Horsin’ Around

“Vacationing in North Dakota is super-awesome!” — No one. Ever.

I graduated from Bismarck (ND) High School in 2001. School itself was fine – I rock academia in all its forms – but those three years were some of the worst in my life (cue violins – yeah yeah). So it’s not without some trepidation that I travel back once or twice per year to visit family; I really (really) don’t like Bismarck. Total prejudice, I know. Sue me.

ANYWAY. We had occasion to visit for my baby bro’s high school graduation this past weekend. I call him “baby” because the fondest memories I have of him were when he was a little tyke. Not because he’s not cool now (I have no idea, really), but at 10 years older than he is, I left the roost while he was still a hatchling. He’s 6-foot-huge and thin as a reed. He also barely talks to me; I only just plugged in his phone number over the weekend, if that gives you a glimpse into our family dynamics. But I support the heck outta him (congrats, bro!) and my younger sister, who will graduate from college next year. So I go to their shindigs and smile and nod and then I leave *shrugs*

Now that I have a family of my own to drag with me, things are a little more interesting. I can look smug as I lean on my sarcastic cane and croak, “I used to mow all this, and feed the animals, and do all manner of chores,” as I sweep my hand to showcase the gazillion acres of land my dad and step-mom own southeast of Bismarck. Little whippersnappers these days have no idea what “chores” mean. Humph.

ANYWAY. So my 3-year-old Mimi loves visiting the acreage for its abundance of flowers and animals. She’s got a big heart for furry creatures, especially horses. And unicorns, but we’re still working on finding one of those for her to ride. So when her Auntie Sheena saddled the family’s black beauty, Velvet, up for a walk, Mimi was stoked. She’s ridden those little ponies at Country Apple Orchard in the fall. You know, the kind hitched up to the circular twirl for $20 a turn. Velvet, then, was like the Big Kid version for Mimi (and free!), and it was so great to see her shine with happiness.

I took some simple shots of her riding the big fella, and using the Splice app on my iPhone, I created this short video of Mimi’s first legit horsey ride. Auntie Sheena is a daredevil – always has been (I say this with tender love and gritted teeth). I slowmo-ed the end there where Mimi almost falls off after Sheena decides some next-level galloping is in order. I am proud to say my little butterfly clung for dear life as she slid sideways in the saddle and miraculously didn’t fall (we’re talking a 5-foot drop minimum).

Adventure! Excitement! It’s all here! Bismarck – thanks for the memories.


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