disturb me having a good time today. We traveled down hill and up dale. Hubby's horse was misbehaving quite badly, stopping every few steps to eat grass, Dancer tried to join him, but I kept control telling him that he could eat when I said so. As we rode on I noticed the rude woman from earlier having a hard time getting her horse to move (they, like all trail horses are stubborn, preferring to do their own thing). I giggled to myself as I walked Dancer past her, when I was level with her horses ears I whispered "walk on" and he instantly moved, I looked back to her and smiled, somehow she didn't seem pleased.
I took advantage of the lazy meanderings to chat to one of the guides, a quiet but friendly gentleman who's name I didn't catch. I asked him about brumbies (wild horses) and if they caught and broke them in. He told me that 'Club Hippique', the ranch on which we were riding frequently broke horses and taught the local boys how. He asked me how I knew things about horses and I told him that my father was interested in breeding horses as a form of retirement. It was good to talk horses to someone, it's been ages since I've been able to have a 'bushy talk' with anyone - since dad died in 2000 I suppose.

The trail returned to the stable grounds where we removed the horses saddles and rode them bare-back into the lagoon. Dancer didn't seem too keen for a swim until I splashed water up on his underbelly with my feet, at which point he buried his face into the salt water and blew a few bubbles just to show off (I'm sure). Hubby's horse, who had been cheeky the whole ride was the first into the water and also the first to get almost fully submerged. Having said that you'd expect that his horse walked into the lagoon until the water was very deep, on the contrary, hubby's horse decided that the lagoon was as good a place as any to lay down, hubby on his back. I was so proud of him, as soon as his horse regained proper orientation he mounted without delay, showing the horse who was boss. But that didn't last all that long before he again dove sideways, this time hubby remained on his back on the way down and on the way up again, he looked like a real ranch-boy or jackaroo.

On this tour we met a mother and daughter couple who were concerned that they wouldn't get any photos of the daughters time swimming with horses. Luckily we'd brought out underwater camera, and took some shots of her to send home as a memento (speaking of which I really should get those photos to them and in the process remember their names) - sorry ladies!

After returning to the resort we played some snooker at the bar before dinner, where we were informed very discretely that it was Diana's birthday (if I hadn't have found out, no one would have been told, she can be a bit shy our Diana - we love you) Once James had told us it was her birthday I made sure to wish her a happy birthday loudly from across the restaurant. The table closest to us hosted a kiwi couple who took my lead and suggested that the whole restaurant sing Diana Happy Birthday. The whole resort rang out with song. Diana had THE MOST beautiful, if a little embarrassed look on her face, she kept shaking her fist at me, threatening revenge for my cheekiness. Some members of staff came out of hiding in the kitchen, staffroom and washroom to sing along, they approached me later to thank me for making sure Diana didn't get away with a birthday without a birthday song.

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