St. Paddy’s Day Weekend

Since I’m sitting at work with nothing to do while they set me up with a new computer I’m going to take advantage of the down time and write a quick little blog (or maybe a big blog. We’ll see how it goes).

I was down in San Diego last weekend, I try to alternate weekends, but because of all the rain the ground was too wet and my riding plans were nixed. It also looks like this current weekend will get washed out as well. I can hear east coasters laughing at not riding because of wet ground.

I love the way she moves. Can’t wait to see what we can do in a dressage court.

Saturday I spend pretty much the whole day at my cousin’s kid’s birthday party which featured pony rides, bounce houses and slides, piñatas, an Easter egg hunt, an ice cream truck, a mobile wood fire pizza setup…probably a few other things I missed, I’m sure. This kid is Spoiled. With the capital S. I did manage to bounce before clean up, I helped with setup, and scored an 8ft beach ball to torture my horses with and the largest Pusheen plushie I have ever seen.

Before you think I left early to avoid clean up–even if you are partially right–I also had to get to my parent’s place with enough daylight to doctor Catalina. She had come up 3 legged lame a few days before and needed a new wrap for her heel abscess. She seemed 100% sound on Saturday, so the abscess must have blown before I saw her. Or she’s dramatic. I mean…it could go either way.

This better not turn into a recurring issue.

Because I’m not around so much, she is not getting handled much. She took 2 full doses of sedative to calm down when the vet came to see her! Yeah, delicate flower she is not. This made wrapping her foot fairly difficult but she did eventually settle enough for me to get my job done. It probably would have gotten done sooner but at one point when I was packing her back foot she sat on me and that turned into a whole issue. Haha. It’s not really funny. My back still hurts 5 days later.

But thems the breaks with a baby who isn’t getting handled much, is now 15 hands (the legs on this girl, longer than Ben who is 15.2-15.3), and way smarter than she gets credit for by everyone but me. Even simple things like grooming and leading, which we had solid in October, are now difficult. I think Catalina needs a couple sessions with R to remind her of her place in this world. Followed up by more handling when I’m in town.


When she stopped being a wiggle worm I groomed her. She loved it and with my Sleek-EZ shed a whole other horse. She looks patchy and mangy now which I find hilarious. However, I can see how thin she is, which makes me sad but her joints are so stressed from her crazy growth that keeping her ‘light’ is preferred until they calm down.

Valeria looks so good now with her mane and tail partially grown out.

I hit Saturday night, St Patrick’s Day, pretty hard to help assuage some of my guilt about being an absentee owner for my clever girls. Memo to me: avoid this tactic in the future.

Drunk Karen has way more fun that Sober Karen. She also throws caution to the wind and screws up all of Sober Karen’s plans. For example, Sober Karen is saving for a dressage saddle so I can show Aria. Drunk Karen took this money and purchased what I now refer to as the YOLO Treat Yo Self saddle.

Drunk Karen got a hell of a deal, so I’m not even that mad. I mean, I’m a little mad that Sober Karen can’t find good deals and that I have to refer to myself as two different people because this is not the first time Drunk Karen has made crazy purchases.

Looks like Aria and I will be focusing on Working Equitation full time for now. Not a bad thing because I like WE a lot and the last time I rode we executed opening and closing a gate, with one hand, so beautifully that I lost my mind after and praised Aria for like…15 minutes.

Happy Birthday Aria! March 21!

I don’t actually know when she was born but I do know it was around this time, so I made her birthday the first day of spring. She’s been just a fresh breath of air for my horse ‘career’ that I feel the date is appropriate. I’m so happy to have found her. We’ll pretend the saddle is her birthday gift! Happy 6th Birthday, Aria!

Happy Birthday to Valeria as well! Her birthday was on March 10. March is so crazy for me. My parents’ anniversary, March 2. Mom’s birthday, March 3. Dad’s birthday, March 5. Valeria’s birthday, March 10. Catalina’s birthday, March 11. Aria’s birthday, March 21. Keep piling them on, March. I can take it!

