Sundays are popular days at the barn. Most of our members find time to come by on Sundays, some to ride, some for lessons, some to hang out with everybody else. Today was no exception. Lesley is back from Paris (congratulations are in order as she got engaged while she was away), and she took a lesson on Bentley. She’s been with our group for a couple months now and this is the first time she’s ridden. Nice! Lesley is an experienced rider, but she didn’t join us for the riding. She joined us because she wants her own horse at some point in the near future and all her experience to date has been with riding. She never got to learn ground work, or grooming, or tacking up, or barn chores, or any of the other things that go with owning and caring for horses. Since joining us, she’s been content to work on those skills instead of being anxious to get on and ride. We love her attitude, admire her process and support her every step of the way. But part of the fun of horses is getting to ride, so we’re excited for her that today mounted up.

With the colder season now definitely upon us, it would seem like the arena would be the most popular area of the ranch, and that will probably become more true over the coming months – thank you Mother Nature. That could make Sunday crowded. But today Sammy rode in the play field, Sue worked in the round pen, and Denise and Ashley used the arena. Our people are intrepid. Cooler weather just means warmer clothes, so as long as the ground will support us, we continue to use the whole property, despite the occasional puddle, but willingly share the arena when needs be.

While some of us were out working with horses, Mark was in the barn picking off chores one by one, with the help of his able assistant, Camden. Camden has the energy and enthusiasm to make a first rate Equine Sanitation Technician © (10-21-12 used by permission of Keystone Equestrian), there’s no doubt about that. Like any eight year old though, he has some room to grow in terms of stamina where chores of any kind are concerned. He found it best to break up his work time with a soccer ball and snacks. This seems like a recipe for successfully tackling any task. We decided he is wise beyond his years and we should all adopt a little of Camden’s style.

We knew when we started this experiment that we wanted first and foremost to build a community. We wanted to attract people who expected from the beginning to like each other and look forward to hanging out together, or who were at least wide open to that possibility. So far it is working out according to our highest aspirations. We are so glad that our people found us and so excited to meet the rest of them, whoever they may be and whenever they show up. We are brainstorming ways to make The Urban Herd more easily findable, so that our future members don’t accidentally miss us as they search for their perfect horse experience. It’s hard to imagine Sundays being even better than this, but it could happen. And if it does, we’ll be ready for it…