Friday, March 6, 2009

Last weekend, with horses

We were supposed to go visit al-Sorat Farm again this weekend, but Brad wasn't feeling 100%, and I overslept. The kids and/or cats are usually noisy and demanding enough to, at least, wake us up early - even if we don't actually want to get up before 7am on a weekend - but not this time. I stumbled out of bed at 9:30am and found them quietly playing in the living room. I called Maryanne, and she said it was probably going to be a messy day anyway. The temps were going up, and the wind was changing to come in from the desert. Tomorrow is forecast to be worse. Sure enough, by noon the current conditions were 80+F and "Sand". It cleared up by late afternoon, 90F with the "sand" downgraded to "nice evening breeze", so we will be heading off to a movie-on-the-lawn, dinner and entertainment, at the club.

Here are some photos of our visit last weekend. Maryanne is going into the hospital for knee surgery today, so as you enjoy these photos, please send her a prayer or two for a fast and easy recovery.

This is how we felt this morning:

Actually, last Friday was very chilly, and windy. A sandstorm was brewing by early afternoon when we left Abu Sir to return to Maadi. The sun was nice and warm though, and the dogs made snuggling in the sun-baked sand look like a surprisingly inviting way to avoid the wind.

Brian had the first riding lesson of the day. He likes this photo of himself wearing the cool helmet. He is riding Dorika, Maryanne's boss mare. Not only is she a pretty horse, she is very gentle and patient with kids.

Brian riding, he was very serious:

After riding, Brian went hay-climbing! See, you can tell it was truly cold out - Brian has an actual sweater on!!
We also met a visitor to the farm. He was to go to his new owner later in the day, but in the meantime, he really wanted to come out and be a part of the fun. Maryanne told us that he loved kids, and this horse made sure made his wishes to get out and play were known, by banging on his door!
Brian also had to have a visit with his favorite baby goat... they are too cute to resist.
Then it was Honor's turn for her lesson:
She really paid attention.
She was very careful to do exactly as she was directed and she was riding all over the ring.

I was surprised at how serious and attentive she was and I think she was learning a lot. Both kids were very disappointed that we were not going back today, but Honor in particular had been talking up how she wanted to ride again. Soon enough.

After Honor's lesson, she joined her brother on the big hay pile. He taught her how to slide down the side of it and they were soon covered in the stuff!
They also met the birds. They went with Maryanne and helped to feed the chickens, turkey, and doves. They were allowed to hold a quail - which is probably the first time they ever touched a bird. They also got to collect a few chicken eggs; the duck eggs were left for hatching.
While the kids were playing, I had a riding lesson with Lily. I was not very stable on bareback, it has been awhile(!), but the horse was clever enough to go at a pace that was good for both of us. She even stopped when I was wobbly. I learned how to communicate with her and she learned to listen to me without my having to insist too many times. I was told she was a lazy horse and so I had to be firm or she'd push me around. I got her to do all that I wanted - except trot. I have a feeling though, that she was right in that regard. I probably wasn't ready to trot!
It wasn't that funny!
Ok... maybe it was!
We went to the movie on the lawn tonight. We had steaks for dinner, grilled perfectly, and the movie was Madagascar Escape 2 Africa". I hadn't seen the movie before and it was hilarious! To be honest, I had never wanted to see the original Madagascar movie in the first place - an animated Seinfeld, but with a bunch of whiny, overly dramatic animals in place of a bunch of whiny, overly dramatic humans, I mean, why?! But I was forced to watch it, shown on a plane once, and even without listening to the soundtrack (I really did try to avoid the thing) I had to admit that it was fun. I enjoyed it with sound too, eventually. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the inept, yet thoroughly professional, militant penguins! Despite my enjoyment of the first one though, I didn't hold out much hope for a decent sequel, and avoided that one too. I was wrong again. It was too much fun. Maybe better than the first.


Julia said...

How cool. Brian and Honor look like that had a lot of fun.

LiLu said...

The videos are so cute! I love that picture of the white horse freaking out... it's so fugly! And the penguins MADE the first Madagascar... if they're in the second one, I might have to see that too...

Connie said...

Hi Julia - They are having fun learning about horses, the only thing that would make it more fun, would be to share the experience with their cousins :)

Lilu - You should have heard the white horse knocking on his door - he wanted OUT! He was sweet though. And yes, the penguins are amazing in the 2nd movie.. the rest was good too, but it is all about the penguins.

Expat Mom said...

Cool! I had horse riding lessons when I was Brian`s age and it was so fun. Hopefully you`ll be able to go plenty more!

I sure don`t envy you those sand storms, though. Man, they`re all the time, aren`t they? :S

3 Bay B Chicks said...

The penguins really do make the Madagascar movie. Without them, it would be nothing!

I adored this post. How wonderful that your kids are riding horses at such a young age. So wonderful!

I also read about Maryanne's surgery. I hope everything went well and that she is recovering OK.


Connie said...

Expat mom - More than riding, although the safety they are learning is important to me, I am happy that they are out and getting to know a little about animals :)

Francesca - Maryanne told me she was happy to be home(!) and she was holding a party today, which the kids have been looking forward to all week. We were all packed up and ready to go, when Brian got sick - stomach, fever - sigh... you know how it goes. owell, another time!