Go big or go home seems to be the trend in this particular post. March is also a big month because I start PT on my previously broken/crushed finger. The bones are healed, I just need to address the pain and gain fully mobility again. Fingers crossed the numbness fades because it’s the ring finger and kind of important for feeling your horse through the reins.

And that’s my rough recap. Except that I started this post at 10am and should have been back in action by 11:30am but here I am at 2:25pm still waiting for my computer to finish doing it’s thing. LOL.



Wow. I don’t even know where the time goes anymore. My days are so busy, I think even if I wanted to blog I couldn’t consistently find time to post regularly. But I’m hoping this constant stretch of weeks without posting isn’t my new normal. I like to be busy, but not this busy.

Work is insane. I’m hoping that changes when we get a new person. I’m the only person doing my job and I support the entire world. Logging in every morning to almost 200 new emails is a normal day for me.


Baby Blue is so cute. I need one.

There have been a couple milestones since I last posted. Last night my fingernail finally came off (read ripped off. Yay). So at least that particular source of pain is gone. The naked nail bed is going to present it’s own problems for a few more weeks. I’ve got an appointment on Monday for my finger because I’m still experiencing a lot of pain and during a ride last weekend I felt what I can only describe as a crunch when Aria rooted at the reins.

Another milestone that you probably figured out: I’m riding again!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andalusian bedhead is strong.

It’s a total pain in the ass to tack up because my finger isn’t 100% but I don’t even care because I can actually spend my time on my amazing mare and that is all I live for right now.

In an effort to be totally honest, living in LA sucks and this dream job is seriously impacting my dream hobby. My horse time quota is so low, I may as well not even own horses. I can only go to San Diego every other week. Which means my saint of a mare is only ridden 2x in 14 days. It’s criminal.

When you lunge one and the other liberty lunges of their own accord. Winning.

But I take heart knowing that this move to LA was extremely temporary and I’m actually looking at jobs right now to move back to San Diego. There’s a light at the end of this horse barren tunnel. 🙂

The last major milestone is Catalina turned 1 on March 11!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Workin’ it.

Sorry for all the exclamation points. I’m very excited about a few things. Obviously.

Catalina is now almost as tall as her mom. Which puts her at 15-15.1h. I’ll have to stick her when I see her this next weekend. I don’t know when she got so tall but she was definitely a solid 15h at 11 months. It’s kind of crazy and my short legs hope she doesn’t clear 16h but the dressage rider in me is screaming 16.3h!

Valeria has to actually make an effort to see over her spawn.

Things aren’t perfect right now but I know they are a necessary means to an end and I’m sort of okay with that. I wont pretend I haven’t been getting depressed (or at least my version of depressed) by my current lifestyle but I also know that I made this choice and I knew what I was signing up for. I just didn’t realize that boarding up here would be a no-go.

Time to get that 6 figure job or snag a rich hubby! 😉

Hopefully it wont be so long between the next post and this one. Love you guys, miss you guys, and I hope I’m back in the blog scene soon!

Trailer Loading Babies

Now that I’m 5 weeks into healing a broken finger my mind suddenly thinks I can do all the things I couldn’t do before. Which led to me trying to lunge Ben to get video for anyone who might be interested in him. I couldn’t do everything with one hand while he was being squirrely and that frustrated me. I expressed that frustration by calling him names that he doesn’t understand but most certainly understood what I was projecting. It’s kind of ugly to look at a horse and see it reflecting your negative emotions back at you.

After snapping this picture: Are…are her legs…longer than his????

I talked to R about it when I went up for a lesson later that week and he mentioned that it was a good thing that I was able to step back and get perspective. He always says intent is one of the most important things when working with horses.

That translated really well when I took Catalina and Aria up for some time with R. We worked on trailer loading because my M.O. is to send a horse in and send a horse out. I never bother to stop them once they start, I simply guide. Plus I was suddenly nervous about trailer loading, which I think the horses could tell. Between getting hurt and only having one good hand to handle them with, I had to fake it to make it, but I wasn’t convincing them I was confident. R felt I should have much more control and perceived confidence on what my horses do as they enter and exit a trailer.

