“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.”
― William Shakespeare, Henry V
Lamya Almuhiza gets some advice.
It was the first time that Faisal Alhamdan, Abdulwahab Alzahrani, Ibrahim Hamdan, Junyuan Pang, and Dekai Yu had ridden a horse, but judging by the smiles on their faces, it will not be the last. Lamya Almuhiza is an experienced rider who went with the group.
Riding for the first time as an adult can be intimidating. A friend of Dekai Yu’s had warned him that people often fall from horses. Ibrahim Hamdan said he had no idea what to expect. Those thoughts may have been on the minds of other students as Sheila Palmer Miles, owner and operator of this horse rescue, greeted everyone with enthusiasm. She gave a brief lesson on mounting, guiding, and other tips to make the ride enjoyable and safe for both horse and rider. After students mounted up, they took a trial ride around the indoor arena before heading out on the trail.
Junyuan Pang on the trail.
As herd animals, horses like to stay together, so if a few fell behind, they moved into a quick trot to catch up. All of the LCI students, including first-time riders, were straight in the saddle as if they had been riding since childhood. As the group approached the barn on the final leg of the trail, everyone felt that the experience had ended too quickly. Students lingered a bit after dismounting to reward their horses with carrots. After bidding a reluctant farewell to horses and stable hands, the group headed back to Blacksburg.
|Sondra Schreiber gets some tips.|
A note about Winterfrost Farm: It is a horse rescue caring for abused horses that have been confiscated by Animal Control as well as horses whose owners can no longer afford to care for them or who no longer want them. Trail ride fees help provide feed, vaccinations, farrier work, and other needs of the horses. There are numerous volunteers who assist with the horses’ care and accompany riders on the trail. For more information, or to schedule a ride, check out their website.