After a twenty-minute tuk-tuk ride we pulled into a gate adorned with cattle skulls. I quivered with excitement. We thanked We had arrived at the Happy Ranch Horse Farm. Our driver, he insisted on picking us back up again. This ranch was horse haven. Horses were getting washed, rode, groomed, and fed. Some played with large blue barrels. My family and I entered the office. We had to fill out a form. I was so excited that my parents sent me outside of the office with Alec. Thankfully, there was a 6 year old horse in the stable right-beside the office. His name was Mexico, kind-of ironic, as we are in Cambodia. Suddenly, Alec clicked and would not stop petting the horse. My parents were given fanny-packs to put items to carry in. I was so excited, I could not stop moving. Finally, after we were sunscreened and bug-sprayed, my family went out to meet our horses. My parents both had bays (brown horse with black legs) and Alec and I both had grey horses. I immediately mounted with imagined grace, whereas Alec and the others struggled. I quickly informed our guide that I could trot and canter. Alec had a guide to walk with him, as it was his first time riding.
We exited the ranch and entered the busy street. My horse, Diamond, followed the group basically, doing whatever they did. All the walking was nice, but I felt my need for speed and asked Alec to pass the message up the line. We walked for a little while more and finally our guide gave us the cue to move into a trot. Alec's guide had to run along side him. My horse had a smooth trot and I enjoyed some fine posting (pushing yourself up and down in the saddle to the same rhythm as your horse's trot). Alec was having a blast. Soon we were back to a walk again. We stopped at the edge of a large rice field. The horses were tied to a fence and grazed. At the same time, us humans, had our fill of water. Alec enjoyed horse-back riding, and I knew I had created a monster, a crazy, horse-loving monster. On the way back our guide asked if he could take me for a canter. My parents agreed and we split. Our guide, Kong, showed me to many different local plants, like the banana tree and lemon grass plant. We crossed another road and I saw the rest of my family down the dirt path. We kicked our horses into a canter. It was amazing, Diamond knew just what to do. We quickly arrived at the group. Soon, we all trotted again. My mom's horse, Bunny, did not enjoy being apart from the guide. So after several failed attempts, we were able to fall behind. We cantered again. At one point, my horse, desperate to keep up, galloped. We caught up to the group and walked back to the ranch. We let our horses go eat their lunch.
At the office was a new face, the owner of the ranch. We talked together for a while. Apparently, the owner had lived in Grass valley California for a while. My parents insisted on taking a picture together. Though we were late, our driver from earlier was waiting for us.
We took the tuk-tuk back to the hotel. We took a shower and went swimming. Then we took the same tuk-tuk driver out to the town. We went to the long anticipated Blue Pumpkin ice-cream shop. We all got ice-cream and french fries. Then we went shopping for ourselves and friends. Then we took our favorite tuk-tuk driver back to our hotel and had dinner at the bar and got to bed. Our flight was early in the morning so we needed all the sleep we could get.Little did we know our morning would be quite hectic.