Those baby eyes.

Frankly, he’s right. Aria is already trained to only move one step at a time and only load one leg at a time if I bother to ask for it but let’s be honest, I never practice that because it’s boring. My bad. As a result, when he did try to stop her as she was backing out she resisted and smacked her head on the roof. Let me tell you something…if you don’t want to get stuck doing a trailer loading session, do not let your trainer unload your horses because they will see all your flaws. Haha.

We spent 10 minutes just working on Aria keeping her head low as she backed out and then he spent about another 10 asking for her to load and unload one leg at a time, at his speed, all while keeping her head down. I now ask her to drop her head any time we unload because I’d rather she not start to associate unloading with pain.

Making a quick exit.

Then we said forget Aria, she understands the concept, let’s play with Catalina. At the time Catalina would trailer load for me either with a bride of food or if I wanted to do that method where you apply pressure to the lead rope until they step forward and then you release. Neither method is great in an emergency and considering we were on fire, I felt getting Catalina to self-load was prudent.

I should mention that Catalina has seen R once before and during that session he taught her to move toward and away from pressure and how to lunge. She already had a forward cue on her when he started asking her to step into the trailer. She’s a funny little baby. If you let her she will do everything on her own schedule, which is fine when initially introducing concepts, but rather hilarious when you see her whole body finally react to what you’re asking for with a ‘fine, I guess we can do this thing you want me to do’.

Catalina: Save me. Aria: Get the moose away from me. ((These are ugly training shots where the point was to get them working together, not get them working pretty. Please don’t judge the dark uncollected yak or scraggly moose.))

Her real attitude doesn’t show up until you start asking her to do things on your schedule. She wants to take her time and isn’t particularly impressed if you tap her on the butt and ask her to perform her task with some expediency. That is when her alpha horse side comes out and she throws the smallest of tantrums because really pitching a fit is far too much work in her opinion. She tried the mule technique once but when R whopped her with a pool noodle she didn’t think planting her feet was such a good idea anymore.

The actual reason I brought my girls up that day was to train Catalina how to pony off Aria. I’ve tried many times on trail to wrangle my baby moose but Aria and Catalina bicker a lot and it doesn’t go well when I try to make them walk side by side. Catalina will eventually fall behind until I’m almost pulled out of the saddle because she’s pretending to muck through tar.

Catalina pulling some baby Andalusian extension y’all!

R worked some kind of magic because not only did he pony Catalina on Aria with relative ease, he also got them to do figure eights at walk, trot, and canter. To top it all off, they also bicker less and Aria is no longer food and water aggressive to Catalina anymore.

It certainly helped that he had Catalina listening to him on the ground and that Aria was trained by him and not actually as rusty as we had feared from over a month of no work but it’s also really cool to see someone accomplish something so easily when you’ve struggled at it for months. It just proves what I suspected, that my horses are very smart and any failure is all me. Haha. Truer words have not been spoken, am I right?

Um…yeah. So she’s pretty much Aria’s size. At 9 months old…

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I’m slowly catching up on blog posts and hope to be much more active on here, if only to tell you all how I’ve gone another week without riding.

Back From A Break

Well, you all have Teresa to thank for this blog update.

Things have been good, they’ve been okay, and they’ve been kind of bad.

I cannot complain about the job. It’s been great and has definitely been the main source of all my highs since I moved to LA. Last week they threw a killer party at the park, shutting it down to the public and opening to the employees for two nights of unlimited food and drinks (including booze but I could not partake as you will find when I get to the bad portion of my post).

I’ve been moved from the fun and crazy floor of Consumer Products to the less fun and slightly boring floor of Legal and Publishing. What a snooze fest. Lol. But the quiet is nice for working, especially when I’m trying to source audio from a movie. I think I’ll eventually be moved to the Multimedia floor(s) to sit with my new team after the new year.

