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Back in the Saddle Again

Brittany Lee and 1st Lt. Lindsey Byrd, 321st Missile Squadron, visit with Tracy the horse March 13, 2016, before the start of their trail ride in Estes Park, Colo. Lee and Byrd had made the trip down from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., as part of a trip sponsored by the base’s outdoor recreation office. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Brittany Lee and 1st Lt. Lindsey Byrd, 321st Missile Squadron, visit with Tracy the horse March 13, 2016, before the start of their trail ride in Estes Park, Colo. Lee and Byrd had made the trip down from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., as part of a trip sponsored by the base’s outdoor recreation office. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

First Lt. Lindsey Byrd, 321st Missile Squadron, Brittany Lee and Cara DeYoung pose with Tracy the horse as Joe Harvey, 90th Force Support Squadron outdoors recreation, takes their picture March 13, 2016, prior to a trail ride in Estes Park, Colo. F.E. Warren Air Force Base’s Outdoor Recreation office sponsored the trip for Airmen, retirees and dependents to get a chance to ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

First Lt. Lindsey Byrd, 321st Missile Squadron, Brittany Lee and Cara DeYoung pose with Tracy the horse as Joe Harvey, 90th Force Support Squadron outdoors recreation, takes their picture March 13, 2016, prior to a trail ride in Estes Park, Colo. F.E. Warren Air Force Base’s Outdoor Recreation office sponsored the trip for Airmen, retirees and dependents to get a chance to ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

A wrangler helps 2nd Lt. Amanda Transue, 90th Medical Support Squadron, get situated onher horse March 13, 2016, before the start of a trail ride near Estes Park, Colo. Transue was part of a group of Airmen, retirees and dependents from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., who made the trip down for a horseback ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

A wrangler helps 2nd Lt. Amanda Transue, 90th Medical Support Squadron, get situated onher horse March 13, 2016, before the start of a trail ride near Estes Park, Colo. Transue was part of a group of Airmen, retirees and dependents from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., who made the trip down for a horseback ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

A line of Airmen, retirees and dependents from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., thread their mounts along a trail in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest near Estes Park, Colo., March 13, 2016. A group of ten came down to horseback ride as part of a trip set up by the base’s Outdoor Recreation office. (U.S. Air Force Photo by R.J. Oriez)

A line of Airmen, retirees and dependents from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., thread their mounts along a trail in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest near Estes Park, Colo., March 13, 2016. A group of ten came down to horseback ride as part of a trip set up by the base’s Outdoor Recreation office. (U.S. Air Force Photo by R.J. Oriez)

Estes Park, Colo., lies in a valley in front of the Continental Divide, March 13, 2016. This was one of the views members of an outdoor recreation trip from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., got during a two-hour trail ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Estes Park, Colo., lies in a valley in front of the Continental Divide, March 13, 2016. This was one of the views members of an outdoor recreation trip from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., got during a two-hour trail ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Senior Airman Rachel Silverberg and Joe Harvey, both with the 90th Force Support Squadron, ride near the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest above Estes Park, Colo., March 13, 2016. Harvey served as trip leader for an F.E. Warren Air Force Base’s Outdoor Recreation trip which brought a group of Airmen, retirees and dependents down from the Wyoming base for the chance to ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Senior Airman Rachel Silverberg and Joe Harvey, both with the 90th Force Support Squadron, ride near the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest above Estes Park, Colo., March 13, 2016. Harvey served as trip leader for an F.E. Warren Air Force Base’s Outdoor Recreation trip which brought a group of Airmen, retirees and dependents down from the Wyoming base for the chance to ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Airmen, retirees and dependents from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., ride their mounts down a rocky hillside in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Colo., March 13, 2016. The group was part of one of several trips the base’s Outdoor Recreation office offers each year. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Airmen, retirees and dependents from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., ride their mounts down a rocky hillside in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Colo., March 13, 2016. The group was part of one of several trips the base’s Outdoor Recreation office offers each year. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Grayson Orona, 6, takes part in a two-hour trail ride near Estes Parks, Colo., March 13, 2016. Orona and his mother, 2nd Lt. Amanda Transue, 90th Medical Support Squadron, were part of a group brought down by the F.E. Warren Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation Office for the chance to ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Grayson Orona, 6, takes part in a two-hour trail ride near Estes Parks, Colo., March 13, 2016. Orona and his mother, 2nd Lt. Amanda Transue, 90th Medical Support Squadron, were part of a group brought down by the F.E. Warren Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation Office for the chance to ride. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Senior Airman Rachel Silverberg and Joe Harvey, both with the 90th Force Support Squadron, share a laugh during a trail ride outside of Estes Park, Colo., March 13, 2016. Harvey served as trip leader for F.E. Warren Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation-sponsored group of Airmen, retirees and dependents. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Senior Airman Rachel Silverberg and Joe Harvey, both with the 90th Force Support Squadron, share a laugh during a trail ride outside of Estes Park, Colo., March 13, 2016. Harvey served as trip leader for F.E. Warren Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation-sponsored group of Airmen, retirees and dependents. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

 

The quote is often credited to Winston Churchill, though Ronald Reagan seemed to have shared the thought as well.

 

I grew up around horses. My mom had several as I grew up and then she talked me into buying a colt the spring I graduated from high school.

 

When I was in the Navy, whenever I—or, later, my wife and kids—went home on leave, we had to ride. It was just an accepted, pleasurable part of life.

But, it has been at least a decade since I had been on a horse and I really didn’t miss it much. Except every July as Cheyenne fills up with horses for Cheyenne Frontier Days.

 

Then I feel the ache. I can’t really describe it, I just need to get back in the saddle.

 

Thankfully, the 90th Force Support Squadron came to my rescue. The Outdoor Recreation office sponsored a trail ride in Estes Park, Colorado.

 

So, I got my fix. Last Sunday, I joined nine others who had signed up for the trip and spent two hours on a horse, riding up and down mountain trails in sight of the Continental Divide.

 

When it was time to dismount, I was a bit stiff and sore, but it was a good feeling. I had been back in the saddle again.

 

Outdoor Rec hosts a number of trips a month with a wide variety of options—horseback riding, skiing, skydiving or maybe some homebrew lessons.

 

For more information, or to find a trip that might interest you, check out the monthly Antelope on the FunAtWarren (http://www.funatwarren.com/current-antelope-publication/) site.