Vivi, being a bit older than my grandchildren allowed me to jump-start the dream, bless her dear heart. She's animal mad, fearless in a really good way, a great sport and doesn't mind getting dirty. And she really wanted to learn about horses.
So, as part of her repatriation to America (she's spent all her previous years in Asia where my brother worked for Nike) and to give her the chance to really get acquainted with Peanut, I invited her to the ranch for Cowgirl Camp.
We started off with a shopping expedition to our favorite Redmond store, Big R. It's the go-to store for local ranchers if you want clothes, hardware, camping stuff, animal food or ammo. We got clothes...
|New threads and giggling at Uncle Goddy|
|First morning in the new boots and jeans, heading down to the ranch|
|Leading Peanut down to the grooming area. Not many 6yr olds can manage to get a hungry pony past green grass. Vivi did.|
|All ready for the first lesson|
|By the second lesson, this is how the pair of them looked. Pretty nice!|
We did horsey stuff in the morning and other activities, such as eating ice cream and doing crafts, in the afternoon.
The catchphrase for the week was, "Cowgirl Up," and you know, I didn't have to say it very much at all. There were a few times when she got tired or hot or cold or flibbety when she heard it, and I even had it said to me one time.
|Cowgirling up with the manure rake|
After a couple of days of lessons in the arena, Vivi was ready to hit the trail, so we explored the forest behind the ranch. The ever faithful Trail Max went along, happy to be allowed to blaze the path ahead of us.
|Counting tree rings|
Max and Murphy did their part, tolerant dogs that they are. Sweet giggles erupted from the bedroom in the morning when Murphy would jump up on the bed to wake Vivi. Max gave a little growl when he needed time to himself and Vivi respected that. I was quite impressed with that. I think this kid has a future with animals.
I've always suspected that for me, the best years with the grandkids (and Vivi) would be post-baby/toddler. It was the same with our boys - I managed to get them out of nappies, and kept them fed, hydrated and clean(ish). People would tell me, "These baby years will go by so fast and you can never get them back," and I would silently cheer. I couldn't wait to get to the fun part, such as flying kites, treasure hunts and hikes.
This week with Vivi, the fun part was watching her create with Duplo,
playing Dog-Opoly in the evening,
laughing at her crazy antics in the chair we named Pepper Ann,
and of course, times with Peanut.
See you at camp next year, Vivi!