The down side to all this fun and exciting work is that I really miss my horses. I do drive down to San Diego pretty much every weekend but it’s not the same and not enough horse time for me. It’s definitely plummeted me into a bit of what I can only call depression, though I don’t feel I am a person inclined to bouts of depression, so perhaps it’s really more of a slump or funk. I’m still seeing my friends in LA and going out after work and having fun.

I’ve been living vicariously through Sara and getting all my horse fixes from her because we chat via Facebook messenger (if you want to be FB friends, let me know). I’m not around my horses except on the weekend and now even my weekend time with them is limited because on Thanksgiving weekend, as I was loading Valeria into my trailer she broke my finger (read: fracture and crushed). I wasn’t even in a dangerous position, seeing as I was outside of the trailer and had sent her in. Which just goes to show you can take all the precautions to avoid an accident and still have one because trailering horses really is as dangerous as they say.


Ring finger phalange is crushed and fractured by the joint.

I’ve been to the ER twice and saw two different orthopedic surgeons (specifically because the first was insane, gave me really questionable medical advice, and scheduled me for physical therapy 4 days after the injury). All of this because I was pinned by the tip of my finger to my horse trailer by a very large, and very scared horse.

Zombie finger!! Ahhhh!

I’m still not sure what scared her; she’s loaded fine for me several times before. I do have a plan to install rubber stoppers on all my dividers though to prevent that kind of crush accident again. What if I had been in the trailer with 1100lbs of scared horseflesh pinning me? It gives me chills.

I wont go into the details of how it all happened but if anyone is curious, hit me up and I’ll share.

And of course you all have probably heard about the fires in So Cal. That’s causing a lot of stress. My heart goes out to all the horses that have died and the people who have been injured, died, or lost all their worldly possessions. All the planning in the world cannot account for a swift moving fire. I do plan to donate my time in the coming weeks to all the evacuation zones with horses. Assuming they’ll take me with my bummed finger!

So yeah…that’s my update. Sorry I’ve been MIA. I just haven’t been in the best place recently.

Happy Hanukkah.

One Week of This New Life

What an absolute whirlwind the last week has been. Let me tell you, the new job is cool, but the new job is clearly going to demand lots of overtime. Which, on one hand is super nice because I’m currently hourly and my eyes sparkle a little at the thought of overtime and maybe even golden time pay-Cue angels singing–but on the other hand will probably come with added stress. 

I’ve said many times before that my major source of stress relief is my time spent with my horses. Something about how zen you have to be to keep them zen is just wonderful. I won’t have that easily accessible outlet in LA for a while and the weight of that definitely came crashing down as I drove away from San Diego. I have no shame in admitting there was quite a bit of ugly crying happening on that drive, only some of it from awful LA traffic. 

On the flip side, when I came home for the weekend and stepped into the barn Aria went nuts in her stall. 100% it was excitement and a reaction to seeing me. I’m not even anthropomorphizing her, we just have that bond that Iberian horse are known for. It was a very pleasant surprise and earned her some extra attention and love.

14th floor! Apparently a window on the 18th shattered yesterday. Talk about air condition!


Of course Catalina screamed her little head off too. She’s so adorable I just want to punch her and smoosh her face. I have serious bouts of cute aggression around her which is stave off by stuffing her with treats and food (heaven help her hay belly, I am doing nothing to prevent it).

This was my day 1 gift. I have used it twice already b/c IT savvy my coworkers are not.

Valeria and Ben, while interested to see me, weren’t over the moon. They have each other and that seems to keep them happy. Ben’s lifetime pasture mate, my sister’s senior mare, was moved off the property for a while, and when she returned he put on a reunion show worthy of an Emmy. I don’t get the same greeting when I’m gone all week, so I assume his first love is that cute little palomino. Haha. 

I want to write about some very fun and exciting rides I’ve had over the last two weekends but I’m currently on a plane headed to Dallas (go figure it’s the only time I have to blog lol) and I feel those posts require proper media and planning. Speaking of–sorry for the lack of media on this post. I’ll make it up to you! I also need to make time to read blogs. It was a regular thing for me and now I miss reading about everyone’s adventures. 

