Saturday, March 14, 2015

Time Out for Horse Sense

Living in Cave Creek, we are surrounded by horse ranches and authentic cowboys and cowladies. But what I know about horses could fit in a thimble and is the mass accumulation of about six rides at Spur Cross Stables when we had guests come to town. I always wanted to know more about them and a friend mentioned a class held at the Phoenix Zoo. Called Horse Hands, it is conducted by Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) instructors and covers all the beginning topics horse.

My first class was last Sunday and, I'm ashamed to say it was my first visit to the Phoenix Zoo. We arrived before the zoo opened and were advised not to stray from the path to the Thunderbirds Charities Equine Facility. (Yikes!)
Corral at Thunderbird Charities Equine Facility, Phoenix Zoo

The class is very small, limited to only six students, and we spent the first half getting to know each other and the horses in the stable. Our instructor, April, provided a brief lecture on horse ownership, obligations, etc. For the second part of the class, we were assigned to a horse and put on a bridle, walked the horse to the corral and groomed it. It doesn’t sound like much but grooming is very involved. I was covered with horse hair after the class.

Here is my horse, Parfait, who I just adore. She is a svelte 1120 pounds and a youthful 20 years old.

Sweet Parfait

I hope I have her every class. I tried to take a selfie of us but her head is so big I couldn’t get the right angle.

It's hard to take a selfie with a horse!

The class is just 6 of us - all women: three younger girls, less than 20 years old, and three about my age with the other two older ladies being sisters. One of the young girls is pretty timid but otherwise, we all seem to be enjoying it!

I think this week we will learn how to saddle the horse and actually go for a short ride. Stay tuned for more horse sense.

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