I counted down for months, anxiously awaiting our trip to Pigeon Forge. We always have a great time there, and this time we were going to ride horses!
The first thing we did upon arriving was visit a petting zoo and stables. The petting zoo area was really nice. We fed goats and deer (deer are a lot more aggressive than you think, especially when you have food in your hand), horses, pigs, even a zonkey (half zebra, half donkey) and a kangaroo.
Then it was time to ride the horses!
We were each assigned a horse. Mine was named Batman, and the man who told me my horse's name also told me that he rode that horse as the lead horse for three months straight before ever allowing anyone else to ride him.
Well, Batman soon showed me he was not happy no longer being the lead horse. The entire half-hour ride was a nightmare. My horse did not want to walk at the same pace as the others. He wanted to gallop, and he wanted to lead. He also kept nipping at the horse in front of me's flank, and that horse happened to be the one my daughter was on. At one point it even bit at the horse's face and I don't even want to go into how that horse reacted and what horrible incident was narrowly avoided.
What made it worse was that at first when I would lightly pull back on the reins, Batman would slow down as he was supposed to ... but he'd always speed right back up,determined he was going to gallop and nip at anything in his way. About halfway into the ride he decided he wanted to be in the lead, he wanted to run, and he didn't like me saying otherwise.
Despite talking softly to the horse, being as gentle and friendly as I could, it got to the point that when I'd pull back on the reins to slow him down before he'd nip at the horse in front he would jerk his head from side to side and reach back to BITE my foot! Thank goodness I had on closed toe shoes and he could only reach the tips.
I was beyond ready for the ride to end by the time we saw the stable coming up. All of the horses followed in single line over to the little mounting/dismounting area, but not my horse. He started to head straight for the stable and when I tried to pull on the rein to guide him where he was supposed to go, he got ornery again and bit at my foot.
At this point, the guy who led us came over to help me get off the horse. He told me to stand up in the stirrup and swing my other leg back. I did...
AND I FELL OFF THE DAMN HORSE!
Ever fall so hard from pretty high up that you jar EVERYTHING in your body? Well, I can tell you it's no fun. I was nauseous for the rest of the day and hobbled for the rest of vacation.
I'm no longer crazy about horses. Unicorns suck too. ;)