Zoe woke me up before sunrise as she was growling at the horses (I assume) through the window, and she convinced me to get out of bed for a walk. It was nice being out in the crisp air, but I couldn’t help but think that we shouldn’t be out here in the dark without knowing what other animals might be out here with us. Dan, owner of the ranch had told some stories last night about a mama black bear who had broken into their kitchen a couple times; and there’s gotta be a reason that the outdoor dumpster is wired…
After a few minutes, we realized we are not alone. The wranglers are also up at sunrise to feed the horses. When we got back to the lodge we found Dan in the kitchen starting breakfast. All the other women must still be in bed while the men get things ready for the day. I decided that all men should be sent to a ranch for training.
Breakfast was egg cooked in puff pastries, lemon-cranberry muffins, bacon, bacon, bacon, and fruit, with orange juice and coffee. Delicious! I tried to stop at four pieces of bacon, but they kept dropping them on my plate. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I lot count of my bacon pieces by the end of the meal.
We got about an hour to digest our meal before heading down to the stables for the morning ride. I decided not the bring Zoe along on the first ride, so that I would have a chance to get comfortable without having the added distraction. I had to slip out the side of the lodge when she wasn’t looking. I felt a little bit bad about that, but forgot it pretty quickly. Zoe is really good a forgiving and forgetting.
I was assigned to Gauge, a gelding who was dumped by his previous rider for being “pokey”. Not sure what that means, but he did alright with me. I felt a little sore after the ride, but nothing too bad. I hope that we get to trot and gallop a few times before the end of my stay!
By the time we got back it was lunch time: simple deli sandwiches with pickles (5 different types!), salad and potato chips. I didn’t stuff myself probably only because I was still full from the morning. Plus, I was really excited for the afternoon activity.. rifling!!! Turns out, I’m not too bad with a rifle! When Victor asked me what previous experience I had, I told him I had won a water gun contest at the county fair once. That and his guess that I was a “valley girl” made me think he had very low expectations. After I educated him on the difference between a beach girl and a valley girl, I shot down more cans then he did (with a lot more bullets of course). The stat I chose to share with the rest of the group was that I hit three cans with only 9 bullets. Not too bad for a beginner!
Dinner was flank steak, alfredo pasta, summer corn salad, and biscuits with honey butter, followed by chocolate cake with white chocolate mint drizzle and vanilla ice cream for dessert. I ate so much that I fell asleep shortly after.