Sob. Me too, Joe. Sob.

Last Week On Spanish Walk…

I left you all with a terrible cliffhanger last week and I only marginally apologize for doing that to you. I knew it was a done deal but I didn’t want to say anything until the ink had dried. Something about all your eggs being in one basket, and what not.



Last week I was offered a position at NCBUniversal, not the theme park but the production studio even though they’re located in the same place. I’ve been trying to get into a studio since I graduated make-up school in 2006. I absolutely couldn’t say no, especially since it wasn’t an IT position (YES). This will be a huge change for me and a brand new career path. I’ll be working in the Consumer Products and Licensing department handling all movie and tv assets (or as I’ve told a few people: getting paid to stare at Chris Pratt all day). I don’t know what I’m allowed to share about this position just yet, but I will when I can.


Yup. Totally willing to look at that all day. I’ll even work overtime.


I’m starting on Wednesday, the background check having only cleared this morning. What this insanely quick turn of events means for me is moving over the next few weekends. Normally I would take a week off to get all that squared away but Universal was pretty insistent that I start ASAP. So now I’m trying to figure out the logistics of moving from San Diego to Burbank. Luckily I can stay with a friend for the time being but I’ll have to go house/apartment shopping eventually.


I also have to go barn shopping. Something I’ve NEVER done before. I don’t know what I’m looking for and I anticipate it being rather stressful to find a place that will cater to my delicate princess, Aria. I have no clue what is normal barn management. I am pretty excited to have someone else clean poop though! Even though it won’t be for a while. Aria and Co. are probably going to have to cool their heels until after the New Year. Barn shopping will definitely have to be a whole blog post on its own.


I’ll be traveling to San Diego on the weekends to get in two days of riding a week, so don’t worry, this blog won’t wither away. My parents are kindly offering to care for my horses until I can move them up. They know how much I’ve been chasing this job opportunity. And as much as I hate it, this is definitely fast tracking the sale of two horses no matter how I look at it. I cannot cram Ben into a box stall at his age and Valeria is too young to sit in a stall all day doing nothing. I have to do what’s best by them and I think staying with me is not best.


I am considering calling up Catalina’s sire’s owner and seeing if they would be willing to pasture board her with all her siblings until she’s grown up and ready for training. I think letting her be a horse for the next few years would be very beneficial for her. But I’m also not sure I want to be away from her for so long. I mean, you saw her face in last week’s post. How do I leave that? Luckily I have time to decide and don’t want to rush it.

All in all it’s been a crazy seven days but it’s also been an exciting seven days.

Baby’s First ‘Trail’

Even though I don’t have all the time I wish I did, I have been making some progress with our favorite moose. She has finally put the brakes on her growth and it has definitely been a gargantuan task to accomplish. As you may recall Catalina had developed physitis in her knees and rear fetlocks due to the rapid rate she was growing at. At 5 ½ months I weaned her to stop the consumption of whatever super serum Valeria was producing. I mean, seriously, I should have bottled it and sold it to scrawny, weakling children. It probably has the same properties as ambrosia, food of the gods.

Weaning went well and Catalina thrives quite well on the strict diet of bermuda grass. I’m so happy I now have two, count them—TWO—special snowflakes that can only eat bermuda. I guess my wallet is kind of happy since alfalfa prices are constantly on the rise. The nice thing about that though is I can turn the two of them out together and not worry about what kind of hay they might be getting into. I’m so fortunate to have the space for a bermuda only turn out and an alfalfa/misc hay turnout.

Turnout with Aria has been great for Catalina. All the shit she put Valeria through is not flying anymore. Aria is like a drill sergeant. The second Catalina is out of line there’s a well-placed bite to correct the shitty behavior. Aria isn’t a kicker and she’s also not aggressive so it’s a great balance of discipline and reward. Not that Aria doesn’t like to run around and kick up her heels with Catalina, they’re both babies after all.

