Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's Pony Day!

We've posted many pictures before of Clara and Elena riding ponies; the same woman brings her ponies to farmer's markets and other events we've attended, and whenever we mention the possibility of ponies the girls go wild.

During the summer, there is one day a week that you can go to the pony farm and ride there, instead of at an event.  We've been meaning to go down for some time, and we decided that this Thursday would be the day!  When they woke up this morning, both Clara and Elena cried: "Is it pony day?  Is pony day today?"  And it was!
At the stable, each girl got to pick out her own pony.  Elena claimed Star.
Clara claimed her recurring favorite Frosty.
The ride at the pony farm is so fantastically better than any we've ever been on before that we don't know how we'll go back to a ride around a parking lot!  First, the girls were taken over the troll bridge.
Why is it called the troll bridge?  This little guy!  You can see both girls look a bit dubiously at him, as they were told to ask the troll if they could pass over.

Then it was off through the woods.  They got to pick which path to go down, and both Clara and Elena picked blue.  So we all got to travel through the woods together.
Part of the ride involved touching each tree they passed that was marked with the blue mark (this seemed like some early trail awareness to us, and we were pleased they taught it!).  Clara wasn't so sure she wanted to play along, and was being coy, so Steve was touching the tree with her.
Elena laughed back at her, fully realizing how silly her sister was being in trying to gain attention!
Then, she confidently showed her sister how it was done.  Right after this, Clara got right on the ball and touched every tree.

We passed several "grandfather trees" in the woods - I've seen these decorations before, but they look so neat in an actual forest.
When we made our way out of the woods the girls asked to trot instead of just walk.  So their guides gamely took them down this path and they trotted away.  They feel so big when they do that!
We were the last riders of the day, and the girls were invited to help the ponies end their day.  Elena-horse-whisperer pets Star here after she's had her bridle taken off.
Clara helps manage the passel of dogs (can you BELIEVE how comfortable they are with dogs now??) while Elena helps Suzi take off Jenni's saddle.
Clara got to bring the saddle blanket back to the tack room.
Then she said her last goodbye to Star.
On our way out, we visited with Molly and her mother, Millie.  These are favorites we've ridden before, too, and it was good to see them out in a pasture enjoying themselves.  They came right up when the girls neared the fence.
After all that riding, we sure were hungry!  We stopped at the park for Downtown Tonight and had dinner there - the girls were very enthusiastic about picking noodles.

Such a lovely afternoon!  We are so happy to be having this easy, lovely summer with them.  With them seemingly growing bigger by the day, it's good to have this time with them.

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