My mom has MS and has difficulty walking and very little energy. She had always wanted to go to the tea house at Lake Agnes, but unfortunately never made it and then this horrible, stupid disease struck her, so she thought she would never get to see it. I thought horseback might be a way to make her dream come true. Finally, our schedules lined up and the weather was supposed to cooperate, so we went up on Sunday, August 25.
We went for the 9 am ride. There was supposed to be one other, but they didn't show, so we got a private ride. Our guide, Ryan, was absolutely awesome. My mom was having difficulty getting on the horse, and one other guide who was there started being a total downer suggesting if she's having difficulty getting on the horse, she won't be able to do this. I had been saddled up first, so couldn't really go help. However, Ryan helped swing my mom's leg up and over the horse to make sure she could at least sit on the horse and determine if she was up for this herself. She got up, and she was.
The ride was really nice going through the forest and up the mountain. I had hiked it the previous year, so it was a little different experience on horseback. Its funny how many people will just stare at you in amazement that you're on a horse and take pictures of you. We got to the top, and Ryan help us off our horses. He was very patient with my mom who had a bit of a struggle getting off the horse as you do still use leg muscles as your riding, so she was a little beat. He saw she would need some extra time, and told us to take more time at the top. I had asked specifically if we would have enough time for tea, as that's what my mom had wanted. He gave it to us. After getting my mom up the stairs (some difficulty as there is a relatively long path after you dismount the horses) she saw Lake Agnes, which is stunningly beautiful for anyone, but for someone who never thought they would get to see it in their life, I can't even fathom putting how it must look to them into words.
We were a little late getting back down, however, Ryan was extremely understanding knowing how much energy my mom had exerted getting there. He seemed more than happy to be able to help. With my help, we got my mom back onto the horse easily with no problems (take that, pessimistic cowboy at the stable) and rode back down.
The only thing that would have improved this is if they gave you an hour at Lake Agnes. It is so beautiful and you can't really take it all in in just a few minutes. I felt bad that I had to rush my mom through it and it would have been really nice if we could have just sat there to rest and admire the beauty, however, I do understand that the stable has afternoon rides to offer as well.
I would like to give a special thank you to Ryan, because if it weren't for his patience, understanding, and help, my mom's dream may have never come true and you helped make it all happen and I am truly grateful.
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