Wayback Wednesday.

As you know, one of my favorite spots to walk is lovely Elizabeth Park and my last foray to this venue was December 28th, which was also the subject of my last post “Birdie Nirvana”. Not only is Elizabeth Park a treasure trove of birds, squirrels and waterfowl, but it has the distinction of being the oldest park in the Wayne County park system. Last year Elizabeth Park celebrated its 100th anniversary, having been established in 1919, after its former owner’s estate dedicated this island park to the County. The owner’s children requested this 162-acre venue be named Elizabeth Park, in honor of their mother, whose first name was Elizabeth.

I went on many treks around Elizabeth Park during its centennial year and this particular walk took place on August 10th.

I had already gone through the entire park, plus the perimeter road, then along the boardwalk, before deciding, on a whim, to take a quick detour just for kicks. That day’s pictures have languished in my photo files, having just been given a cursory glance that evening, but the post has been bubbling around in my brain for months because I wanted to add a vintage touch to this trek.

A fun flashback – then and now.

I thought I’d spotlight the Children’s Pony Ranch that is an integral part of Elizabeth Park. Whenever I walk or drive past it, there is always a crowd during the warm-weather months.

In 2019, the Pony Ranch also marked a monumental anniversary, its 60th year in business, so I thought it was high time I stepped off the perimeter road and paid it a visit since I, just like many other generations of local kids, similarly enjoyed a pony ride or two back in the day. In the 60s I went with my parents when we first moved here and were out for a Sunday drive and stumbled upon the ranch while circling this island park. But I also visited with our troop of “Pioneer Girls” (an organization for girls of all ages, similar to Campfire Girls, Brownies or Girl Scouts). I remember an enjoyable day-long excursion where our troop members walked, played, picnicked and topped off the visit at the Pony Ranch.

So, first I climbed up the hill from the boardwalk …

… and then I got set to step back in time.

As an adult revisiting this fun place on a sultry hot Summer day, I soon realized things had not changed much at the Children’s Pony Ranch in the half century (OMG) since I last visited. The little booth where you paid for your ride and bought critter treats, the stable area and the hitching post all looked the same to me, most likely the original items that were there when I was just a kid.

The staff of young men and women was friendly and I arrived early enough, before their noon opening time, to chit chat as I watched them saddling up the ponies and horses. As to pests, it isn’t only ants that bother you on a park outing or picnic – the ponies and horses stomped their feet or swished their tails to fend off the relentless horseflies that were biting like crazy that day. I will tell you that I came home with many bites as I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt due to the hot and humid day.

I watched those youngsters pick their ponies, then climb aboard their mounts, as their parents scrambled to capture the moment with their phones or cameras, then they were escorted down the path and through a portion of Elizabeth Park, their handler gently guiding the ponies by their bridles down the dirt path and into the woods. I asked one family if I could take a few pictures of their kids enjoying the experience and they said “sure – no problem” so I stood there alongside those parents and happily snapped away.

Giddyap Girlfriend.

As I watched the joy in their faces, I remembered all my fun times on ponies or “horsies” back in the day. I sure was a wee tyke in the vintage shot at the top of this post; my mom is waiting in the car in the background, while I had the first of many horseback rides. When I was a teen I used to go horseback riding all the time in a stable called “Boots and Saddle” near Amherstburg, Ontario as well as riding stables in Northern Michigan. Here are a couple more old pictures: the first was courtesy of the guy who brought a pony and camera to the ‘hood and the second was taken in a tourist spot along Route 66 in Oklahoma (and yes, it was a stuffed bronco that your roving reporter was riding).

Kids will be kids

With all the ponies saddled up and out on the trail, it was time to visit the petting zoo adjacent to the stable area. One young staffer was in charge of herding the animals from the farm, along the path, then into a pen which served as the petting zoo. The goats were a handful and were walked in separately.

The petting zoo consisted of an alpaca (who munched grass and didn’t spit on its handler or any visitors), a couple of goats (that thankfully did not scream, but were content to glare at us and quietly chew their cuds), plus an adorable pair of donkeys known as “Amos” and “Andy” who won me over when they each poked their snouts through the fence while I was taking pictures of them. You can buy a cone of treats to feed the Ranch critters if you’re so inclined. I didn’t do so, not because I’m cheap, but I didn’t want sticky fingers while using the camera. Perhaps this accounted for their continued expectant, or maybe wistful, looks (just like the squirrels wear) as if to say: “are you going to give us treats if you take pictures of us?” I came home with at least 30 pictures of these two donkeys … hey, they were cute, what can I say?

