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Hanging with cowboys at Leghorn Ranch in Pitt Meadows
Oct 14, 2015
Stepping out of the car into the crisp autumn air, we were greeted by a bundle of energy wearing a cowboy hat. Meet Hanif, owner of Leghorn Ranch in Pitt Meadows and one of the most authentic cowboys you will ever meet. Together with his partner, Janet, the two act as horse whisperers and trail guides for Vancouver and the lower mainland, with a stellar 5 out of 5 star rating on TripAdvisor.
"Safety, above all else." Hanif says as he gears up for the next group of riders. Respect for these beautiful animals and the safety of his guests is foremost in the minds of these experienced horse owners.
"Which one of you is the strongest?" Hanif calls out to the group of excited riders who have arrived for their afternoon trail ride. Janet and Hanif know these horses better than most people know their children. During the lessons that begin any trail ride at Leghorn, the two move around the horses without uttering a word to them, a well-honed dance where each knows what the other expects.
Heads bob down to allow the bit to be placed in their mouths, bodies lean into shoulder rubs and tightening of the harnesses. Watching them, you understand that there is an unspoken communication occurring before you and it's a beautiful thing to witness.
"I'm serious, which one is strongest?", Hanif calls again. Each horse has it's own personality and some are more likely to lead than follow. Matching the horse and rider is an important part of their job and ensures everyone has a great ride.
Pepsi, the couple's friendly young farm dog, watches closely from the barn. He adores Janet and keeps a close eye on her as she shows a rider how to climb onto the horse. Although horse riding comes as natural as walking to these two, they recognize that the rest of us may need a bit more handholding to get the hang of it.
"Loosen your grip, you're all up in his mouth." Hanif tells a rider who is instinctively holding the reigns too firmly. "Let him go where he knows you want to go." And with that, horse and rider circle the ring slowly and symbiotically, as though extensions of one another.
These cowboys know their stuff.
It's not long before each rider has been paired with a horse and made their rounds around the ring. Once both rider and horse are in sync, the horses are led to the trailer and the riders to the truck, off for an afternoon of trail riding in gorgeous Pitt Meadows.
Leghorn Ranch is located at 20254 Old Dewdney Trunk Rd., Pitt Meadows, BC
Trail rides range from $50 for an hour up to $350 for a full day of riding. Click here for the Leghorn Ranch rate guide.
In addition to trail rides, Leghorn offers birthday parties with either horses or ponies - click for birthday party information.
There are 5 Circle Farm Tours to explore:
Tours are self-guided with road maps and detailed descriptions provided on the website and downloadable brochures.
We can't wait to see what you get up to!
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