Horseback Riding: Getting Back in the Saddle

Kendall Brown, horse
Kendall Brown riding Nancy’s horse, Pampa

After high school graduation, unlike many of my horse friends who would be traveling to university with their horses in tow, I decided that horses would not  play a staring role in my college life. I sold my horse and focused my energies on journalism classes and meeting new friends in college.

Eventually, I sold my saddle and turned my interest from horses to boys. It wasn’t until I had graduated from college, got married and had children, that horses trotted back into my life.

Getting back into horses

The year was 1998. My daughter was six and my son was three years old. After winning a horseback riding vacation in Pebble Beach, California via a silent auction, I was thrilled to be back in the saddle.

Having returned to a suburb in northern California near where I had grown up, I knew that there were riding stables and horses nearby. I wrote a small sign, “Wanted: horse to ride. Full-time mom and experienced equestrian looking for horse to exercise one – two days per week.”

horse wanted

Getting back in the saddle

I asked the barn manager if it was okay to post my sign on the bulletin board and she looked at me very carefully. “Is your name Nancy Mooers? I think you sold me your horse 20 years ago. Would you like to see him?”

Could this really be happening? Of the three horses that I owned in my youth, Pampa was my favorite horse. With tears in my eyes, I rounded the corner and called out to my Palomino Quarter Horse. He greeted me with a nicker and a toss of his head.  “Do you think he remembers me?” I asked Marilyn, the barn manager. “He certainly does,” she smiled in delight.

After many years of horse shows and trail rides, my childhood horse was now enjoying a well deserved retirement. He was agreeable to having my young daughter perched on his back for a photo opportunity and I was thoroughly enjoying my full circle moment.

For several years, while the kids were in school, I would treasure my horseback rides in the hills of Contra Costa County.

What got you horseback riding again? Are you back in the saddle? My personal motto: there’s nothing better than seeing the world from the back of a horse.