Wild Frenchmen

In an effort to make the most of spring break, last Thursday, Katie (age 16) and I took Nathan (age 8) on a three and a half hour trail ride. Between dismissal and dinner time, on a normal weekday we only have about an hour to ride. Nathan spends his hour careening around the arena at top speed and flying over whatever jumps we have managed to construct. (Nathan’s goal in riding is to compete in three day eventing.) The idea behind the long ride was to utterly exhaust him. In this, I think we succeeded.
This particular ride is spectacular. Little known Rhus Ridge Road rises 1000 ft in one mile with vistas so dramatic that on a clear day you can see all the way to Berkeley. Rhus Ridge tops off at the bucolic Windmill Pastures. The trail continues along the ridge line for another mile then down though the unspoiled and untouched land that belongs to Hidden Villa (and along Adobe Creek).
Nathan was, surprisingly, unimpressed. I think he would have preferred a few cross country obstacles on the trail. He did, however, tell us about life as an eight year-old. One of his concerns is that his parents think he should eventually go into the military. Nathan is not keen on the idea. I’m aghast at the thought that Nathan’s prodigious equestrian talent might go to waste and said so. Katie said, “If you are going to risk getting yourself killed, you should at least be able to choose how.” (Three day eventing is notoriously risky.) Thinking about Nathan’s possible future as a professional rider I said, “And you know that all the women are going to fall in love with you.” He said that they already were an that he couldn’t stand it. (Nathan is handsome, square shouldered and dashing; quite something in one so young.) Katie said, “Yeah, but they’ll all be disappointed when he find out he loves his horses more than them.” This made Nathan smile ear to ear. He’s the one student who kisses the horses goodbye after every ride and takes such care with the grooming that he even, very gently, brushes their ears and faces.
Nathan is French. My hope is that the French military sponsors three day event riders. Knowing what I know of the French, this seems entirely possible.

3 comments on “Wild Frenchmen

  1. Clara says:

    Awesome, I’m so glad you’ve got this up and running Deb!

  2. Amy says:

    Great blog, Deb! Can’t wait to read more.

  3. Carrie Levin says:

    What endearing stories! Thanks! I certainly get a clearer idea of all the work you do for the kids.

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