I Wanna Be a Cowgirl, Baby! Personal Challenge, Day 11 (9.27.12)

Today I decided I wanted to do something that I hadn’t done since I was in high school back in Michigan.  I wanted to go Horseback riding.  I started to think about it last week when I went to the Old Zoo in Griffith Park and saw the pony rides.  So I did my research and found several different places where you can go horseback riding in Los Angeles.

Since it has been over 16 years since I saddled up, I thought it would be best to find a place that worked well for beginners.  Ironically, the perfect place for my adventure was very same place that inspired my choice, Griffith Park.  At the LA Equestrian Center, there is a horse rental area that provides guided trail rides through Griffith Park for just $25 an hour.  Other places that I found looked more advanced and had prices starting at $40 an hour.  So the Griffith Park Horse Rental and Trail Rides was my adventure destination for the day.

Once you pull into the LA Equestrian Center, you will see sign guiding you to the Horse Rental and Trail Rides area in the parking lot off to the left.  I parked and walked back to the rental stables.  I was immediately greeted and when I told them I wanted to go on a trail ride, they started to prepare my horse while I filled out the legal forms.  I made sure that this was my first time at the trails and that I hadn’t been on a horse in over 16 years.  They gave me a safety helmet and introduced me to my personal guide, Jesus.  They went over the basic instructions of how to control the horse with the reins.  The assured me that Jesus would be with me at all times if I had any questions or needed assistance.

I do have to admit that it was a little weird for me that I was told to lead the way and Jesus traveled just behind me, nudging my horse on when he needed it.  And since we had a language barrier, he didn’t know enough English and I didn’t know enough Spanish, it almost felt like I was on a solo ride.  But what a nice ride it was, especially when we got into Griffith Park.

We saw deer in several different areas.  If I hadn’t been concentrating on keeping my balance and holding onto the reins, I probably would have been faster to grab my phone to get a few pictures of all the wild animals that crossed our path.  Thankfully, Jesus was sweet enough to use my phone to get a few pictures of me on my horse.

I chose to do the one hour trail ride and that was plenty for my first time back on a horse.  And it wasn’t until we returned to the stables and I dismounted that I realized what a workout I had received in that one hour.  My legs and butt were sore.  They told me that was a good sign and it meant that I was riding correctly.  So now I completely understand why cowboys walk the way they do because that is exactly how I was walking.

Overall, it was an excellent experience.  Everyone was very nice.  I would definitely go back.

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