Monday, November 30, 2009

City Slickers

We just returned from getting Maggie from the kennel. The kennel people again bragged about how sweet and good she is when she visits them.

Pausing now in disbelief.

The Vet came out to say, "hello" and I expressed my heartfelt appreciation for his rare facility.

"We like cats," he stated.

"You just don't know," I continued, "I drive here for miles because Maggie is happy with y'all."

"We're glad you like us."

So now Maggie is sprawled at my feet while I attempt to blog and ignore that pile of laundry waiting for me in the other room.


The trip to Santa Fe was great. Daughter would say the highlight was the horseback riding, but I'll be honest and tell you that the highlight for me was the food.

Our Thanksgiving buffet included the usual items like traditional stuffing and turkey, but also had some pretty unique (at least for me) dishes as well. My favorites were the New Mexican style stuffing with pine nuts and chorizo and the maple butter sweet potatoes with praline topping. I have no idea how to make the stuffing, but my new goal is to replicate those sweet potatoes.

We also tried Native American traditionally baked bread with green chili butter.


Now, to the horses.

Hubs and I were not sure if it was going to be, well, lame. We imagined the trail ride as a yuppy inspired, amusement park level tour with city lights and high wires in the background. We were pleasantly surprised. We rode for nearly 1 1/2 hours. Ouch.

When I signed us up, I was honest and told them we were all beginners. Daughter has taken some lessons, but she is not nearly experienced enough to surpass beginner status. I haven't been on a horse since I was about nine years old. Hubs rode horses as a child, back before the Internet was invented.

I've learned that when you label yourself a "beginner" you end up with the oldest horse in the barn. The guide told us that between the three horses we were riding, he had about 100 years of horse.

If I didn't already feel pitiful, knowing that I was literally being carried by a senior citizen really sealed it for me.

Hubs' horse was named "Goose." He said,"Talk to me, Goose" as he held the reins in his hands. Then Kenny Loggins began to sing in the background.

Daughter rode "Magic" and was in heaven the entire time. I rode alongside her once and heard her tell Magic all about the horses she has ridden during her lessons and their personalities. It was precious.

My horse was "Ray." As soon as we learned his name, Hubs said,"You can call me Ray or you can call me Jay or you can call me..." For the entire ride I had that commercial in my head.

Thanks, Maverick.

At one point, our AARP member horses were lagging behind. Hubs decided to catch up with the group and gave Goose the go-ahead to trot. Well, Ray apparently likes to do everything Goose does and decided to trot, too. You know, those horses are so prone to peer pressure.

Ray began to trot and I was not prepared. I gave him a quick "whoa" and he slowed. Then I yelled ahead at Hubs to give me warning next time.

The guide just laughed. Some sort of cowboy humor.

After that, the ride was uneventful, which was my goal. My other aim was that my horse and I would both live through the experience. I'm sure Ray has much grander dreams for his last ride into the sunset.

An almost forty gringo gal with a beer commercial stuck in her head is probably not it.


Amy said...

I am sure your trail guide got a kick out of it all. They must see a whole lot of "beginners". If only those horses could talk. It would probably be a lot of "I wish those whippersnappers would hurry it up I hear there is an early bird special at the corral tonight"

It sounds like a memorable trip.


Melanie said...

The food sounds delish! I wish I could try something different like that. My hubs doesn't do anything but southern:)

We rode horses in California 4 yrs. ago and I got the almost dead horse too. I was scared to death and they put me on the slowest thing they had. He was even slow for me.

I am glad that yall had a good time. Happy Thanksgiving.