After their folks paid for their rides, then while waiting for the first load of kids to return from their trip, the children meandered over to the petting farm where they amused themselves by poking their fingers through the enclosure to pet the donkeys.

We often say that kids today are not the same as we used to be … yes, I say that too, but apparently this little donkey intrigued me, circa 1962, at the same venue where I rode the buckin’ bronco.

In another pasture I was feeding a billy goat. (Great shot of both animals, but my father almost cut me out of the picture both times.)

The kids here at the Children’s Pony Ranch could not get the nanny goats or alpaca to come to the fence to be petted or fed because they were content to stay put in the heat of the mid-day sun and forego nibbles from the cone of critter treats – go figure.

This was a fun foray and a chance to time travel a bit too. I’ll leave you with this quote after a very long post that really reached back in time:

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. ~Tom Stoppard

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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81 Responses to Wayback Wednesday.

  1. Delightful!! You can revisit your childhood!

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  2. lindasschaub says:

    Thank you Anne- who says you can’t go back again! I’ve had this post bubbling around in my head for months. 🙂

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  3. Fred Bailey says:

    Linda:
    I’m always amazed at how prolific you are with subjects that would pass by most of us. Well done, great photos as usual. For a steady diet of burro humour, check online Radio Goldfield, a great old timey station in Nevada.
    Fred

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Fred – I’ve noted Radio Goldfield, will Google that station and try it out. Well, I must tell you that every time I went past that pony ranch, it was closed as it opened at noon. I like walking in the morning, especially in the heat of the Summer. So on that day I said I’m going to go for it and check it out, heat or not. I’m glad you liked the photos – it was a good way to use my photos that were so eerily similar to what I saw that day – it sure took me back. The faces on those little girls when they climbed on their ponies. I remember that feeling too.

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  4. Ally Bean says:

    Great photos that made me smile. It’s interesting how even though times have changed, when it comes to kids and ponies times haven’t changed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank Ally – glad to give you a smile. You are absolutely right – the look on those little girls’ faces as they sat on the ponies and were giggling was priceless and made me think of my own pony/horsey experiences. Even the donkey and goat … kids will always be kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Laurie says:

    Awww…great photos of the pony ranch, both now and then. It looks like a place my grandkids would love. You look like a real cowgirl riding that bucking bronco! Way to go! You shouldn’t have told us it was stuffed! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Laurie – glad you liked it and I figured it would be fun to intersperse my old photos in between for fun and to show kids are no different today than all those decades ago. This place somewhere on Route 66 in Oklahoma (where my father was going on an interview) had the buckin’ bronc, a little farm and musical chickens. I guess my parents didn’t take pictures of the chickens playing the xylophone, but I can recall them … they walked back and forth with a hammer-like device and would make music.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        Oh, I remember chickens like that too. They used to have them somewhere in Gettysburg. We used to ba able to put a coin in and they would play a musical instrument or shoot a chicken-sized basketball or something along those lines. I’m sure that would never be allowed today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        They were a big attraction and no, the PETA people would be all over that place. The PETA people said the Groundhog should not have to face crowds, big lights, and have to get up early, thus we should have a robotic Groundhog instead.

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  6. Sandra J says:

    You brought back many memories of my own. That is just incredible that the pony ride is still there. And how awesome that they get to ride on a trail. We only had pony rides at the fair, where they went around in a circle. I love the old photos. And the donkeys, there big ole eyes. My brother and his wife have mules, they ride up in the mountains all the time with them. Wonderful post, thanks for the smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m happy to have brought back some nice memories for you Sandra. I thought it might as you love horses. Yes, it’s the same place and it’s been in business 60 years – if you look on their website, it shows a picture taken by the original owners of some customers. They have little carts too (then and now) that the horses pull. Adults can ride too, but I’m thinking it is more for kids.
      https://nicolewest1987.wixsite.com/childrensponyranch

