It’s been a very long time since we visited friends in Georgia and Mason first fell in love with horses. Unlike most things, he has not forgotten about Babe and how much he liked riding. Victory Alliance Ranch, which is a therapy horse farm, is just down the road from us, and I finally got in touch with the owner, Karen. She said she’d love to meet us and yes, she’d be happy for us to volunteer.
As we were driving up, I told Mason that we weren’t here for riding – that we’d have to help around the farm. He was upset by this, and didn’t even want to get out of the car. I probably could have done a better job of explaining everything to him, but I thought that seeing the horses would be enough. When we met Karen, I explained that Mason was upset about not getting to ride. Karen was great, and told Mason that as long as he helped, he would get to ride. Karen had some things to take care of, so one of the other volunteers showed us around the farm and introduced us to the horses. She mentioned that Karen likes for the younger horses to have a buddy, and that maybe Mason could be Cash’s buddy. If I remember correctly, Cash is about 6 months old. When Mason learned that he would have his own horse to look after, he was over the moon. Karen brought Cash in from the pasture, and Mason brushed him. Then, true to her promise, Karen saddled up Beau, and Mason got to ride.
The look on his face says it all. (His face is painted from an earlier trip to the school carnival. He has not grown whiskers recently, as far as I know.)
We went back last weekend, after making a quick run to the store for barn boots, and mucked stalls. I was a little worried that Mason would not be very happy about scooping poop, but he actually jumped right in and started scooping. When we were done, he said, “That was kinda fun”, sealing his fate as a horse person. He didn’t get to ride, but he did get to visit with Cash again. We will go back this weekend, and there should be at least one new foal for us to see. I’m so glad that Mason has found something just for himself that doesn’t involve his brother. I worry sometimes that he gets stuck tagging along with all of Toby’s sports, and feels left out. I don’t think there’s much chance of Toby thinking stall mucking is fun, so Mason gets this experience all to himself.
Thanks, Karen, for including us in the herd!
Cash, eyeballing us from his stall.