Easter Fun

This morning the kids were up and hunting eggs at 7.  There are no pictures, because like I said, the kids were up.  They did follow the “rules for the egg hunt”.  Vicki decided to make up rules for the Easter egg hunt and posted them on the fridge yesterday. Here are the rules:

  1. No waking anybody ’till 7:00.
  2. No starting to gather eggs ’till everybody is up and ready.
  3. No opening eggs ’till you are inside (plastic eggs filled with candy).
  4. No stealing eggs from other egg hunters. (Amanda’s rule)
  5. No bikes. (Amanda’s rule to prevent the older siblings from having an advantage)
  6. No candy before breakfast.
  7.  Have fun!

Apparently, it was also a competition (because Vicki is quite competitive) and there were pre-determined criteria for the winners.

1st place – Golden egg

2nd place – Silver egg or most eggs

3rd place – Least eggs

It took about 30 minutes for the egg hunt to be completed and judged.  I know this, because at 7:30 Amanda showed up in our room crying because she lost.  Actually, she got second, which was evident when Alex got upset because a 5-year-old beat him.   Vicki collected 70 eggs including the golden egg (can you tell she is competitive).  Amanda had 43.  Alex had 39.  There was no sympathy for the losers.  We had a discussion about losing.  Not everyone wins in this family.

Earlier in the week, we spent almost 6 hours (4 of which included all the kids) working on cleaning up the tack room in the barn.  Saddles and bridles were cleaned.  Tack was reorganized.  Items were identified to be sold.  This morning, we cleaned up the tack room in the horse trailer and then loaded the trailer to haul out for a trail ride.

Today was the first time we ever hauled 5 horses and ponies in our trailer so the whole family could ride off-site.  We have a 4 horse slant load trailer, but the rear tack folds flat.  Devil and Huey have no problem sharing that space.  We left them loose like in a stock trailer and they had plenty of room to move and turn around.  We hauled out to Arcadia, which is less than 20 minutes away.  Amanda has been on many trail rides with Huey at home, but this was the first time she got to ride him at an away event.  Anna still keeps a lead line from Dakota to Huey.

The weather was nice in the mid 50s by the time we were ready to ride and we opted to ride from the Midway parking area, which gives immediate access to nice open fields.  The ride wasn’t as peaceful as some, because Amanda kept yelling “Faster!”  “Canter Huey, Canter!”  We knew her stamina wouldn’t be great with the trotting and cantering (and the temps).  Huey was a rock star.  He walked, trotted, and cantered at all the right times.  Amanda had a blast.  She is definitely a speed demon.  While she probably isn’t ready for the hunter paces quite yet, she is light years ahead of where Alex and Vicki were at her age as far as trail experience and confidence goes.

Amanda was satisfied after 4.3 miles in 50 minutes (a 5.1 mph average).  When we arrived back at the trailer, there was a quick change of Alex off Nike and onto Dakota.  Nike and Huey stayed at the trailer with Anna and Amanda while Echo, Dakota, and Devil went back out with Alex, Vicki and I for another 5.7 miles.  The second outing was almost all trotting except for short walk breaks and a little cantering at the end.  Alex and Vicki have decided they plan to join me for a 25 mile ride in May and it’s time to get kids and ponies ready for the ride.

The second round was a good workout for all involved.  Devil is the one we are most concerned about because his legs are so much shorter than Echo’s and Dakota’s.  We determined that Devil was able to maintain a nice consistent trot up to almost 8 mph.  We were able to average 6.3 mph on our second round, which is well above what we need to average to complete the ride in May.  With the kids, faster is actually better because time in the saddle and keeping them fueled with calories will be the biggest challenges.  Alex and Vicki tested out wearing their Camelbacks during the ride and that seemed to work.  It eliminates them needing any kind of saddle bags and allows them to sip water continuously during the ride.  We also bought both of them triathlon shorts to wear under their riding pants to reduce the risk of rubs from 4-5 hours of saddle time as we increase the distances.

By the time we wrapped things up, temps had dropped back into the 40s.  Everyone was happy to get home, unload all the gear, do evening chores, and head inside for dinner.  We enjoyed some Easter cupcakes for dessert made by Anna, Vicki, and Amanda.

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