The purpose of this blog is twofold. First and foremost it is in preparation for an upcoming class that I will be teaching at the Lister Academy - it will allow for me to experiment with the technology that we will be using in the class, plus give a forum for my students and I to stay connected.
Secondly, this blog gives a nice side-effect that our friends and family can see what we're up to during our travels. I hope that all viewers (students, colleagues, friends and family) will enjoy the posts and feel free to leave your own comments.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Horseback Riding

Since Bryan has been working so diligently on blogging our adventures, I (being his wife, Carmela, in case you were wondering) decided to help him out today by covering today’s activity, which was horseback riding at Jacob’s Ranch (Virgin, UT just outside Zion National Park).

Perhaps you’ve been on a horseback riding tour while on vacation yourself – where likely you arrived to pre-saddled horses, got put on one, and proceeded to WALK nose to tail for 1 hour (maybe 1.5 hours). Jacob’s Ranch runs completely differently than any other ride we’ve done here in the States. Our day started at 8:30 AM where we met our wrangler, Renee, and we got to pick our noble steeds for the day. Bryan and I both chose Painted Palomino’s, Bryan on Blue Eyes (can you guess how she got her name?) and me on Jessie (I couldn’t help but hum the song Jessie’s Girl throughout the day). Then we started Cowboy Camp – where in order to bond with our horses we ran their warm up in the corral (there’s a video of Bryan working Blue Eyes), asking the horse to trot around the ring and change directions. At the end of this
exercise, you drop the whip and your horse follows you around the ring without needing additional motivation – it was like having a 2000lb puppy.

Once we warmed up the horses, we brushed them down (continuing the bonding process) and learned how to properly get them tacked up and ready to go. Then our ride began! Again this was not your standard walk single file kind of ride – we got to actually steer the horses, ride side by side, trot and out and out gallop on the horses. We traveled on state land going through streams, tall grass, red dirt and sandstone. We even went out on a very narrow ledge with 200 foot drops flanking us to get a spectacular panoramic view of the backside of Zion. The great thing about seeing some place new on horseback is that you actually get to see your surroundings. When we go hiking, a lot of our time is spent looking down at our feet to make sure we don’t trip and fall – on horseback, the horse does the looking down for you allowing you to really soak in the scenery. After being out on the horses for almost 3 hours we both felt like our knees and legs would never recover (I’m wondering how long it will take for my butt to not be bruised) but it was a FANTASTIC time!


  1. Horseback riding is a thrilling sport. However a lot of effort and care is needed before you enjoy the ride.

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  2. Horse riding is an incredible joyful experience. Learning to ride gives you a sense of mystical pleasure as you are able to communicate and become one with the horse.

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