A few weekends ago the children and myself set out on a little adventure. Every time I decide on an adventure, I keep it a secret because I love surprising them. And this time was no different.
We jumped in the van for a “long drive,” according to them, and two hours later pulled into Chattahoochee Stables. When they figured out we were would be horseback riding, their excitement was worth the drive that almost soothed me to sleep. They were stoked to see the horses – they talked to them, called my name a thousand times and posed for pictures, which I accidentally and sadly deleted.
After a bit of a wait it was finally time to mount up, but minutes before my 6-year-old daughter Anna expressed her fear. “I wanna ride with you.” I knew, given my health, riding with her would not be comfortable and it would cause me additional pain. I also wanted her to try to enjoy the experience on her own. I let her know if she’d been 5 years old she wouldn’t have been able to participate (despite their website saying all ages) and she should take the chance to have a big-girl experience.
One of the guides brought out Anna’s horse, which was a gentle-looking, cream-colored mare named Pocahontas. Anna hesitated, but with the guide’s assistance she mounted the mare beautifully albeit stiffly. Along the trail Pocahontas followed the guide without veering left or right as if sensing my daughter’s apprehension. Halfway through the hour-long ride Anna was finally getting comfortable enough to look around and really enjoy herself. Her horse sensed that as well and started venturing around a little to get snacks from bushes or grass on the side of the trail. Eventually I saw the guide explain to her how to get Pocahontas back on track and Anna tugged the reigns as instructed. You should have seen the delight on her face.
Andre, my 10-year-old son, and Amareah who’s 9 both acted like they’ve been riding horses forever. Andre rode with his hands in his pockets, which caused me to say every few minutes, “Please hold the reigns, just in case.” He was in front of me and the two of us chatted, laughed and pointed out the scenery to each other: a stream, a shack in the woods, a cliff and anything else we found intriguing.
I found the ride to be very relaxing except when my horse, a large female named Dixie, started getting mad at me. Regardless what I did she stubbornly did the opposite and went so far as to huff at me. She even took off at a gallop when I gently kicked her. I could only laugh even when her antics had me last in line with the others out of sight. (I had been fourth in a line of eight.)
Near the end of the trail I started singing to her and she behaved the rest of the way. They later told me she’s very stubborn to which I thought, ‘I wish they had told me that first.’ That too was funny.
My thoughts on Chattahoochee Stables:
I could complain about the wait, the ranch hand bathroom or any other petty thing, but it isn’t necessary because we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the stables. The best part? The relaxing ride and the opportunity to absorb the beauty of nature.
The following contains a referral link:
Today I noticed the horseback riding deal for the stables is still listed on Groupon.