      We had the pony rides at the fair too and we have a carnival with rides and pony rides at our City every August so that is still done. I remember that was fun when I was a kid. The donkeys were so cute and came up to the fence and I loved how they poked their heads between the fence. I wanted to go on the trail with them, but didn’t know if they deemed that a “photographic shoot” as they advertise this on the website and show little girls dressed like a princess or a little boy dressed like a cowboy (so cute). So I stayed back.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        That is the nicest thing I have seen for kids to do in a long time. The prices are so low, which makes it affordable. And the kids getting to ride as a princess with unicorns on the horses head is so cute. I just don’t see stuff like that anymore. It seems like kids only go to amusement parks or play video games. I loved the older photos on their websites.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I guess I should have included the website – I thought about doing that as it had the old pictures on it. I thought it was nice for the pictures too – what little kids would not want a picture with a horse and them in costume? Plus they do birthday parties too – how fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        I would have loved it as a child. My grandfather made a horse for me out of a cardboard box, that was the best thing ever.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I remember my rocking horse as a child – I think I have a picture of it in my scanned photos next to the Christmas tree. All the kids had a horse that was suspended on four springs and you bounced on it, rather than rocked. My grandmother bought this horse to match the bed and furniture – black/gray speckled wood furniture, and the horse was so cute and I spent hours rocking away on it. See, simple things are the best things – for you that is very memorable for the horse as well as your grandfather.

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      • Sandra J says:

        Yes, even my little nieces get so many presents at Christmas, they look at them once and then dont play with them anymore. They get to many. I remember my presents, there was only a couple and I played with them until they fell apart. Such good memories.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I didn’t get a lot of toys at Christmas either. I was allowed to pick two presents from the Christmas catalog and my grandparents bought one of my “picks” and my parents the other present and the rest were stocking presents. My mom knit and she knit some doll clothes and Barbie clothes and also sewed some doll clothes as well. My grandmother had one of those old Singer treadle sewing machines and she used that. Yes, I have nice Christmas memories – simple as it was just my parents and me and sometimes my grandparents, nothing elaborate at all. I think the kids today get too many presents and a lot of electronics. Kids at age 3-4 use a smartphone, a tablet or know how to use a big TVs … I’ve never used any of those items and no TV for ten years.

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      • Sandra J says:

        My sister said that very thing this year. Her grandchildren had all sort of presents. And when they were done opening them, they all went and looked at their iPads. That is what we did also. We circled two things in the catalog. Wonderful memories.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, too much electronics and not enough reading a regular book or even playing outside … I played outside all the time when I was a kid and we had a meadow at the end of the street with trees and a creek (much like Council Point Park but without a walking path). So my playmates and I went down there and sailed out kites, looked for pollywogs/tadpoles, gathered wildflowers – we were out all day long in the Summer months. Those are nice memories for me. The Sears Christmas catalog – all dog-eared from making my picks.

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      • Sandra J says:

        That is why we like being outside so much, we grew up outside more then in. My Grandparents always told us kids, dont come back in the house until it gets dark. I think kids are indoors more now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree and my mom would send me out in the snow all bundled up and tell me “to go out and get the stink off of you!”

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      • Sandra J says:

        I laughed at that one, I forgot that one. But we were so bundled up the stink had no where to go. Lol,

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Those one-piece snowsuits and big brown galoshes, over-the-shoe boots; it took a long time to get dressed and out, so we had to make it worth our while before returning.

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      • Sandra J says:

        I remember very well, how funny.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sandra J says:

    Oh, I have never seen a stuffed horse, I had to keep looking at the picture, it looked so real. Usually it is the plastic ones. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I guess kind of like Trigger – I believe that is what they did to Trigger and they had a museum based on that show. I think there was an issue with it a few years ago – they were going to close it down? I thought it was clever they did the picture in sepia tones and the kids had a hat, chaps – very clever. This was a cute little tourist attraction in Oklahoma on Route 66. We stopped there and they had musical chickens who played the xylophone too – very clever. I had no pictures of the chickens though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        Back when the entertainment was simple things. And did not cost a lot of money. I like seeing stuff like that. A lot of the stuff on Route 66 has closed now after the interstate was built. I bet that was quite the trip back in the day taking that route.