With Aria’s help I’ve been able to work with Catalina very well. Mouthy baby behavior is almost gone, she’s gotten great at not crowding your personal space, and she has a healthy respect for ‘no’. She leads very well. She’s getting the hang of tying. I’ve gotten her in the trailer several times, not without food bribes but that’s acceptable for now.

Trailer loading practice has now opened us up to fun activities like trail rides and trips to the public arena for crazy galloping turnout. Last week I took Catalina on her first trail ride. Really it was just a spin around the bridle path next to the public arena but the whole area is fenced in and it definitely looks like a proper trail which makes it the perfect testing ground for this whole ponying business.

Catalina might lead great on the ground but she does not like to be lead from the saddle. I’ve tried several times and she’s always a bit of a mule about it. Sure, I can anchor the hand holding the lead rope to my hip and with Aria’s weight drag Catalina around but it sucks. As you might be able to tell, I’ve done is several times in the arena. It’s not my favorite.

Initially when I loaded Aria and Catalina up to head to the public arena I had planned to just let them run around and stretch their legs. Catalina is getting a hay belly and she need exercise. My neighbor decided to join me there with her two horses and after a few laps around we decided to get in a quick bareback ride. Why not? Bareback on a sweaty horse, ponying a filly who doesn’t like to pony on her first ‘trail’ ride…what could go wrong?

Sometimes I think it’s a miracle I’m alive.

I dealt with Catalina’s mule bullshit for about 2 minutes before I was done almost getting pulled off Aria. I unclipped my moose-cum-mule and said ‘bye Felicia’ as Aria and I moseyed on down the bridle path. The area is totally fenced in so the worst thing that could happen is I’d have to chase a baby horse all over 20 acres.

She’s incredibly independent which caused a little concern but I shouldn’t have worried because she’s smart and a good egg. Catalina grazed for a few seconds and as we pulled far enough away she raced to catch up. After a while she chilled in the middle of the ‘herd’ but towards the end she got comfortable enough that she did her own thing at her own speed. I think more of these loose baby moose trail rides will be in our future. I just hope we don’t run over hikers in the process. Ha!

Back to Business

I had a lesson over the weekend which was nice because it’s been a long time since Aria and I saw the inside of an arena. While I felt great in the saddle, it didn’t go so well for Aria. She was bracing for a lot of the lesson making it difficult to get proper turn on the forehands and any kind of lateral work. We struggled for a while before it became clear that getting someone with more experience in the saddle would fix the problem quicker.

P ended up schooling Aria about 75% of the ride. Totally fine by me since it was clear a tune up was needed. Especially if I considered how long it might have taken me to get the same results. Aria ended up pulling off some pretty nice work towards the end but she didn’t make it easy.

Now I’m planning to hit the arena again for some serious flat work this week. We need to get back to business. More flexion, more stretching, more circle work, more walk/trot work. We’re definelty going to be doing way more walk/trot work that I would like but sticking it in low gear really is the best way to perfect the basics.

I don’t think a lesson will happen this following weekend since P is one of the clinicians at the Norco Horse Affair but I might pop over to check out her session on Saturday. A bit unfortunate that I won’t be able to get a set of professional eyes on me again for a couple weeks but Aria and I will work something out, I’m sure. Hot Mess is certainly a style we could shoot for. Haha.

Sunday was super chill because I ended up busy all day and only had a small window of light to work with. I saddled up to ride with my neighbor but some unfortunately placed new geese caused Aria and my neighbor’s horse to lose their ever loving minds. Aria held it together for me pretty well but was definietly feeding off the panicked energy of my neighbor’s horse. He’s HUGE. I think Aria bascially said ‘if he’s afraid, I should be afraid too!’

We decided to let them blow off steam and run around like the fools they were being. Aria worked up a sweat but still had energy to burn, unfortunately the big jousting horse only lasted about 2 minutes before he called it quits so we went for a nice bareback ride until it got dark. Looks like we’ll be tackling some scary geese this week. Pray for us.

