While I was in Florida last month Laura and I went horseback riding at Forever Florida. It was one of the only times during vacation that I had a break from the duties of motherhood. Alas, my stirrups were too high. The wrangler adjusted them once, and I thought that might work, but for the last 30-45 minutes of the ride, my legs dangled on either side of the horse. My horse was called Okie. He was okay, kind of lacking in personality. And with every step he took, his belly sloshed. Laura thought they watered them up really well to deal with the heat and humidity during the ride.
Forever Florida is 400+ acres of preserved lands in central Florida, actually in St. Cloud, less than an hours drive from Orlando. I loved it there. Who knew you were in Florida without all the tourists and characters?
I knew from the website's description that we would ride thorough water. I forgot to tell Laura. But I imagined a simple stream in which the horses' feet would get wet, not what we actually went through.
Our guide, whose name I've sadly forgotten, prepared us to get wet up to mid-thigh.
I wasn't expecting that, and I grimly tucked my camera strap a bit higher across my chest.
Riding a horse through such deep water was exciting and scary and otherworldly. It was a small portion of the trip, but the best part by far for its novelty and for its coolness. The rest of the time that we were out in the exposed sun was miserable. It was early, around 10 am, but so humid and so hot.
Feeling your boots suddenly cool and then the water pour over the tops, down onto your feet, into your boot, is a surreal experience. I just hoped that we wouldn't be swimming with the horses. They were surefooted and we had nothing to worry about. Other than water moccasins and alligators. But really, the only wildlife we saw were deer and turkeys.
The water wasn't as high that day as our guide first thought. When we asked her about it, she said it had receded from the previous day. Perhaps she intimated that at times, it was higher.
A couple of things that we can do at home, in an effort to preserve the earth for the use of future generations, are:
- Tell others about climate change and how they can reduce their footprint
- Repair leaky toilets, faucets, and pipes
- Compost table scraps and lawn clippings
- Recycle cast-offs into craft objects
- Replace light bulbs with ENERGYSTAR bulbs