Sometimes I feel a bit guilty that my kids don't have music-dancing-any sort of sport they so desire activities to fulfil and enrich their lives out of school hours. Mind you, I can barely keep up with school let alone anything extra, however, the thought occasionally crosses my mind (even if all of the above were readily available).
And then, they have a weekend like one not far back, where mother does 240km of driving and much effort is applied, so they can have a little droving experience.
Horses were fetched, saddles dusted off, and all of the cracks were gathered to the fray to move a HUGE mob of weaners from the dip yard to a property about 15 kms out of town. It was a co-ordinated, collaborative effort; helping out the dad of the pesky spare kid.
That there chestnut pony that Georgie is on belied the dry season we are having, behaving in a very unbecoming, Curio like manner upon saddling. Luckily I had found a strapping teenage boy to "buck him out", with Chester using all of his best moves before anyone's bum hit the saddle. He (thankfully) did not set a foot wrong for the rest of the day.
The mob of weaners was wild and dangerous, but thanks to the skilled team of workers, they managed to keep them under control.
Yes, seven riders on horseback, two on a four wheeler (me and my boy: we are sort of a horse short, as well as transportation means that can move more than two at a time - that mum can drive without a nervous twitch and one that doesn't also give dad reason to fret about his gearbox). And also along behind, a toyota containing essential supplies, and the baby of the pink shirted rider on far right. And its granny too of course.
Such a quiet slow ride is perfect for young horses needing some miles under their feet, and sweaty saddlecloth on their back, so apart from the kids, the others jumped at the opportunity. Its also a great chance for young riders to hone their skills in horse and cattle handling. Or not. A fair bit of yapping happened too.
Also a chance for me to wield camera with gay abandon, as I wasn't exactly run off my four wheels keeping weaners in check. Such gems as these came off the memory card... one with such LOVELY hands (lordy, what do I DO with this child?!) and the other, look mum no hands at all?!! Spare kid maintaining the halo and fluttering wings by the looks.
About thirteen years ago, when he was showing a LOT less grey hair (one child said "you look like Noah!") this bloke took my husband (not at the time) on a droving trip (of far longer duration and distance). It was also much greener of grass in those days.
Angus also got to have a ride, kicking big sister off her horse and onto the bike. Old Benny the horse, is well aware of Angus's skills (or lack thereof) and had to have lead rope applied.
The kids rode about 10kms that day. I loaded the horses back onto the flat 2/3 away along, as running out of day we needed to return them to their paddock and get home in time to prepare for a BBQ.
Suffice to say the kids slept well that night. And that little thought about extra curricular activities got kicked into the dust. Life lessons are even better, are they not?