As you all know, Hubby and I hope to be through with escrow at the end of April… so, if all continues to go well, our new hometown will be the Paso Robles, CA area!
Well… a few months ago, the president of a local to Paso riding club, Linda, who is also a reader, invited me to go on a group ride – plus the use of one of her horses!
How nice, right?!
I jumped at the chance even though I knew no one! Never mind that the club was for Rocky Mountain Horse enthusiasts – I don’t think that mattered at all. What mattered was meeting new people in a horsey setting. Perfect.
The date was today at Cass Winery. We would park at the vineyard (very special, I don’t know too many vineyards that let horses onto the premises…), go for our lovely (did I say LOVELY) Spring ride through the vineyards and meadows around the vineyards and then back for a wine tasting and lunch.
It is always odd to ride someone else’s horse, in their saddle – while they are right there. (Plus, a gaited horse when I’m a trotting rider.) I found myself not wanting to mess up while feeling totally thrown off with the newness off the saddle/bridle and horse.
But, Linda graciously put up with me as I got to know her gear and her very fresh 15 year-old Rocky Mountains Sweetheart of a horse named, Lazarus.
Laz had a few issue which I loved… a horse isn’t a horse unless he has personality underneath you. He wanted to be in front, he liked to go fast in the wide open spaces and he had a definite competition (dislike?) going with a sweet little Icy that was also on the ride. He would NOT let that Icy pass him, no matter what. I know because the Icy tried…
Anyway, once Laz and I figured each other out, we sailed together smoothly. Most errors were mine because I was not familiar with a slick, leather seat – so I felt slippy. Also, my stirrups were a bit long (on the shortest rung) for my Oompa Loompa legs. But, all in all, we did very well together and I really liked him.
At the end of the glorious ride – Spring is to die for in Paso Robles – Linda showed me how to properly gait on Laz. Fun!
THE WINERY PART (No affiliation)
I have to say, it is very rare indeed for a vineyard to cater to horse people. Not only does Cass Winery have a huge area for trailer parking, but they also have a hitching post and water troughs!
Hubby and I had never been to Cass so this was a real treat! I have to tell you, the first impression was GREAT. I walked into the tasting room and I was met with a huge smile, warm conversation and a fabulous dog, Buster!
Then… we sat down outside under a huge oak for a catered lunch. We had wine tasting (The Viognier was my fav, which is unusual for me), and the server never missed a pour even with all of the ladies talking and moving and not paying attention… and then the lunch came. Very tasty.
Riding, wine, great food and great scenery. I am now a fan of all of it.
Everything was perfect today. New friends, new riding trails and new adventures.
Perfect Perfect Perfect.
It was great to meet you yesterday at the ride, Dawn. I hope after you move to Paso that you and I can ride more often as we will be neighbors.