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      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, it was back then in 1962 and it was in the heat of the Summer, and in a VW Beetle, no A/C and my father had plastic covers on all the car seats – I wore shorts and my legs stuck to the plastic, so we had to go buy a blanket for me to sit on back there. My parents must have worn long pants. I do have some other pictures in the album, not many, some oil wells and a place we stayed, little individual cabins. I remember this tourist attraction vividly.

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      • Sandra J says:

        I like the old tourist attractions. Now a days they call them tourist traps, they are just trying to sell baubles that were made in china. Just not the same anymore. I remember the plastic, I had to chuckle over that one.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, you’re right – yes, because that was authentic and fun entertainment. Now if you took your kids to Disney World or Disneyland, you’d be in the poorhouse. We went in 1965 to Anaheim (another interview for my father – he was a tool and diemaker) and it took two weeks to get there driving from Oakville, Ontario) – we drove many miles each day, got there, stayed two days and started driving home. My parents took me to Disneyland and even then I remember them saying we would go to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm and that was it as it was so expensive. I was an only child, but not spoiled. Those plastic seatcovers – I didn’t really “get” that concept – they were not material seats, nor were they leather so why cover them. Oh, they stuck to your skin horribly and in the Winter, they’d crackle when you sat on them.

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      • Sandra J says:

        I never did go to any of the theme parks. Growing up in the UP, there wasn’t any movie theaters or anything. We got excited as kids when Grandpa said “Get in the car kids, we are going to the dump to watch the black bears forage through the garbage”, that was our entertainment. And I loved it. We had rugs made out of bread bags. I remember that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well, that was it and I don’t think now it was Knott’s Berry Farm, but it was Marineland of the Pacific. I was not spoiled at all and my family was not rich, but we did go to these places for my sake. And we drove to both states for the interviews, which pretty much took up the entire vacation being in the car, neither job which he got and we ended up moving here for a job at Ford of Woodhaven. When we were up north in the cottage in Alpena that I mentioned yesterday when we discussed the loons, we were warned by the owner of the cottage to be careful when going to the dump due to the black bears. I was excited to see them hanging out, but we never saw any – just heard the spooky critter noises at night. (I was 12.)

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      • Sandra J says:

        And that same dump is still in use up there, but now it is all fenced off. I grew up with my grandparents, but they both died when I was 10 years old. They took all 3 of us in when I was a baby, I am the youngest. We made a couple trips to Iowa from up there. But it was to far for them to drive every year. I did not know any thing different though. We went to the big city twice a year. It sure is fun talking to you about the good old days. I have not thought about them in awhile until your post today. Thank you for that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’m glad this post triggered nice memories for you Sandra. My grandmother and her 8 siblings grew up on a farm in Ariss, Ontario. That is near Guelph, but strictly a farming community. My grandmother was the only one who moved to the big city (Toronto) so all her brothers and sisters made an annual trip to visit her there – only one knew how to drive and they rented a car, and they’d all pile into a car to come visit. She and my grandfather did not drive – they worked in downtown Toronto but took the streetcar, so had no way to get to Ariss. So just 100 miles away, but might as well have been 1,000 miles away. When my parents married my father would take my grandmother to visit – same thing as going to the big city which was a big deal when you are used to rural life. They went to the “Exhibition” in Toronto every August – that was the reason for their visit too.

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      • Sandra J says:

        Those were the days, I would not want to go back as far as horse and buggy days, but times were sure simpler back then.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’ve always thought I belonged to another era – this one moves too fast for me. No, horse-and-buggy days may be hard to revert too, but a simpler era would do me fine too.

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  8. Rebecca says:

    I enjoyed the memories and photos of the animals. What a fun place to be part of your childhood! As a child, I don’t remember having anything like this, but do remember visiting a little park at the lake that had a child-sized train that took you around. Unfortunately, it’s no longer there, but recently I was able to find an old post card that had a picture of it. Collecting memories. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked the post Rebecca. I watched those little girls and they were having so much fun and I remembered myself as a little girl the same age enjoying those ponies. We have Heritage Park which has a petting farm and they have a train which must be like you had as a child. It is colorful and has several cars that are connected and the person in the front has a tractor shaped like a train that pulls it. It was nice to see kids acting like kids and outside, not tied to the TV or their devices.