A Strange Ride With Strange Horses

It’s been a while since I posted. Life got crazy and blogging took the furthest, most back seat in existence. I’m just putting trail miles on Aria and taking a mental break for now. I’ve been using the time for decompressing and stress management. Bless Aria’s baby heart for being that level headed youngster (for the most part) that allows me to mentally check out when we ride. I really don’t know how I’d be coping with it all otherwise. Probably with a lot of Xanax. Lol.

The only picture of the poker ride. It was too crazy.

I do have one event that I went to on September 17th that was very enlightening: The Poway Rodeo Poker Ride. I was really hoping to have fun at this event even though I had some reservations about how Aria would handle a large group of new horses. I’ve been pretty categorically throwing us at challenges that could and possibly should cause us some issues. So far the only problem I haven’t been able to tackle is water. I can’t sing high enough praises for her foundation training with R.

Anyway, back to this poker ride. I had a friend and Alex join us for the ride. I figured it would be a great way to spend time with a fellow blogger on our horses. Even though Scarlet isn’t a trail veteran, Aria is a cool cucumber most of the time and I felt that would be a good influence. However I forgot to account for other riders’ and their horses. There was something like 50 horses on this ride.

The cow herd now has 7 babies. Aria needs them all.

Other than a handful of good horses there were times, especially towards the second half of the ride when we split into two groups, that I felt like Aria was the only behaved and chill horse in the group. I was extremely proud of her behavior. We followed a big calm appaloosa for the first half which was great because it let me put Aria’s head in his butt while we descended some of the steepest hills I’ve ever done.

She dealt with A LOT of ruts and uneven footing that normally would have caused a scene but perhaps because of the large group, she simply following the tail in front of her. That made me especially happy because I was expecting a battle and possibly ending up as ‘that rider’ even though I warned the people around me I was on a baby. She did act up when we stopped to let the whole group catch up. She’s not used to standing around and I was forcing her to, which she had opinions about.

How can you not relax when this is your view at the end of your ride?

On the way back I was following a nasty little mustang that I don’t think the rider could handle. It was small and slow compared to the size and speed Aria wanted to go. We kept a good distance because I know Aria has the inclination to goose other horses with her nose. It’s a good thing I’m considerate because this mustang stopped dead in its tracks several times causing us to run up on it, partly from the faster walking pace and partly because several other horses were crowding us from behind.

Apparently the mustang didn’t like that and the first time it happened she kicked out and missed us. The second time I was quick enough to halt Aria well in advance but my friend’s horse ended up passing us and it got kicked by the mustang. I don’t know about you guys but I thought it was known and practiced in large groups of unfamiliar horses that any bitchy horses were supposed to wear a ribbon in their tail for whatever their shitty attitude issue is?

It was so quiet, it was almost too quiet.

I guess I’m still a little miffed about this ride. I wouldn’t have called it fun. Scarlet and my friend’s horse didn’t seem to enjoy themselves and riding Aria was all about managing everyone else’s naughty horses. On top of that the trail was really advanced with lots of steep and questionable terrain. Thankfully Aria is level headed or I would have quit early on. It also clock in at only like…2 miles? We were done in about an hour. Kind of a lackluster event for a $25 ticket.

I think a few small organizational changes could be made and the ride would be a lot of fun. Perhaps a beginner and advanced group that leave at separate times. Having trail guides with horses that are calm and can actually handle the ride would be excellent (there were 2 and one had to turn back because their horse could not cope with the group size). I would personally change the trail location so it’s more friendly to the less athletic horses (some horses were really blowing after the crazy hills. Aria, I’m proud to report, didn’t even break a sweat).

New shirt. It totally embodies the essence of my Iberian mares.

I think in the future I will stick to my group of friends for trail rides. But it was an excellent experience for Aria and I. I think when we do show, this will be evidence that she will be able to focus on our work and not care about what other horses may be doing. She remained calm and cool once I was in the saddle and was only a little anxious when we first arrived because it was a new place with lots of new horses. I couldn’t ask for better than that!