Tag Archives: Horseback Riding

Trail Blazing


It was another beautiful day for blazing a trail.
(Or riding on a well-worn path)
My third and final horseback riding “lesson.” I use the term loosely because we really just rode the trail. It wasn’t like there was much instruction. Just enjoying the beautiful day while sitting on top of a wild animal.
I’ve got plans to try other things so I’ll have to take a break from horseback riding.
I’m hoping to get back to it in January, though. It makes me happy, even if I’m not really an outdoorsy-type.
It’s too bad a certain Bear isn’t still around. This would have been so awesome to share with him.
Oh well… Horseback riding fear? Conquered!
What’s next?!?



Today was my 2nd horsback riding lesson!

It was getting towards the end of Cherylin’s day and she said she was tired of being in the training arena so would I like to go out for a trail ride?


She introduced me to Trigger, we got saddled up and we were off!

Just two gals sitting on a couple of horses cruising through the wilderness of San Juan Capistrano. I was a little nervous because “Trig” pulled at the reins more than Leia had, but I kept him from eating anything bad for him and didn’t freak out when we crossed the little creek.

About two-thirds of the way through our ride, Cherylin mentioned that the horses liked me and that I had “a very calming seat.”

Apparently, there is this thing called an “electric seat” and if someone with one of those gets on a horse, the horse senses the person’s jitters and then the horse gets all nervous and fiesty, too. But someone with a calming seat? They make the horses feel safe and comfortable.

No sooner had she explained this to me that a squirrel made a sound that scared Trigger and he took off.

He took off, and I stopped him.


I just CALMLY pulled the reins and told him to stop and he did. The craziest part was how much I loved it! What an exhilarating feeling it was to be going fast for those split seconds! Cherylin was thoroughly impressed with how well I’d done controlling Trigger and keeping my cool. She said I was a natural equestrian.

I love it. It makes me SO HAPPY!
And, the whole time I was riding Trigger, I couldn’t get this song out of my head:

Horseback Riding 101


I have a memory of being about 8 or 9 and my dad had taken me to some big park where there were horses. He paid the man and they put me on top of the horse. After the horse took two steps I was done and demanded to be let off. I was terrified. My father was furious.

It’s 20 years later and suddenly I have a bug in me that I won’t be able to shake until I get back on a horse and get over the terror.

Groupon connected me with Cherylin Von Aldenbruck and she was amazing. After she learned I was terrified and wanting to get over it, she took me to me Leia, a beautiful white … horse. (I am not so great that I remember what kind of horse she was.) So I was petting Leia and brushing her and then Cherylin said that when Leia did “that thing with her lips” it meant she liked me. Well, that’s good.

So I walked Leia over to a ramp that would make getting onto her back easier for me. And then I was in the saddle. And sqeaking.

So Cherylin explained how to sit and let me just sit there for a couple of minutes before walking Leia (with me on her back) over to the training ring. Leia started walking and I started squeaking again, quietly because I didn’t want to scare her.

Cherylin was just talking and talking and explaining where to put my hands and feet and how the reins worked and she told me that, “The best remedy for fear is boredom. Are you bored yet?”

Yeah, I was getting kind of bored. So we tried a trot, but I was given strict instructions to not squeak or scream or make a sound that might scare the horse. Leia did a trot for all of 4 steps. I didn’t squeak, but I desperately wanted to.

Leia trotted again. I forgot about squeaking.

I learned how to do a posting trot (that sitting and standing thing). AND practiced keeping my balance and sitting while Leia trotted.

Before I knew it, my lesson was over and so was my fear of horses. (!!!)

My next lesson is in two weeks. I can’t wait!

Getting my GroupOn


I am a lactard. Too much milk will eventually make me feel like there are two squirrels on crack playing an intense game of volleyball in my stomach. The problem is that I love ice cream.

LOVE it.

Almost as much as I love cake. And I LOOOOOVE cake.

Cake is a gift from the gods and should be treated with the utmost respect. (Carrot and Fruit cake are abominations)

So, how do I get around my ice cream dilemma? Frozen yogurt a la Golden Spoon.

Something about the frozen yogurt keeps those pesky squirrels at bay and makes me happy so it’s a win-win.

I was staying away from Living Social and GroupOn, I just didn’t get it, until I was in the bathroom at work and felt like I was in a Groupon commercial.

“Maria, there really hasn’t been anything good on Living Social lately, has there?”
“No, but did you see that one Groupon?”

This conversation cracked me up, so when a buddy of mine shared that my beloved Golden Spoon had a Groupon available, I jumped on the bandwagon. And since I was getting my groupon, I decided to go ahead and give Living Social a try, too.

Now that I have all this extra time on my hands, I’ve started thinking about things I’ve never done and would like to try. I’ve had a bucket list for years, but the stuff I’m thinking about never crossed my mind before.

Before a certain party gave me the Cut to Black, he told me stories of when he used to own horses.

I have always been terrified of horses, but hearing him talk about them (combined with a couple other factors) inspired me to think about taking riding lessons. It was just an idea I was kicking around in my head. I assumed it would be a crazy expensive venture and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it other than I knew it was something I wanted to do.

Groupon to the rescue!

No sooner had I made the mental decision of “Yes! I WILL learn to ride a horse!” and had then wondered, “But HOW?” that Groupon made a happy little sound on my phone and the deal of the day? HORSEBACK RIDING LESSONS!

I did not have to think about it.

I went for it.

My first lesson is next Saturday.