Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Annie Oakley Wears Prada

By age 18, I had three must-dos for my life. One, to graduate from Indiana University…check. Two, perform on a Broadway Stage…(I was chosen as a volunteer "Speller finalist" in Broadway's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee last Spring)...check. And finally, to ride a horse…Check!

Last week my family went to Southern California for a vacation. We had a fabulous time! Adam and I were given a choice. We could visit the famous San Diego Zoo or go Horseback Riding. We both agreed to go Horseback Riding so off to Bright Valley Stables near San Diego…we went. It was a beautiful day (as it always is in So Cal) and perfect for fulfilling my final "must-do".

Our car stirred up the dusty trail to the stables. We all sat there for a moment all looking at each other like we were about to set off for the New World. The walk to the stables was interesting. I made my way up the dirt covered road to the stables on tip toes, strategically avoiding herds of horse poop that was…all over! Heaven forbid if I had that in the treads of my pretty new Nike's.

Since we were riding novices…they chose our horses accordingly. My mom (who hasn't ridden in 25 years) asked, "Do you maybe have a pregnant female horse that doesn't really feel like moving too fast?" In turn, they gave my mom a filly with a bad back!

My horse's name was Petey...I loved him! The four of us rode with our guide along trails, up and down hills and through woods. What a rush! Petey and I followed my brother, Adam and his horse, Olivia. Behind Petey and me it was my Mom on Moon and finally my Dad on McPhee. People back home wouldn't have believed it. Four Cherry Hill-ites on horses! It was so….I don't know….rural! Adam, of course, broke out in singing songs from Oklahoma. Not a surprise. He'll probably add horseback riding to his acting resume as a skill.

Once back at the coral, our guide snapped numerous pictures of us on our horses as well as beside them. The entire experience made for real family bonding. Totally fulfilled with life, I walked back down the dusty road to the car not giving the poop in the road a second thought. I was Cherry Hill's Annie Oakley…Poop in my Nike treads and all.


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