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With Tahoe’s “shoulder season” upon us, the period of transition between the hangover of winter and the anticipation of summer, it’s a perfect time to find creative activities to enjoy as a family. Recently, with kids in tow, we headed out to Piping Rock Equestrian Center. Located literally across from Old Greenwood in Truckee, this wonderful equestrian center is more than just horses and riding lessons. We typically visit with apples and carrots to feed the horses, and the donkey, goats, rabbits, and a new addition- the baby potbellied pig. The kids love feeding the animals, however, on this special visit we stumbled upon an unexpected kids’ event. Typically reserved for the children in the riding program, this day was about celebrating the upcoming riding season with obstacle courses, grooming, and painting horses. Yes, painting horses! This was so messy and fun, an activity that I’m sure any child would enjoy. After the festivities, I spoke to one of the adult riders, and she said that she would inevitably ride on a painted horse and it made her smile each and every time.

That made me smile, too.