How do you start a horse?!

One of the perks with some work camping jobs is free passes to local attractions.  Last summer, we were fortunate to receive VIP passes for working in the Black Hills, and were able to see and do many activities, free of charge.  This summer, we did not think we would have that opportunity, but happily, we were wrong!  If you are considering work camping jobs, asking if there are any free perks/passes is a good idea.

The Big Sky and West Yellowstone Chambers of Commerce have created Host Week passes.  These are passes to many local attractions and restaurants that offer free or reduced prices.  The only caveat is that it only valid for 10 days in June.  So we did our best to cram as much as we could on our off days.  As such, I will have several blog posts of our activities over the next several weeks.

Work itself is slowly picking up.  Most schools should be out by now, so bring on the tourists!!  I can only dust the same items at work so many times!

One of our first “free” attractions that we visited was a horse ride courtesy of Parade Rest Guest Ranch.  A one hour ride through the Custer Gallatin National Forest is normally $55.00 per person.  Since we booked so early in the season, Dan and I were the only two people during our ride with Tristan, our guide, which made for a more personalized experience.

They make it easy for beginners, as you mount the horse from stairs.

Beginners Mount

Beginners Mount

My horse was named Buck, and Dan’s was on Rowdy.  When we started our ride, Dan and our guide took off, and I just sat there.  I was a bit puzzled on how to get the horse moving!  Our guide gave us a lot of safety instruction, and how to steer the horse, but not how to “start” it.  Tristan quickly noticed I was not moving, and told me to kick Buck.  I don’t want to kick an animal, so I gave Buck a gentle tap….and he did not budge!  Then Tristan yelled “kick, kick, kick, kick, kick!”  So I followed his instructions and kicked and kicked.  And off Buck went, a bit too fast for my liking!  I quickly realized that saddles have no padding.  If they can make bicycle shorts, I wonder if they have saddle pants?!

Buck quickly settled down, and probably realized I was an easy target, as he frequently stopped for a mouthful of grass. We kept a leisurely pace well behind Tristan and Dan.

not keeping pace

not keeping pace

Our ride started out in prairie grass, but quickly climbed up through the forest.

through the woods

through the woods

After about 20 minutes, we came to a scenic overlook, where we could view Hebgen Lake down below, with the mountains in the background.  It was a beautiful and peaceful view.

Hegben Lake

Hebgen Lake

Dan and Rowdy seemed to get along nicely.  He was a pretty big horse.  I think our guide said he is a Quarterhorse.

Howdy!

Howdy from Rowdy!

Buck just continued snacking along the route.  I tried to pull up when he put his head down, but he was stronger than I was.

Buck is snacking

Buck is snacking

The views throughout our ride were beautiful!

North of West Yellowstone

North of West Yellowstone

a beautiful ride

a beautiful ride

happy trails

happy trails

As we started to descend back down the hill, we had an overview of the barn and corral at the Ranch.

Parade Ranch below

Parade Ranch below

We had a great time on our ride, and would definitely recommend the Parade Rest Guest Ranch for anyone interested in a horse ride in West Yellowstone.  There are several companies that offer rides, but given that this ranch has a special use permit to ride in the forest, made for a challenging (up and down narrow trails), fun and scenic ride.

CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES!!!

Dan and I also want to give a special shout-out to my nephew Jeremy, for graduating from a very challenging Nurse Anesthetics program in Minnesota.

Congrats Jeremy!!

Congrats Jeremy!!

Also, congratulations to my niece Molly, for graduating from High School!

Congrats Molly!

Congrats Molly!

One of the few downsides of this lifestyle is that you are going to miss some special occasions.  So hugs and high fives from Montana!!

Quote for the day:  “No hour of life is wasted, that is spent in the saddle.” – Winston Churchill

4 thoughts on “How do you start a horse?!

  1. You forgot to say Molly graduated after taking a very challenging Geometry class–third time’s the charm. And yes, they make saddle pants–they’re called riding pants. Hannah can loan you hers the next time. How about wearing a helmet?!

    • Geometry – one of Mr. A’s favorite subjects! They did not offer helmets. I would have worn one though, because going downhill was a bit challenging. The horses they had are old and slow, so that is probably why they did not have them.

  2. That post cracked me up and gave me great memories of my horse back riding days. I always got the horse who liked to ‘snack’ or the one that decided the barn was the place to be 🙂 You guys are having fun!

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