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Giddyup! Let’s Go Riding!

C.B. Gavant

Ready for a day of adventure? We’re off to the King David Horse Stables, located just twenty minutes from Yerushalayim, for a horseback riding excursion in the Judean Hills!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

 We’ve left the city with its tall buildings, busy roads, and noisy trucks and buses behind, and arrived at a small yishuv (settlement) called Yad HaShemonah. Right at the entrance to this yishuv is the stable, a small farm located off the beaten track of the Yerushalayim–Tel Aviv Highway.

Arik, the stable’s owner, shows us where to stow our stuff, and outfits us with hard hats for riding. Several horses are waiting for us in the corral near the stable’s office. We’re introduced to Goldie, Silver, and Yellow Rose. Goldie and Silver are both palominos (gold-colored horses with white manes and tails), and Yellow Rose is a bay — tall and brown-haired, with a darker mane and tail. The horses stand lazily in the afternoon sunlight, waiting for their saddles to be put on so we can ride.

Arik helps us mount, and we’re off! He shows us how to hold the reins, not too tight, and to pull to the left or right when we want turn, or pull back when we went to stop. Then he mounts his own horse and we start down the path, off into the forest around the stable.

It’s a beautiful day, and the forest is full of fallen leaves that crunch under our horses’ hooves. We go up a steep incline, then down and around, listening to the birds chirp overhead and the leaves rustling in the breeze. The horses follow Arik’s commands, with our pressure on the reins moving them to the right or the left. It’s unbelievable how fast we’ve left civilization behind.…

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