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.