Home

Going with Gunner

Leave a comment

This weekend’s trail ride was at  Sunol Regional Wilderness in Sunol, CA.  It was only about 45 minutes from the house making it my most convenient trail riding location yet.  The trail ride program is run by Western Trail Riding Services, a concessionaire of East Bay Regional Park District since 2004.

I went on the 2 hour Flagg Hill trail ride and was accompanied by a really nice couple. I was given Gunner as my Steed of the day.  He is a beautiful Quarter Horse, seemed to have good breeding back ground and a beautiful head.  When I was assigned gunner I was told by the owner (Gary I think) that he usually rides him.  But I was given him because I had the longest legs (me with the longest legs?).  The stirrups were still a little long so he turned them side ways.  (Yup learned something new, never thought of that but it is a great idea.)

IMG_2354

The Trail Guide or Wrangler as he was called was Chris. He did a great job.  Definitely the best one yet.  He took the time to tell us a little bit of the history and the Native American tribe, called the Ohlone, who originally inhabited the land.  More recently it became ranch land and their abandoned buildings and windmill still exist today.

The ride itself was much more engaging than the run of the mill trial rides.  Chris asked us to keep 1 horse length between the horses.  Which is a great idea for ensuring the horses know who is boss and not letting them get all bunched up.  We crossed a stream, trotted on flat areas and let the horses drink at a watering trough, still used by the cows grazing on the park land. Gunner is a true western pleasure horse he has such a smooth jog.

Then it came time to canter. Chris told us to put 2 horse lengths between each other so that we had enough space.  As you can see I was last so I held Gunner back.  Instead of cantering off he started bucking!  Three big bucks that seemed to last an eternity.  Luckily I held on and rode through it.  Only loosing my stirrup and giving him a little piece of my mind by yelling at him.  Just didn’t want him to think he could get away with that.  After we collected ourselves we cantered off with no problems.

We made it to the top of the hill to witness the beautiful view in the cool breeze.

We got back to the Equestrian rental area I told Gary about Gunner bucking.  He first question was What did you do? So I answered I held on and stayed on.  But he meant what did I do to provoke his bucking and I explained how I held him back as requested before cantering.  He said that he was used to being up front so probably got annoyed by being held back and didn’t want to be left behind.  He also said that he had never done that before.  #Onlyme.  #NeverADullMoment.

An Afternoon with Indy

Leave a comment

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to ride a beautiful flea bitten grey anglo arab named Indy.

IMG_2304

Drinkers of the Wind

He gathered his people to show them the magnificent and magical being. “It drinks the wind,” he announced, and they called it for a long time Drinker of the Wind; only later was it called a horse. Every tribe wanted horses of their own, and from that first swirl of strength and beauty came thousands of others.

From Drinkers of the Wind by Amy Friedman and Meredith Johnson

I went for a trial ride at Point Reyes Arabian Adventures.  Susan who was a gracious host, called me earlier that day to tell me unfortunately my scheduled 2 1/2 hour ride was shortened to 1 hour because her truck was in an accident.  We rode around the property and up the hill to experience the breath taking views of Tomales Bay.

The trail was lead by Susan’s assistant and we were accompanied by a nice couple from San Francisco. One of them had been riding trails there for so many year she sad she had ridden every horse in the herd of about 15 except 2.

Since one of the riders was inexperienced I was allowed to  canter ahead of the group.  Indy was great, once I remember to gather him up and hold him in an actively engaged canter.  Funny as I was in the trail riding frame of mind to just let the horse canter but when I tried to do that he was all over the place.  Once I remembered to keep contact with him he felt much more collected.

It felt good to be trusted and allowed to experience the trail as an advanced rider.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before the trail started I rode around a smaller pasture waiting for the other riders.  The wild life there was amazing. A massive bird flew overhead when I was at the look out point. I think it was a vulture. This is a couple of pictures I snapped of a deer in a back yard.

 

 

Pictures from Lessons

Leave a comment

One of our lesson girls asked me to post these pictures and photos from their lessons.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A video of one of our students jumping with Casey.

Snowy lesson in February

Leave a comment

Now that the winter is over I can post this plog knowing it will be a while before we see snow again.  The girls and I had a great lesson in the snow with lots of fun picture taking.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another great article

Leave a comment

See this is why I have my lesson students go get the horses, groom and tack them…

http://alphaequestrian.blogspot.com/2015/03/one-vital-question-parents-should-ask.html

There is only now. And you may as well do it now.

Leave a comment

It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, NOW is as good a time as any.— Hugh Laurie

Wait till your ready

Winter is in full swing here at the farm but I am still doing lessons with my “troopers”.  A select few that stick with me through the winter.  We get bundled up in our 7 layers to go out there and have some fun.  Stay frosty my friends!

How Horses Help Humans

Leave a comment

I started reading this article in the Huffington post online had had to share.

8 Reasons You Should Learn To Love These Under-Appreciated Animals

There are some great quotes in it:

  • “As a sophisticated herd animal, horses immediately begin building relationships with people as members of their herd.” ~Dede Beasley, M.Ed., LPC, an equine therapist
  • “One of the many psychological benefits of spending time with horses is the tranquil nature they encourage within us.”
  • “A pioneering 2013 study from the University of Kentucky discovered that spending time with horses can help people develop a sense of empathy as well as enhance their social and leadership skills.”
  • “A study commissioned by the British Horse Society in 2011 confirmed that regular horse riding and horse riding-related activities like mucking out stalls counts as moderately intense exercise and can help keep a person healthy. Additional research associates equine therapy with lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduced stress, and fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression.”
  • “The horse is the perfect mirror, they are very emotional beings; we’re only starting to realise how intelligent they are,” Gabrielle Gardner, a therapy counselor of Shine For Life,

Older Entries