by Laura Crum
Well, I had a post all ready for today about how we started horses on the ranches where I worked when I was a young woman, but I’m not posting it. I think it contains some valuable insights, but to tell the truth, I’m just not in the mood to hear people jump all over me because it’s not “their” preferred style of training. Sometimes I’m up for these discussions and sometimes not. So maybe I’ll post the horse training post somewhere down the line.
For today, I dunno, words just don’t seem like what matters. Or arguing about horse training styles. I have a good horse and I went for a lovely ride this afternoon through the coastal California hills on trails new to both of us, and we had fun.
We don’t compete at anything, and our ride was only five miles or so, but the joy factor was every bit as great, I think, as that of any equestrian on the planet. Temps were in the 70's and there was a pleasant ocean breeze. The lack of stress, pressure, and any goal other than enjoying ourselves really added to the pleasure.
I am so grateful to my little yellow mule, who was clearly as happy and interested as I was to be covering some unfamiliar terrain. He walked out with his ears up, alert, but calm, and really, in my book there is no greater delight to be had with a horse than this relaxed camaraderie. Nether of us were anxious at any point; neither of us were ever bored or uncomfortable or too tired. We found our way around a nice loop, despite never having been on these trails before, so that was rewarding, too.
Yes, Sunny got the way he is through those very horse training methods that I wrote about, but we’ll save that discussion for another day. For today, here are just a few photos to illustrate a good life with a good horse. (Most that I took were just too blurry--I don’t stop for photos.) Hopefully you can share in our happy ride—if only vicariously. Cheers!