It was my boyfriends birthday on Friday and so I decided to do something for him that would be fun and new...I took him horseback riding. It was fantastic. We drove out to Topanga Canyon and went on a 2 hour horseback ride. Our guide was an aspiring actor, hence he talked a lot and talked a lot about himself but he was pleasant nonetheless. Overall I would say it was a really nice day.
We arrived at about 10:30 am to an inconspicuous ranch with a long steep driveway you are not allowed to drive down. We start our trek down and notice there are no cameras or cell phones allowed. QUE??? Why? Obligingly we trek back up the hill a few feet and put our camera back in the car. We get down to the bottom of the hill and there is a small veranda with one guy who does not speak English and says nothing to us. We wait for 15 minutes for someone to show up and acknowledge that we are here on time. It was a pleasantly cool morning so it did not bother me too much. I was trying to just be present without a lot of expectation...but I was slightly annoyed.
After finding out the reason our cameras were abandoned was due to insurance reasons (which I understand) I am feeling better. We walk down to meet our horses. HOLY SMOKES! They are huge! I have ridden before but never on something so big. I keep thinking...did I gain this much weight that they are placing me on such a large creature? I was not sure how I was going to get my legs around this horse but I did it. His name was Donkey Pancakes....I am not making this one up. Chris' horse was named Danny. Okie dokie.
We start out on our ride and it was smooth....we just enjoyed the views which were spectacular. We rode on this ridge line that overlooked all of LA. All of the Spring wild flowers were in full bloom...I would have loved to take pictures but couldn't. Purple, pink, yellow, big and small flowers were taking over the landscape on both sides. I was just taking it all in while I was practicing my best calm assertiveness (as taught by Cesar Milan) with the horse. Our guide took a few minutes to stop talking about himself here and there and would comment how well we were doing with the horses and how surprised he was at the behavior of the horses. I am not quite sure the sincerity of these comments because we walked past a rattle snake who was rattling and the horses could not have been less concerned. They were beyond mellow.
So on we go....and then we start into what will be a fateful trot. I am not a big fan of the trot because it is slow/fast and too bouncy. I prefer the cantor which allows you to feel the rhythm of the horse more, but like I said our guide was chatty. So, the trot was without consistency and exceptionally bouncy on these monster size horses. Basically it was no fun.
We finish our ride 2 hours later and feeling relaxed and really hot (it is now 1pm and 90 degrees) we head home. But, not before I almost pass out from a heat stroke. Oh yes, I am heat sensitive with my blond hair, blue eyes and what should be olive skin but is now pale white from staying out of the sun for the last few years. Even though I had on a J-Lo sized floppy hat to protect me I still almost collapsed. A little cold water and calm minutes in the shade and I was good as new.
We get home and confirm it was a ton of fun and something we will have to do again at a different ranch. We have a wonderful dinner from Memphis restaurant and fall into a blissful sleep. But, remember I said the trot was fateful? Well, I woke up Saturday morning barely able to move. My back is jacked! The whole thoracic is spasming as I write....all of this because of a chatty guide, a horse that was much too big for me and a tortuous trot. I am now spending my Sunday in the slow lane.