“Topper! Stop. Whoa!” our 5 year old son said in the tiniest voice ever. Kyle’s pony was riding toward a low hanging tree and he was in panic mode. Topper walked on and Kyle leaned farther and farther back in the saddle to avoid getting stuck in the face with a branch. His horse came to a complete stop with his face in the leaves and Kyle leaned back so far that his helmeted head was laying on the butt of his horse.
It was one of their first rides and the boys were learning how to direct a horse. It took these seasoned horses 2.5 seconds to figure out our boys were noobs and their inner animal was free to roam unchecked. Shawn called out, “Kyle, turn your horse.” “Tell him to stop.” No matter how loud Kyle commanded or how he turned his reins, his horse would not listen. Kyle soon realized that Topper wasn’t going to back out so he rolled off, helmet first, into the mud and stuck fast. If anyone knows my husband AT ALL, you’d know this was followed by heaves of laughter.
Faith Ranch. We took many family vacations and youth trips there. It’s where we learned how to work hard in the rain and muck as well as learned to ride. Upon arrival at Faith Ranch, we were given a horse to groom, saddle and care for for the week all while learning how to ride. The ranch hands provided different events during our stay that would encourage the horse-human bond: Horsemanship classes, cattle round-up (where we learned to “woop” and “yah” at the cows), and trail rides. We also remember other fun times such as barn dances, rock wall climbing, a water slide, boating, and of course chuck wagon. Chuck wagon was one of our favorite dinners/breakfasts while at the ranch. We learned how to grill toast with a wire hanger and top it with homemade strawberry rhubarb jam and drink cowboy coffee where you strained the grounds through your teeth. Actually, this may be the time we really started liking coffee.
Things that come to mind during our time at the ranch: Kory, I’m pretty sure I will never forget the “7:30” song that you sang for the students when it was time for devotions. I think dad and I still sing it when someone says 7:30. Oh and the look on your face when you commanded Peppermint to canter and he did. (I hope I can find that picture again soon.) Mom and dad Newman, I will always remember our trail ride through the beautiful autumn leaves and following it up by staying in the A-framed houses years later. Kyle, how you loved cleaning the stable area and that you didn’t mind the smell at all, or how you loved wearing your cowboy hat everywhere. Shawn, how you broke your shin with a hammer, didn’t realize it, and still rode your horse the rest of the week. I can’t even. lol Or how you taught a 30 minute compass class from hearing someone talk about compasses for 2 minutes. So many memories of fireside singing (or rapping – Nikki and Andi), trail rides, building stable areas, finding beaver dams, putting on VBS for the town, hay bale running, lessons about electric fences, Mountain Lightening and Doctor Perky, how to survive lightening strikes while riding horses, remodeling the Covenant House, catching sheep, and learning to whistle on the hay rides.
Home Home on the Ranch. ❤