January 24, 2015

Hayrides, Horseback Riding, and a Very Happy 7 Year Old

Last weekend we gathered with extended family for our annual holiday (post-holiday) get together.   This gathering has changed over the years and for the past two, my aunt and uncle have hosted it at their farm about an hour and a half from us.
Between my grandma, her kids, us grand kids and our kids (the great grands).. there are 55 or so of us.  This year was a smaller group than most years, but a great day!

Uncle Bruce had the hay wagon ready to go. 
Below are Beau, Johnathan, their littlest cousin Owen, and his mom & dad (my brother and his wife.) 

The kids enjoyed checking out the animals in the barn (what a lucky, well-loved bunch of animals!) and my aunt Julie made Beau's whole new year by letting him ride a horse. 
Beau loves horses.  He draws them and writes about them almost daily.  He was so excited.
Here he is visiting with Mike, the farm dog, while Julie saddled up one of the horses in the barn:

Beau got to ride Nicker, a sweet old girl in her senior years.
Julie showed him how to stop, go, and steer.  
She even led them over and through some big snowbanks, showing him that horses have four wheel drive.  :)
Mike tagged along, loving it.

The other two horses were very curious about the action outside of the fence.

After a while, Julie got on to show Beau how to trot with the horse.  He thought the bouncy ride was pretty funny.

And then he was ready to trot solo.  (He's super proud of this.)

It was a great day with family!   Beau says it was one of his best days ever.
I snapped pictures of the notes he wrote before sending off in the mail: 

We're thankful for Bruce & Julie hosting again this year. 
They have some baby animals due to arrive this spring, we may have to plan a return visit!

Peace, Love, and Four Wheel Drive Horses,

Sharing with Eileen's Saturday Critters


  1. Looks like a fun time at the farm with the family gathering, the hayride and riding the horses.. The horses are beautiful and I love the cute doggie too. Great shots, Amanda! Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  2. What a nice tradition! You appear to be a part of a big happy family!

  3. What an incredible weekend. The kids look like they are having a ball, but then so do the adults! Your photos are wonderful! Love the horse riding shots!

  4. What wonderful, wonderful pictures! I love the B&W horse shot, and the joy in Beau's face is simply happiness personified. You ROCK! :-)

  5. What a great experience for Beau. I'm impressed with the thank-you notes he wrote as well.

  6. YOU ROCK Amanda . . .
    Absolutely beautiful happy post!
    Happy Birthday Beau . . .
    I love your drawings . . .
    and thank you notes . . .

  7. That looks like the most amazing weekend. Fabulous photos my friend! Looks like fun was had by all

  8. Oh, your photos of Beau on the horse are so wonderful! You can see his happiness shining through. What a special day for your sweet little boy.

  9. What a fun family gathering. Love the photos of Beau riding the horse and his thank you note.

  10. Your photos tell a wonderful story of family, Amanda. Beau shows so many emotions as he's riding. You may have an equestrian in the making! Those handwritten notes and drawings are priceless.

  11. Wow. What a great vacation! My older sister always wanted a horse when we were kids. (We got a cat.)

  12. BEST thank you notes EVER!!! love 'em! what a great family time!

  13. What a fun time !! Beau was one happy little boy....I can relate..That was my passion when I was young..Love your pictures..great family time...Lynne from Irish Garden House said I should check out your blog..I wasn't disappointed...Have a fun Sunday.

  14. Those are memories to be cherished to the adulthood and beyond! Lovely letter from Beau - and the photos of him riding, and all of you :) Brings me back to my childhood Christmas days, where the family from my moms side was gathered together - my 23 cousins and their parents ... Yes, moments with the great family are precious.

  15. What fun! The scenery is beautiful with the gently falling snow and trees. The 2 horses looking over the fence in my favorite shot.

  16. That's 'quite a backdrop for a childhood' as I believe somebody once said! So different to where I grew up.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne (and Somerset!)

    PS: work has settled down, school and summer holidays just about over, normal service will now be resumed!

  17. WOW! Fabulous photos. Have a great week.

  18. Wow - what an amazing farm. Such beautiful shots of horses, dog and kids!

  19. I truly missed getting updates of your family life. Such wonderful pictures of your reunion. The little boy on the horse? Priceless.

  20. It looks so cold but yet a good family time. Beau reminds me of our soon to be 7 year old - she loves horses but has not ridden one yet. Beautiful photo captures of the day too Amanda.

  21. How wonderful that the extended family can meet like this & have such a good time....:)

  22. What a fun family day! Beau's joy is so evident in your pics!!