Today is DH's and my 3rd wedding anniversary. Three years ago, DH's Big Brother and family gave us some gift certificates through Select Registry, a company that allows you to use certificates at hundreds of B&Bs, inns, resorts, etc. around the country. We finally cashed ours in last weekend, to celebrate our anniversary, at the Tanque Verde Ranch, here in Tucson. best room in the place, which is what we got. It was a six-person suite, bigger than our whole apartment, that goes for more than three times what we paid. So we were big fans right off the bat.
Breakfast and lunch were buffets with a huge dessert selection at lunch (we're also big fans of food). All meals were included with fruit and pastries available to snack on between meals (even we didn't need that). Alcohol was the only thing not included, but that was okay. It wasn't that kind of weekend.
All activities were also included, horseback riding being the big draw, naturally, at a ranch. There was also mountain biking, hiking, a nature center, tennis, swimming, art lessons, workout room, etc. We pretty much just did the horse riding, with a little swimming thrown in.
Now, when I was little, maybe eight, nine, ten (my mom would know), I used to go to horse camp for a week in the summers. One year my horse took off, full tilt, with me on it. I was terrified and immediately and completely forgot everything I knew about controlling a horse. I got more and more scared as the distance grew on the train between me and my group. Finally, one of the counselors was able to catch up with us and tried to shout at me what to do. I was pretty much frozen. Eventually she was able to grab the reins from her seat on her horse and stop mine for me.
I harbored a moderately intense fear of horses after that. Well, not the horses themselves, but riding them. Sometime in adolescence I rode a very gentle (but tall) horse of a dear family friend, just around her backyard, with her leading it by the reins from the ground. So, not riding so much as passively sitting on the horse. It was all I could do not to scream. I think I hid it very well though. I'm pretty sure my mother was there and probably had no idea I was scared.
So, when we went on our honeymoon to Jamaica three years ago, we were at an all-inclusive resort that offered horseback riding as an excursion. DH loves horseback riding (When we first moved to Tucson, he tried to talk me into buying one of the many properties here with stables. I nipped that in the bud.), so, of course, he was dying to go. He's much more adventurous and adrenaline-seeking than me (Much more is an understatement. We are at opposite ends of the adrenaline spectrum.), but I didn't want to deprive him, he had no one else to go with, so I decided to take a baby step toward conquering my fear. It was a good choice. These horses were so slow it was hard to keep them moving. I didn't even have to steer; they knew the path like the top of their hooves. It was a success.
reckless nature and was fool enough to think I could do it, too.
I failed. Miserably. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. I stayed on the horse. He didn't take off on me. It was more like he couldn't understand me. And the instructor was yelling at me (not mean, but I don't do well under that kind of pressure) and I was trying really hard to do all the things I learned and not panic, but I was so frustrated and confused and embarrassed about why it wasn't working. And I pretty much fell apart. Well, not visibly until I got off the horse. I knew enough to keep it under control so the horse wouldn't get freaked out.
So I did not get to end on a high note. I may have emotionally regressed to the easy walk rides again. But even if I never get the nerve to lope a horse again in my life, at least I did it once. And we loved the resort as a whole. I would definitely go there again. It's worth the money (even without the gift certificates). I would even try a different ranch resort someday. Just give me the easy horses who are more interested in eating the foliage.
Tucson 2006; Jamaica 2003. Speaking of foliage, that seems to be about the only thing that has changed here! I'm pretty sure those are even the same pair of jeans...