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  9. Joni says:

    That was such a fun post Linda! Lots of memories there and I loved the old photos and the new pictures. We only got to go on ponies at the fair which went around in a boring circle and the ride was always way too short. I think it might have been 25c? How much is it for a pony ride these days on the trails?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Joni – Glad you liked this and I thought it would be fun to stick in some old photos from way back in the day. We had those fairs too and I think it was about the same price. We used to go every Summer when the fair came to town. They have a website which shows some things they do and they had a price list – looks like a pony ride is $7.00. They do photo shoots with the ponies as well. https://nicolewest1987.wixsite.com/childrensponyranch/pony-rides-at-the-park

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s actually not too bad a price for so much fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree with you Joni … I am curious about the hayrides – I wonder if that would be fun to do or watch and take pictures, but maybe not this year as it would be too similar to this post. I wonder if they have a farm wagon or maybe they use the small carts they use with the horses. I will have to stop and ask or see if I can contact them. I’ll bet all kids would enjoy pony rides. It is something out of the ordinary.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I always wanted to do a sleigh ride in the winter – that would be fun and would make a great post.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        At Greenfield Village, now called The Henry Ford, they have that sometimes at the holidays if there is enough snow. I know you have to be a member to go to it, but I think that would be fun as well. They do carriage rides around this place which is like a small town. I would not mind to get the membership but not until I no longer worked as there are plenty of grounds to walk around and sights to see, but the special old-time events are difficult to get into unless you are a member, especially the parking. But they charge members as well for “Holiday Nights” where the village is decorated and people are in period costume. They have fireworks there nightly during Christmastime and I can hear them from my house: https://www.thehenryford.org/current-events/calendar/holiday-nights-in-greenfield-village/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        It sounds wonderful……lots of blogging potential there!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, I think so and it always sounds so nice when they have the spokesman on the radio talking about all the upcoming events – the problem is they are all at night for the old-fashioned Halloween (hundreds of pumpkins up/down the street) and Christmastime. They have an old-time car show with Model Ts and Model As and that is during the day and there is a parade of old cars, trucks, fire wagons and employees dress in period costumes and they serve food and have street games from that era. I think it is a bit pricey to get in and being dependent on good weather on a weekend, is why I’d hold off getting a membership until I retire and could go there and to the museum during the week. The biggest draw in Winter for me would be the sleigh ride too. Just a Currier & Ives kind of “girl” like you Joni. When I hear the news about issues re: travel woes, both domestic and international … tour buses that crash, trains running off the tracks and into thin air, plane crashes, and helicopters/small planes that take cruise passengers on an airborne trip to sightsee and crash in mid-air, even the evacuation of passengers (or quarantine of them) due to norovirus or Coronavirus makes me less and less inclined to ever travel again and stick around here and enjoy the local flavor. The Henry Ford is world-renowned and wWe also have the Holly, Michigan Dickens Festival (a whole weekend of a town where she dress like Dickens era).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I agree – I don’t have any desire to travel anymore, except to Italy and France to see art etc

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        They are the only foreign countries on my bucket list too Joni. I wish I’d gone to see Alaska years before.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Joni says:

    PS. It was also nice to see a bit of summer and green grass!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear “Time Traveler”……………………………..I enjoyed seeing pictures of you from long ago and I always learn something new about you …………..like…………………..you going up north and riding horses………………………….yes the pair of donkeys are cute………………………..I just love the quote………………….You’l never get old!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie – I have a picture of me on a horse up North and I think I did a post on it long ago, maybe before we met. That was an old nag – it plodded along very slowly. It has been years since I was on a horse (1974 I believe) … I was riding with a friend and her sister and her sister’s friend and my friend never went riding before and my horse brushed against her horse and then reared up striking her on the shin – we had to go to the emergency room and luckily her leg was not broken or fractured but she had a huge bruise. I will look for the picture from up north to send you,

