I seem to go on about it all the time, but horses and horse riding were a huge part of my childhood and being around them is something I love the most in the world. I find riding so thrilling yet relaxing and weirdly, I love the smell of horses.
While Ty and I were in LA, we went riding with Parker and Mandela up in the mountains of Topanga Canyon. I've grown up riding what the American's call 'English Style', so this was my first time riding Western. It wasn't much different except the reins are rope instead of leather and you hold them in one hand rather than two. I definitely prefer the technique of 'English Style' and the look of the tack (saddles and bridles etc) we use look so much nicer.
Mandela and I were a bit disappointed that we couldn't gallop around as the trail was very steep and mostly up or downhill, meaning it would be dangerous for us to do more than a mild trot at the flat points. I think Parker and Ty were a bit relieved about that though!
I took Ty horse riding for the first time last year, when we were both living in England. He did really well for his first time on a horse and he proved to be just as good the second time around. I was proud :)
The views of Malibu from the top of the mountains was breathtaking. Unfortunately I didn't take my camera up there, so we only got photos of us back at the yard.
This was my first 'trail ride' and while it was fun, I don't think I'll be going on one again. I definitely prefer beach riding where you can go at your own pace or a traditional lesson where you can jump and canter around the school.
What it has done though, is to inspire me to make sure I involve horses in my life a lot more from now on. I spent most weekends riding and helping out at a horse yard for over 10 years and it's something I really miss these days. When I get back to England I'm going to be investigating joining a stable so I can ride more often and help with mucking out and feeding etc.
Horse riding is one of the biggest skills I have and it took years of practice to gain, so I shouldn't let it go to waste by not nurturing it.
That's a lesson that applies to all of the skills I've worked hard to master actually. #Message!