Thursday, June 10th, 2021 | Filed under Dalton

I’m so sorry that I’ve been buried with my new work schedule, my birthday and getting ready for Wyoming…   My work days are much longer and I haven’t adjusted myself yet.  But, it will get better once I settle into my work weeks and figure out my timings.


This year, I had my actual birth day off work!  So, I asked Gillian Larson (the long rider – or thru rider – who is training Dalton) if I could come out to her place and ride Dalton.  She has had him for 5 weeks now.

She said, YES!  So, I drove down to Arroyo Grande to meet up with Gillian and Dalton.

First off, she has 3 Morgan filly babies ( all there just turned 1) that I totally adore.  As you know, I raised and showed Morgan horses for years (Mama Tess).  The Morgan Horse is my breed.  Seeing babies got me all babbly and googooey.  I love me some Morgan babies!

Then we moved onto Dalton’s pen.  He looked very engaged and interested – he was content and happy!  She said she puts him out with the baby Morgans and he plays all day with them.  Nice!  Uncle Dalton.

Gillian introduced me to all of her riding and pack horses.  All of them looked like giants compared to Dalton.  And, they were SO FIT.  OMhorsegods!


I only took a few pics because I was really concentrating on what I was doing, what Dalton was doing, and the ground.  We were on some very steep ups and downs (which scare me) so I was doing my best to trust Dalton and not put my ‘fear of heights’ energy into him.   Conquering my fears was forefront.  Poor Gillian had no idea that I was sweating back there… I finally told her of my fear of heights as we were about to do our final switchback.   “You should have told me; we could have gone onto many other, flatter trails!”

The rest of the ride was very picturesque with Lopez Lake in the background – and a few vineyards dotting the landscape.  Very nice.  I would have never seen that view if we had stayed in the lower quadrant of the trails…

The only downside to the day was that Dalton does, in fact, have an issue trailering.  It wasn’t  just me or my trailer.  He also doesn’t like to trailer in her trailer.  However, Gillian is working with him quietly and slowly.  He does load, but he is anxious.  She has him load and unload and then settle before she takes off.  Once the truck is moving, he calms.  But, he has miles of confidence to build – to right the wrong he must have experienced somewhere along the highways from South Dakota to CA.

All in all, I was absolutely THRILLED with what Dalton has learned.  Gillian has taught him how to hold himself properly in every gait and how to navigate a trail.  She said he is a ‘natural trail horse’, which I loved.  He was calm, happy and skilled.  Wow!  Such a huge and totally up my alley type of training for Dalton.  Perfect.


I was a bit tentative to see how I would swing my leg over… with the new hip and all.  And, I can honestly say, my new hip works WAY BETTER (amazingly, in fact) than my other natural hip.  So, I’m pretty sure the natural hip will be renewed sometime in my future.  (My leg swing over was pathetic.)

Getting ready to mount up!  Gillian brought her young mare, who looks like a giant compared to Dalton.

I’m up!

Following Gillian. We pretty much only walked as we did a very mountainous trail. Dalton was a rockstar!

Afterwards. Sweet, open hearted Dalton…

He was such a good boy. He took care of Mom’s new hip and her fears on the major ups and downs of this mountainous trail. He’s a solid guy. Love him.


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!