Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Horseback Riding at River Valley Ranch


Who: My family & I
What: Horseback Riding
When: Mid-September
Where: River Valley Ranch, Carver, MN
Why: My birthday!
Cost: $30/person for an hour-long trail ride
Notes: Dress for the weather. Wear boots or sneakers. Wear long pants. Watch for turtles in the river :) Bring a camera with a wrist strap (Employees offer to take a picture of your group at the end!) Helmets are available for children.

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When my sister asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, not a minute passed & I had my mind on horses. Every vacation James & I take,  I try to go horseback riding. But my urge to saddle-up this year couldn't wait until our annual winter vacation. 

So it took me no time at all to respond to her, & she was soon planning it. 

My birthday rolled around & we made the drive to Carver - me, my mom, my dad, James, Brittany, & her boyfriend, Mike. We had a 4 o'clock trail ride booked, but moved it up to 3pm so we could have a longer evening relaxing at home. River Valley Ranch was nice enough to move us up a time slot when we called the day of. Thank you! 

My mom, ready to go on her horse Bam-Bam.
 We are farm people, so we have been around horses before, a time or two. Growing up, we had a horse named Beauty. She was sure a beauty, but we didn't dare ride her. I got on her twice in my life, & I ended up on the ground. My brother even was kicked by her. She was nice, otherwise. 

At River Valley Ranch, we were greeted & each signed the waiver form. We paid $30 a person, which covered an hour-long trail ride. Led to the horse pen, the employees suited us to our horses.
 
My dad saddled on Doc.
We rode down hill, passed a gravel pit, around a meadow, through the woods, alongside a river, under some fallen trees, trudged in a bit of mud, & back up hill. It was a beautiful ride. We seen herons, turtles, & other horses. The river was stunning - it has rained a lot here lately, so it was full & flowing. The afternoon sun made it all that much more pretty. 


Brittany on her horse, Pebbles. I rode behind these two. Pebbles had some gas & she wasn't afraid to share ;)
 All the horses behaved so well. We stayed in a single-file line the entire time. I wanted to let them freely do their own thing... wander a bit, walk at their own pace some, but our guide wanted us in line & not stopping. My horse constantly wanted to eat, so I let her, here & there. I would nudge her to catch up with the rest after a bit, & we would gallop to the line. 

That has to be my favorite part - galloping. Our guide led the line to do it twice. 

Mr. Cowboy, James, on his horse, Molly.
 When we last rode in Costa Rica, we were the only two in the group - James & I. They were a lot more lenient with the horse-riding there. We could ride side-by-side or let them meander a bit more. I'm sure RVR has their reasoning's for keeping the horses in line & walking. 

Nonetheless, we had a wonderful ride. 

Me & my lovely horse Lakota. We had a good time together. We bonded.
 This was the perfect activity on a mid-September afternoon. I hope to come back again. 

I hope to find other places, closer to home, to ride, too. 

I hope to get a horse of my own some day. 

I hope for money to support my horse dream ;)

Until then, I will continue to ride when I can. I highly recommend this for an outing in Minnesota!  

Check out River Valley Ranch online here


Horse love,
Ash 

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