Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tales from the Trail Part 2

The Beijing Family

(This is not them. Just a google pic that made me think of them and to develop some imagery haha)

So this family was rather interesting. They were all from Beijing and actually spoke a little bit of English (the mother didn't I don't think but the father and daughter were able to speak pretty well) During their initial check in the father said "You visit Beijing some day!" 
I said alright sounds good. Though to be honest I don't think I would handle their culture very well, so realistically, probably not.  I did however teach him the words "okay" and "sounds good" haha. 

So the father and daughter said they had a little bit of riding experience, whereas the mom was terrified and never spoke the entire time. The first moment struck me as add when I had all our horses tacked up and ready (two people plus myself) and I came over to let them know we were ready to go. The father said "okay she just has to go pick up my wife and daughter!" to which the travel agent who was with him, frantically jumped in the car. I thought ...okay. Why weren't they already here? Luckily we only had to wait about ten minutes, but then the daughter told me that her mother wanted to ride. So I went to get another horse ready and gave them the waivers to sign. 
We ended up starting about half an hour later than what we were supposed to since I was surprised by the additional person and horse, after they showed up late, and good god. Do you think we could get down that trail?
The mother's horse, who is a big paint named Clara and never does anything wrong, literally stopped to eat every single leaf on every single bush. I was trying to help this poor lady with pulling her reins, turning the horse's head, and using her legs. She was so weak and little, or completely afraid, she had no strength or control over her  horse. Plus she didn't understand me, so I had to try and get the daughter to translate what I was saying. Typically in this situation we "pony" the horses- except the horse she was on will kick someone behind her, so she has to ride in the back. It was a slow and painful process getting this lady to ride but eventually we got there.
It took us 35 min to get about a quarter of the way through the trail so I decided to cut it short. (Plus we had to go through a very dense vegetative area and I was afraid I would lose the mom) so we turned around and I brought them to the spot on the beach where we take pictures. I handed the daughter back her phone, and look over my shoulder, to see Clara (the horse) toss her head and the mother literally toss the reins forward so it falls over Clara's head and hits the ground. 
By now, this is the hundreth time I've had to help this woman hold her reins and she just keeps letting go. As soon as those reins hit the ground I literally bailed off of my horse (If Poppy ran back without me it wouldn't be the worst thing to happen) grabbed the reins, and tied them to the saddle horn. I repeated, again, that she absolutely had to hang on to them.
Thank god Clara is a good horse and didn't step on them or panic and end up in a tangled heap.
The ride back was a struggle since the mother had a difficult time keeping up. and the daughter kept asking me if she could make the horse run. I said "no. We don't go faster than a walk on this trail, and it is really dangerous to make the horse run home." She understands english by the way. She rode ahead of me about three times while I was trying to help her poor mother and I continuously had to call her back. (At least the dad was fine!) So we struggled along until we got back to the barn, and to my dismay, my boss was standing out in the paddock watching this girl keep riding ahead of me.
I of course got in trouble for letting the group get too spread out and let the girl go in front of me (I explained the situation and he said I should have made her get off the horse if she wasn't going to listen haha) and the father had signed the waiver for everyone, which wasn't allowed. I hadn't realized he did that, but he also didn't understand why he couldn't sign for the ladies in his family. So that was a whole thing.
A little frustrating but it was fine- they were extremely pleased with their ride and hung out for the next half an hour taking pictures with me and every horse they could find. Woo! The struggle is real.