My little family kicked off the first day of fall with a family outing to a farm about an hour away from us in Howell, NJ. The day was a perfect one- in the high 60's with white, fluffy clouds dotting the sky. The drive was gorgeous and we arrived at Horse Sense Farm ready to ride horses and run around!
|Look at that smile!|
Pulling up to the farm, we saw our friends walking the grounds, petting goats, swinging on swings, and riding horses. Pete and I weren't sure how PJ would take the horses- he has certainly never been that close to an animal that large. We got in line and let him watch his buddies put on helmets, saddle up, and be led around the farm. After initially balking at the helmet ("Nooooooooo helmet, Mommy!") we were able to talk him into the required headgear and helped him into the saddle and onto the back of a lovely horse named Nala.
No fear from my Dude! He grabbed the reigns and rode with a huge smile, leaning in to stroke Nala's mane ("Nice to horse!"). PJ was just full of joy, loving every second of his ride and I just could not get over him! I felt a little teary watching him sit in the saddle, seeming so confident and assured. One of the staff led our boy around as he beamed from the saddle.
|Don't you want to kiss her?|
Animals had the freedom to mill around, dodging running children and parents running after said children. A fat, black pig named Maxwell ambled by the adults chatting. There were kids drawing with chalk in the driveway, playing relay race games through the grass, and swinging on the obligatory farm tire swing in the gorgeous afternoon sun. The farm was, clearly, seeing more foot traffic then it was used to, and yet it seemed like all of these kids could live there. The activity and fun was effortless on this first day of fall.
After another ride on Nala, we headed to a welcoming circle of chairs to have a snack and enjoy the weather. Two seats were carved from tree stumps, one with the initials of the couple who owns the farm scratched into the backrest. It was a revolving door of sorts, with parents rotating in and out of chairs as we alternately sat down to rest and jumped up to chose wayward kiddos. One of the owners sat down to join us, giving us a little bit of insight into a lifestyle that sees you checking on the animals in the barn after a formal event and feeding goats in the evenings finery. He watched our kids with a smile on his face, happy to offer such joy just by opening his gate.
|Chalking in the sun.|
|Handsome helmeted horse rider!|
|Hanging by the stall of his horse friend!|
|The tree chair with the owners initials carved in it...|
|That's Delilah. I know, right?|
|...and that's Maxwell. I seriously chased him down to give him a hug.|
|Big hugs for Nala!|
|Swinging on the tire swing...|
|PJ, Mommy, and what seems to be some sort of |
boogie situation happening in his nose.