Breathtaking sights and the glory of being out west awaited us. Primed in my red boots and with my daughter on the horse next to me, I climbed up into the saddle.
We were delighted that our guide was a true cowgirl. She rode 8 hours a day. Always helped wrangle up the cattle. Our guide also had amazing stories to tell us on our journey.
In our satchels attached to the saddles, we had the basics, including snacks, water, sunscreen, and of course, my camera. Our guide had the thick leather cowboy jackets that reminded me of the movie City Slickers in case of inclement weather. We felt ready to take on the day.
Try as I might, though, I don’t think I was completely aware of what was to come. It wasn’t the big cow that dared us to go further on the windy dirt road by staking her claim in the middle of it. The obstacle wasn’t the wood and wire fence that the cowgirl had to jump off her horse to open. My challenge wasn’t even when we went off the path through the thick brush and through a steep stream with the horses.
What I was not prepared for was to be so powerfully impressed by my daughter. Yes, I had watched her trot along on a horse named Marbles at riding lessons back home. Yet, never had.
“I can’t wait for my next adventure with my mom. this one was incredible!” – alyssa hipsky
I see her look so in control of an animal or herself.
Out in the countryside, she was fully aware of her surroundings and how to command her horse in a way that the animal respected. While I was all “Woah,” my daughter was so comfortable with all go.
Her favorite moment was when we found the open field. Our guide allowed Alyssa to let go and ride her mare as fast as she desired. Of course, as her mother, my heart seemed to be beating out of my chest. Alyssa rode with a fierceness that was not to be expected from a young girl. The speed, I would never attempt. Her pure joy was unmistakable.
I watched my daughter claim her dream. She seemed so free and alive as she rode that horse.
Before we went on E & H Guide Service’s personalized horseback rides in the Centennial Valley near Laramie, WY, I was prepared for the elements, the discomfort after being in the saddle, and everything else external.
What we can’t always predict is that breathtaking moment when we as parents see our child ride away from us not just into the sunset but also into growing up and into their own.