First Ride of the New Season :))

“Riding is the privilege we earn from the care we give [to our horses].”  DawnHoof

Ah, the First Ride of the New Season —

Such a long time in the making.

Born from the perils of WINTER.

Wind. Rain. Hail. Snow.

Mud. Ice. Frost. Muck.

Keeping me out of the saddle —

Keeping the horses fallow in their deep, muddy fields.


The Trials of Winter

Here, in our 6,000′ mountainous elevation,

I haven’t ridden since Fall’s golden foliage faded, and

Winter’s frigid arrival. Instead, my tasks —

Month after month:  Hay bales purchased. Hauled. Unloaded.

Day after day:  Breakfasts and dinners measured. Fed.

Night after night:  Icy roads. Frozen hands. Gusting windstorms.

Six long months:  Facing the elements. Focusing inward.

Awaiting the return of Spring.

Snowy road near ranch


Hints of Change

Yet, slowly, the seasons begin to shift. The days, at least some, warming.

Cottonwood catkins burst, and fall, carpeting the Earth in burgundy festoons.

Verdant leaves soon to unfold, like tiny umbrellas, vanishing the gray

Trunks and branches, naked, exposed for so long.

All this, signaling one grand thing:  SPRING!!!

And the ability to join my horses in the saddle, and

Head back out onto the trails, again!



Lifetime Achievement

To the uninitiated, it seems that all horse-people do, is RIDE.

Yet to us horse-minded humans, we know that all we do, is CARE.

Like for a small child:  Food. Water. HoofCare. VetCare.

We end up spending more time hoping to ride, than actually riding.

Riding is the privilege we earn from the care we give.

It all looks so easy — the human, on a whim,”hopping” onto a horse,

Without a second thought. Oh how foolish that would be!

We merely make it seem Easy. Spontaneous. Unplanned.

Rather, Weeks. Months. Years go into it.

(Years raising. Years waiting. Years training.)

Lifetimes compose our Rides —

Alongside endless interruptions:  School. Work. Child-rearing. Weather.

Lifetimes spent developing, deepening, the finer nuance —

The “Secret language” we share with our Horse.


Perfect Shadow :))

The BIG Day! 

Oh, the JOY of finally “hopping on”, once the

Groundwork is complete:  Hooves trimmed. Shoes in place.

Winter’s wet earth dried out — solid, not mush.

Hair coats shedding. Manes untangled.

Exuberant-excess-energy worked down. Out. Safely,

First, without a rider, running in their field —

Bucks and twists and bursts of gallops at Liberty.

Free! With no one yet on their backs.

(This done daily for a couple of weeks, just to be sure ALL the bucks are out.)

And so, Today:  Sun finally shining :))

Temperatures rising: 40s, 50s, 60s!

Horses:  Worked. Shod. Prepped.

 Just Today for the first time since late fall!

Tuned up. Relaxed. Finally — Ready to RIDE!


Ride On!

At the tie-up area, I bring out saddle and bridle.

Aria gives a sniff. Calmly accepts the routine.

Dips her neck with open mouth for her bit.

At the mounting block, I land, softly in the fur-lined saddle seat.

Aria turns and strides. Silky. Forward. Engaged.

Out the gate, Starboy in tow on a rope, behind us.

Up the road. On Terra Firma now — not mud or ice.

Light, free. Swinging along with the motion of the horse —

I’m a kid again! Warm sun on my face. Cool breeze in my hair.

Horse and human, finding our rhythm. Effortless. Bliss!

“Lifetimes compose our rides . . . spent developing, deepening, the finer nuance — the ‘Secret language’ we share with our Horse.”   DawnHoof

Childhood Realized

In lilting voice, I sing Aria’s praises.

I’m living my childhood dream!

Horses and trailrides. Laughter and love.

I see, again, our shadows streaking over treebark;

Flashing across patches of newly sprouted grass —

The very same artwork I rode as a kid.

The moving, fleeting shadows that weave the Story of my Life.

Seymour Flat Shadows

As we climb now, Aria surging, soaring into the trailway,

I notice the sound of her breathing. Saddle leather moaning.

Hoofbeats on hardpan — the same music that’s always enthralled me.

Over and over, I praise her. And stroke her.

In all this, my Heart sings. I ride, again, the Soundtrack of my Life :)) and

Relish in the beauty, and the GLORY of riding this

Wonderful. Responsive. Intelligent.


Side by Side


On the Trail

Join Dawn for a Soul Horse Ride!  Experience the thrill of becoming one with your Horse . . . Join Dawn and her homegrown herd for a  Soul Horse Ride in the Frazier Park Outback!

Call to book your Life-Changing Adventure today:  (661) 703-6283



Please also visit my Life Blog, Journal of Dawn,

for Strategies and Insights into the

Journey of Life


Copyright 2019

Photos: Dawn Jenkins

Additional photo credits: Grandfather’s family archives



April 20, 2019 · 10:10 am

9 responses to “First Ride of the New Season :))

  1. You swing into the saddle,and my heart sings! Sending you blessings and love.

  2. Wonderful! Riding is indeed living the dream.

  3. Teresa T. Mammana

    Love this so so much Dawn…. I was hooked from the first syllable🤗❤️

    Thank you so much,


    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Beautiful words explain the horse lovers life exactly! Love this 🙂

  5. Your love for horses, nature, and getting all from life is present in this post ~ the first ride of the season is like a rebirth for you. You are doing what you are meant to be doing ~ riding and writing 🙂

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