Thursday, June 25, 2009

Korean Cowgirl

Very quickly I found out that my friend Kiwi and Patrick both have horses back home. Several nights we kept saying we should go riding so I finally decided to do something about in May... this is my tail... heheh couldnt resist
So as you could expect the riding places are not in the center of Seoul but instead on the outskirts. We found one place that was at the end of the subway line which is about 1hr15 from where we are. I had my Korean Teacher call the place a make a reservation for the three of us. So we got on the subway and headed up there. We had no idea where it was so we took the name of the places and finally when we got up there we jumped in the cab. Thankfully Patrick has wonderful Korean so he spoke to the cab driver and we were off. We got on the highway and drove another 10 minutes. Soon we were in this bizarre mix of suburbs and 
rural ko
rea. There were really nice proper houses right alone rice paddies. We pulled up to a bar that looked a little questionable. We walked into the main building and right away a woman walked up to us freaking out because we were english. P
atrick quickly saved the day by speaking korean though. Very quickly we met the crazy owner. He was one of hte scarier men I have met. He very quickly told us to come look at his riding pictures on the internet, then he demanded we eat the food he had for us, then he demanded that we sit in the nice seats, and about as quickly said in english "GET UP" when some other family came in and they were to sit there. We spent the next 30 minutes basically jumping whever this owner spoke. He was also pretty funny. When we first got there he kept saying he would be taking our picture to put it on their website. It would say that the "
Western people rode here". 

Our reservation was for 1:30 and by now it was about 2 and the owner had now kicked us out of the main building. He informed us we needed to go on a tour. So we sat outside the place watching the ring below. A man was training (maybe?) a horse that was being a punk. The man actually got thrown at one point, the horse was refusing to do what the man wanted. After our little show we were called into the other building which looked like 
a banquet hall through into a room with chairs and a mechanical horse! We were with a bunch of kids who were also riding. So the lady explained how to hold the reigns and put the kids up there. She made them post and all this other crap. Then she looks at us and tells Patrick in Korean it was our turn.... HELL NO! we just busted up laughing and made the little x sign with our hands that is so pop
ular. So finally it was time to go ride... we thought

We climbed down the hill to the arena. There was an big outdoor area with a jump in the middle then a really tiny covered arena. The kids went first on their horses on the inside arena. Then it was FINALLY our turn. By now I would say it was 2:30. So we got on our horses and they stuck us on the inside arena. Which was super small and annoying. I got a pretty tame horses that was fairly passive. Patrick got 
this beautiful horse but it had a bit of the crazies. This horse would not walk, it was constantly trotting. Patrick actually had a goal to walk once around the arena and it was one of the most painful things to watch. Though Patrick is an amazing rider so it was fun to watch him on an amazing horse. Kiwi also got a bit of a crazy horse and ended up switching horses a bit in. The second horse was also still a bit crazy.

So after going around about a billion times and feeling a bit dizy we talked the guy into letting into the outdoor area. So Patrick was the first to go out and his horse handled it pretty well. I was next out the gate and my horse decided to practice for the upcoming Derby. He shot across the ring in a nice gallop. Unfotunatley I was not at all prepared for this and definitely lost my stirups but thankfully stayed on. He did stop though when he got to the entrance to the barn.... it seems he thought it was time to go inside. After I caught my breath I rode for about another 15 minutes in the ring. I was nice to be riding again since I havent been in about a year. 

When we were done we went back upstairs. We found out that the whole time we were being watched on the TV and the owner actually offered Patrick to come back and ride for free in exchange for letting the owner take pictures for the website.

We asked the owner to call us a cab since that was the only way back to the station and he said he would. After 10 minutes though he informed us that there would be no cab we had to leave go to the end of the street and wait for the bus.... which did not make much sense because we were out in the middle of no where which had street construction on all sides. So we went down and sat by the paddies and shockingly a bus came bumping down the road. Patrick asked if we if went to he subway which the driver said yes. We made a school boy error though because we did not ask HOW long it would take. We ended up on that bus for about 45 minutes. We saw ALL of northern Seoul.

Overall it was a fun adventure. Can't say I will do it again but I am glad that I did it at least once!!! 

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