Horseback riding at Sundance Guest Ranch

running-horses-photographer-bcWhen I was 14 years old, I got kicked in the leg by a horse. It happened at a children sports camp. My horse had gotten too close to the one in front of it, causing it to anger and kick back, right on my leg. I vividly remember jumping off and lying in the dust, while the other horses in the arena went crazy and threw 2 kids off their backs. Up to that point, I hadn’t felt that my leg was broken in two different places.

What followed were months of agony, as I slowly recovered. Except for a part of my leg that had suffered irreparable loss of sensitivity, I was physically healed.

Flash forward to last month. Our friends invited us to visit them at the Sundance Guest Ranch and mentioned a horseback ride was included. I felt scared. Sure, I knew my fears were irrational, yet emotionally, it felt as if an accident was luring. But I decided to gather my courage, and push through. To open my mind, and at least try.

As soon as I had mounted my horse, he knew. He knew I was scared.  He knew he could do whatever he wanted, without me being able to take control. And he did. He stopped to snack on herbs along the trail every so often, but worst of all: he started to close in on the horse in front of us. It showed signs of annoyance, that were all too familiar for me. Images of the accident kicked in (pun intended) and I had had enough. I was ready to walk away.

Until my friend suggested to switch horses with her, since she was riding the mellowest animal of the pack. So I did. It instantly felt better. As if Colorado, the laid-back horse, knew I was having a hard time and felt bad for me. For the remainder of the trip, he made me feel safe and allowed me to enjoy the spectacular views on the prairie that surround the ranch.

I learned (yet again) that pushing through fear always brings a great reward: peace of mind and the knowledge that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Sometimes all it takes, is a mellow horse.

Enjoy these photographs Jelger and I took at the ranch and keep an eye on our page for a gorgeous couple shoot at the ranch soon!

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Also, here’s some behind the scene shots of me and Jelger, having a good time. 😉

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