Our friend Jenn has a horse at a barn a few towns away. We've been trying all summer to sync up our schedules so I could bring the kids up. The stars aligned on Friday and off we went. The farm was a lot bigger than I expected. There were goats, a pig, ponies, TONS of horses and even a resident donkey named Amigo that roamed around.
I was surprised that the kids weren't afraid to put their hands out to pet the horses. When the horse would lick their hand they would pull it away and laugh.
After a tour of the barn Jenn took us for a long walk all around the farm. That's the farm house at the top of the hill. It's mainly a riding farm so there are lots of areas for horses to be ridden.
There was a water fountain in the middle of the property that the kids couldn't stop talking about. All they wanted to do was to go see it. We eventually made it there and they probably would have stayed there all day throwing rocks into the pond. Eventually Jackson wandered off and found a nice water filled ditch to play in.
While at the pond we saw a HUGE frog. Jenn and I weren't crazy about it. It makes me shudder just thinking of it. But the kids loved it. Luckily it stayed put and didn't jump at us.
Then we went back up to the barn to get Jenn's horse all dressed for riding. She just bought Major in May. He was very mistreated by his previous owners and was extremely malnourished. Jenn has done a great job taking care of him and retraining him (She's only 19 by the way). I never would have known he was 300 pounds underweight just a few months ago. He looked so healthy and was very well behaved.
I asked Jenn if Jackson could get up for a picture. She said sure so I asked Jackson if he wanted to and he said hmmm meaning yes. He absolutely loved it up there. She ended up riding around the paddock a few times with him. He cried when we took him down.
Then I asked Maddie if she wanted to go on the horse and she said hmmm meaning no. She really wanted nothing to do with it.
After that Jenn rode up to another paddock where there were jumps. The three of us followed behind. Through the fields were other jumps built into the landscape. One of them was these long black tubes stacked on top of each other. Maddie stood on one end and Jackson went to the other and they were yelling back and forth to each other. Jenn and I were cracking up until I heard Maddie scream and cry. I went to her and she was rubbing her eye. I thought maybe she burned her cheek on the black plastic or scrapped it on the rough edge but when I looked IN the tube I saw about 30 yellow jackets around a nest. UGH! I felt so bad that she had been stung. I know how bad it hurts. We all went back to the barn so Jenn could put some baking soda on it. She was still crying pretty hard and through her tears and heart breaking cry she looked me in the eye and said "KISS IT!!!!" She swelled up a little but strangely nothing like her mosquito bites!
We made our way back up to the jump area and watched Major take some jumps.
Then we walked back down to the area where Jackson first rode. This picture gives you an idea how big Major is!
Then Jenn hoisted Jackson up to ride by himself!
She said he was a natural. He was completely comfortable up there and very serious.
After we were all sufficiently, sweaty, dirty, tired and hungry we all went and grabbed a sandwich.
Below is Maddie's eye after we got home and had a bath. It was completely fine on Saturday.
Here's a slideshow of the many more photos I got that day.