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  12. you should go horse back riding again Linda and do a post on it! I always carried a apple with me when I went riding. Once the horse smelled the apple it did exactly what I wanted!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I have not been on a horse since 1974 – took a friend of mine who had never been and we went with her sister and her sister’s friends. Everyone had gone horseback riding but my friend. She was reluctant to go – we convinced her. She had a small horse and it was skittish and my horse went by her and startled her horse and my horse reared up a little and came down with one hoof striking her in the shin – she had a horrible bruise afterward and we went to the E.R. to ensure nothing was fractured or broken – thankfully nothing. I’ve not been on a horse since … when I got lost in the country last September after I got lost going to the sunflower festival, I saw a horseback riding place but I don’t know if it is just for people who stable their horses then go to ride them there or not. I seem to remember taking an apple or big carrot when I went with my parents to a stable (Boots & Saddles) near Holiday Beach in Amherstburg, Ontario. We went in the Summer and Fall maybe once a month for a picnic and they had a beach, then I’d go horseback riding with my father – my mom stayed in the car as she could not climb onto a horse. I really like it – it was fun on the trail until they saw the stable then they’d make a beeline back to it.

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      • 74!……….I don’t think you’ll be doing anymore riding. Ya,they always race back to the stables!
        Bad luck for your friend! Bet ya she never rode another horse!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I am wrong – it was ’72 – that makes it even longer. Once they see the stables, they think of hay, oats and their friends … a one-track mind! I’ll bet she never rode again – she was glaring at me and crying the whole way to the hospital. They didn’t want to go to a Canadian hospital so we had to drive back to a local hospital in Michigan. We lost track of one another after high school – this happened while we were still in high school, junior year and I graduated high school in ’73.

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      • horses can pick up on nervous people and you can be sure that If one of them is hardened it will do something to screw you up. They usually like to swell their chest when you put the saddle on. That way when they relax their chest the straps are not that tight and so they can get rid of you!
        Thats why I cut a apple up and rub it in my hands. When they smell that,they pay attention because they want that treat! If I give a command and it does what I want I slow down,lean forward onto its main and give it a slice of apple.
        We are friends then!……until they see the barn of course!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        They gave Debbie a horse who had just come back from having a foal – its first day back and I later thought that might be dumb, but it was a short horse and she was very petite. I had a tall horse – good thing I was hanging onto the pommel or I’d have landed on the ground for sure – my horse got spooked and raised up – I was scared to be honest as most horses I’d been on just plodded along like automatons. The apple made you instant friends … til you came around the last corner!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. ruthsoaper says:

    What a great read and photos. It is amazing that this place is still there and much the same a you remember. So many of the places I remember are either no longer in existence or have become modernized and expensive to make a profit. This place seems like time has stood still.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – I am glad you enjoyed it. I liked going back there and seeing how it looked and the happy kids which the pictures you could almost see them squealing in delight over their ponies. There was a story I read recently about a lot of tourist attractions that were on postcards in the past resorts, or motels – famous old postcards and one guy tracked down all these places and found them to be in disrepair. I Googled the story as it was interesting to see before and after – this place has stood the test of time for sure unlike these bigger and more famous places.
      https://www.cntraveler.com/video/watch/postcards-from-the-past-america-s-abandoned-resorts

