Travel Magazine

A Pandora's Box o' Fun

By Kate_miller
"A vacation is what you take when can no longer take what you've been taking."

A Pandora's Box o' Fun

Stealing a kiss from the handsome-est dude on the trail ride.

Four years ago, I was drifting. Flatlining, to be more precise. 
Raised a wonderful daughter, sent her off to college and then knocked around a big, empty house, for an entire year, with no one to talk to but myself. (I'm not that interesting.)

A Pandora's Box o' Fun

Heading into the Chuchillo Mountains, near Truth or Consequences, NM.

Kept asking myself the same question over and over again: Now what, Kate? Now what?

A Pandora's Box o' Fun

Me and my wonderful borrowed horse, Baby Rain.

'Twas my next door neighbor who saved me. She and I lied to the horse owner down the road from us. Lied, big time.
That unsuspecting woman had advertised that she leased horses to "experienced riders." So, we told her we were experts. (How hard could it be?)

A Pandora's Box o' Fun

My good friend Nancy. We would never have met, were it not for our love of horses.

The fact that I put the halter on upside down was a dead give away though we somehow cajoled this gal into leasing us two horses for the summer.
A sneaky move that opened a pandora's box of fun.

A Pandora's Box o' Fun

Carol. My roomie on this ride and - dig this - she wears Harry Potter pajamas. I was so jealous!

Horses, whether male or female, behave like impetuous teenage girls. They are frustrating, challenging, and ~ quite often ~ for sale! Because they don't always behave themselves when you need their undivided attention.
They bring out the Mom in you... Suddenly someone needed me again.

A Pandora's Box o' Fun

There's always one show off in the bunch. :)

In the beginning, everyone called horses my midlife crisis. And, they were probably right.
But, here's the deal. Even when it comes to an alleged crisis, there's safety in numbers. On my very first trail ride, I met an entire group of women who called themselves the SADDLE SORE-ORITY.
And, whaddyaknow... These women had been looking for something new to do ~ their kids, like mine, were away at college, making it much harder to meddle in their lives.

A Pandora's Box o' Fun

Los Alamos nuclear engineer. Cowgirl at heart.

Beginning a new hobby opens more doors than you'd ever imagine. An entire world of like-minded people you'd never have met, where it not for this new-found passion.
A Pandora's Box o' Fun

Have you looked into horse vacations? How long did it take to recover from sticker shock?
Here's a little known secret: It does NOT cost a fortune to enjoy this type of adventure. 
You simply need to Google your little heart out ~ search for true benefit trail rides vs. tourist traps looking to make a fast buck. (These benefit trail rides often rent horses.)
A Pandora's Box o' Fun

I rode a borrowed horse. Stayed in a comfy lodge. 5 days, meals included, live entertainment and dancing nightly. (May I just say that learning the two-step is harder than it sounds??? I kept turning it into a 3-step.) And the total cost was..... $475.
All of which went to support the Black Range Horse Camp for kids.
* Full Disclosure: The food was terrible. I mean really and truly terrible. (Leftover spaghetti for breakfast.) But, the camaraderie made up for everything. And, hey! I lost a pound or two...

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