The kids on their 2-wheeled "steeds"

The kids on their 2-wheeled “steeds”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You can leave the ponies, but the ponies never leave you.  Case in point: We took a family vacation to South Carolina last week, the first real “away’ vacation we’ve taken in a while.  We were looking forward to some time away from our busy schedules, quality time together as a family, and truth be told, my husband was probably eagerly anticipation a week away from anything horse related.

He rolled his eyes when we told him how we hugged the horses goodbye and told them we’d miss them and not to forget us for the week.  James, angel baby that he is, raised his head and pretended to look like he cared that we were leaving. Sug never even looked up from her hay.  The poor man started to get a sense that the horses were not going to be completely left behind when we were at the airport during a changeover: We were getting on to one of those automated walkways and my son misjudged his approach, at which point he turned to me and ruefully said, “I chipped the distance on that one.”

Here are some of the other ways we knew the horses had not left our minds:

1) You go on a bike ride with your son and when he passes people on the bike path he yells “inside” to them to let them know what side he is passing them on.  To his way of thinking, the road was the outside and the golf course was the inside.  made perfect sense to us, but I told him we were probably the only equestrians on vacation so we’d be better off sticking to “left” and “right.”

2)  You realize that bikes, at least the big old cruisers, do NOT listen to half halts.  They respond to backward pressure on the pedals.  I was pointing out an alligator sunning himself in a lagoon to my son when I experienced this bit of learning, and damn near skidded into the lagoon before I figured out what I was doing wrong.

3)  You call your bike your “steed” and name it.  My husband’s eyes darn near rolled back in his head when Sophie announced her bike was a stallion named “Julien” (pronounced Hool-eee-en) and Noah and I confessed to naming ours as well.

4)  You find yourself creating a horse-less horse show with your bike.  While waiting for everyone to get organized to bike home after we’d gone out to breakfast, I noticed Sophie riding her bike in circles around the parking lot, muttering to herself.  After listening more carefully, I could tell she was giving herself the same instructions she’d get in an under saddle class.  Of course I had to video that bit of cuteness!

 5)  While walking on the beach Noah commented how much fun it would be to bring Sugar and James out there, and what a good work-out it would be for our tubby mare.  As we watched Soph run around and jump the tide pools, he turned to me and said, “Look, she’s practicing the water jumps.”  Some of the tide pools were too large for her to jump over, and she called over to us, “Look, I’m an event horse, and I’m going through the water hazard”  She’d make a very brave event horse.

Stretching to clear the water jump

Stretching to clear the water jump

6)  You take so many bike rides that your muscles are screaming at you.  Normal people would go to the local Piggly Wiggly and look for Ben Gay.  We Googled the nearest tack shop for some Sore No More.

I’m pretty sure we’ll have a few more of these moments as Horse Junkies on vacation.

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