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow what a fun place for kids and adults! I love riding horses and wish we had a place like that here.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I happened to see your name over at Ruth Soaper’s blog and had to pop in for a visit, because of your last name. There aren’t many Schaubs around, but I’m one too! My maiden name is Schaub. Skim reading a few posts, I see we share memories of Pioneer Girls, delightful days at the local park, and pony rides. No doubt there are many more! I grew up in the Chicago suburbs; looks like you’re from the Detroit area. I wonder how far back we’d have to go to find a common ancestor?! ‘Delighted to discover you here, Linda, and will be back to visit when time allows!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Nice to meet you Nancy and it looks like Ruth and I have Michigan in common, but you and I share the “Schaub” name we were born with. I’ve only met one other Schaub before and that is William (Bill) Schaub who used to be the Regional Director of the Detroit National Labor Relations Board. Bill and my boss taught a labor law class together at University of Detroit Mercy; they tag-teamed so that students got an idea of the government/union and management perspectives … my boss does management labor law. I know Bill was originally from Ohio (Toledo I believe). Bill and I were not related, but now I have met you. You’re right, it is not a common name at all. My father (Max Schaub) was originally from Frankfurt, Germany but moved to Canada (Toronto) in 1950 and met my mother there. I am actually Canadian, despite living here since 1966, I never changed my citizenship. I have a friend who has researched her family tree and is very big into genealogy and she offered to do some research of me and discovered we were related through our maternal grandfathers … eleven generations removed, but fun to find that out! I mentioned Pioneer Girls once before in a post and a fellow blogger (Anne Mehrling, also a follower of Ruth) said her two daughters were active years ago and sent me pictures she had made of their uniforms back in the day – funny, almost no one has heard of Pioneer Girls. I went with a neighbor girl and the troop was associated through her church. I had been a Brownie while in Canada. I’m glad we share more than just the name we were born with Nancy and hope to see you again soon. -Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Fun memories Linda! Kids and horses/ponies go so well together. I didn’t get to ride as a kid, but our boys did and loved it. Elizabeth Park sure is a treasure of a park so close to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, it is a beautiful park Sabine. The kids sure were enjoying the ponies, little squeals of delight from those girls. I heard the long-range prediction for flooding and they expect it to be worse than last year. Parts of this park were very flooded, and the grass was spongy, the canal going into the grass, but you can ignore that part (that is where the beautiful historic bridge is you liked) … but the boardwalk would likely be okay and the perimeter road and pony ranch are high up on the island and safe from flooding.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Aw, such a delightful and heart-warming post, Linda. Nice job! I like how you mixed in old and new photos, too. It’s so fun that you have those old photos to treasure and share with us. That looks like a great place for kids of all ages to visit. The quote at the end is perfect for the post too! Happy Trails to you :-)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Shelley – it was a fun post to finally put together after having the photos in my picture folder and a post bubbling around in my head for months. I scanned in so many photos two years ago and knew of these pictures and even had another one when I was a teenager, but I used it in another post. How nice to see nothing has changed since I was there a half-century ago … I think kids are always going to like baby animals and us adults too – look at your blog post about the petting farm and mine at the petting farm at Heritage Park. It is good to never grow up in some regards – it keeps life simpler. No happy trails today for me, except the one that winds along the house and driveway as I shovel it as soon as I leave here – grr.

      Like

  18. J P says:

    I got on a real horse exactly once as a kid. It was huge and wouldn’t do anything I wanted it to do. It was actually kind of terrifying.

    I love the top picture. Did your family have the only 57 Mercury ever made that didn’t sport a two-tone paint job? 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      My horse experiences were pretty tame, except one time I introduced a friend to horseback riding, and after her initial reluctance and my prodding, she went with me, only for her small horse to be spooked by mine, who reared up and his hoof got her in the shin – luckily it was not fractured or broken.

      So that is a ’57 Mercury? I know my parents referred to a car as “the Mercury” and they are no longer here to ask them … it seems that it was a green if memory serves me right and that was what I was told as I don’t remember the car. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Eliza says:

    You stay young at heart.
    I love that it stayed the same! I like the pictures of you best… I’m glad you got to revisit this area of the park… and that I’m getting to read it finally…
    💕🕯✨

    Liked by 1 person

  20. mizan says:

    Oh, I have in no way considered a stuffed horse, I had in imitation of keep searching at the picture, that looked consequently real. Usually it is the plastic on

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Nicole west says:

    I just stumbled across this, and it brought tears to my eyes. My name is Nicole West, and I am the owner of children’s pony ranch (since 2015) I want to thank you for your wonderful words and beautiful pictures of my animals, they are truly my heart and soul and I love that there are so many people who appreciate them as much as I do. I hope to meet you one day soon!! As soon as covid blows over we will be back open!!

    With love,
    Nicole west
    Owner/Operator
    Children’s Pony Ranch

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Nicole – Thank you for writing me and saying this … your comment made my day! I was going to contact you and send you this post on your website or via your Facebook page, but because I was so late in using the photos from last August and not posting until six months later, I did not – now I wish I had since you enjoyed the post so much. I had a wonderful time chitchatting with your staff when I was there – they were very nice and I could tell they love their jobs. The two little girls on the pony brought back some fond memories for me, so I decided I had to write about it and stick some of my own pictures in as well. It is a perfect place for kids and I hope once COVID-19 has released its grip, you can continue to offer pony rides … hopefully before Summer slips away. I hope to meet you one day soon – I am often at Elizabeth Park; in fact I wrote about it in today’s post because there was so much flooding when I was there that really hot weekend. I can only imagine what it looks like after all this rain we’ve had. The Children’s Pony Ranch will remain unscathed as you are on higher ground. Thanks again for writing Nicole. – Linda

      Like

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