Category Archives: Virtual Rides

Step up into the stirrup. Sniff the wind. Feel the rhythm. Let the horse carry you. Ride along from the comfort of your computer. No previous horse experience necessary. Just an open heart and an expanding imagination. Enjoy!

I Was a Teenager Again, Today . . .


This has been a season of very little riding, compared to the rest of my years — years filled with all-out endurance trail riding on some of the best horses, best trails on the planet!

Am I just getting old? Why don’t I ride as much as I used to???

My Wise-Woman Hawaiian friend, Wendy, suggested, “Perhaps if you had someone fun to ride with, you would ride more.”

Perhaps — but who?


So, as today was cool, my time was free, the horses shod and ready — I called up Hollie and asked if she’d like to ride.



She met me in an hour, and up we saddled, and off we went. Off into the woods. Into the wonder of riding a willing horse . . . She on Lad, me on Aria.

(Turns out, she hadn’t ridden enough, on her horses, either. And her horses don’t have the same trail access as mine.)

So she clamored up onto Laddie, all 16+ hands of him, quite a bit larger than her two, and onto my Aussie “guest saddle”, perfectly fitted to her size.

Off into the woods we went, happy girls, happy horses . . .

Laddie Light Seymour Canyon

“I’m so jealous of this horse,” she said of Lad. “He’s PERFECT! You’re so lucky to have him!!!”

Yes. I really am!

But without Hollie, who last rode with me and my daughters almost ten years ago, I wouldn’t have giggled, laughed, whooped, full-out-galloped, and had the AMAZING RIDE we had today!!!!!


Feeling the exuberance of horses! (see photo credit below)

Although she’s young enough to be my daughter, too, — today there was no age difference between us.

We were two teenagers again, Little Dawn and Young Hollie, riding to our heart’s content on Aria and Lad — the horses both completely willing and into it.

Swooping round the loops and bends of my secret “Sneaky Trail” — Hollie and I, whooping and loving it.

So rare to find another human who can meld with a horse, with my horse, without complaint. Flying across the earth at endurance-pace speed, tireless. Free!

Once we hit the galloping place, Lad, lagging a length or two behind, as usual, suddenly poured on speed — and overtook Aria and me — lunging with leaping strides into all the dignity of his Arabian-cross ancestry. Draft-horse-genes be damned!

He rose to the Endurance Arab in him, and FLEW out in front. So great to see :))

Aria fleet, airborne. Her gait fluid and swift, like silk, and satin, and velvet. Covering the ground in effortless flight, carrying me back to my teenage years of all those horse dreams I lived for. (see: Laddie, Light my Fire)

Perfect Shadow :))

There, on the ground, on the trees, I saw my shadow, the same one that accompanied me on all my childhood rides. How could my shadow look so young? So nimble?

With motherhood and all the years since, my shadow still rides, upright and strong, firm in my Western-Australian saddle.

Bold Shadow


So if you find yourself lagging in your adventures, putting off the rides you know you love — is there someone fun you could call up and ride with?

I certainly hope so!

Hollie and I hope to arrange more of these “spontaneous outings”.

Because we both LOVE the thrill of riding perfect horses.

And we both LOVE the feeling of being teenagers, again!


Frilly Horse


Copyright 2019

Photos: Dawn Jenkins

More on photo of Alice Sisty jumping a Cord car:


Ella at Fuji's -- Dreaming

Please also visit my Life Blog, Journal of Dawn ,

for Strategies and Insights into the

Journey of Life


Fae, Rick, Pinos

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




October 8, 2019 · 11:35 pm

Horse High :))

It’s a wonderfully recurring theme throughout my Horse Life . . .

“The more I ride, the more I want to ride! The more I ride, the more I must ride !”    DawnHoof 

The more I ride, the more I experience that effervescent, single-minded, can’t-wait-to-do- it-again, fluttery feeling:  Horse High!!! 

On the Trail

Enjoy this post I wrote last fall. My wonderful ride on Fae in our woods tonight brought back my Horse High, and I decided to post this now, in honor of all the Great Rides we Horse Humans live for . . .    DawnHoof

It’s the Horse High that keeps me a Horse Girl.

Not just my owning, caring for, and feeding my horses every day . . .

Not just that I can ride.

But that I do ride!

Again. And again.

And again.

Side by Side

Not a Given . . .

Yet sometimes the High alludes me.

Occasionally, rides go bad, or leave me flat.

Sometimes it’s tough to get out and ride at all!

Be it weather — too hot, too cold. Conditions — too slick, too much snow. Time — too little daylight, too much work. Or my own energy levels — too tired, or just not quite “up”.

But most of my Horse Adventures fuel the High I feel today, from all the great rides and carriage drives I’ve experienced recently :)) :)) :))

Laddie in Cart

Keeping Stats :)) 

You may not know, but I log every ride! Like in my old days of piloting airplanes, every hour spent in flight, every destination, every landing, recorded in flight logs.

I record my rides in a series of yearly At-A-Glance type organizer books, (going back more than twenty years!), along with my day-to-day work, travel and activities.

Rides are circled and flagged, so they stand out and can be tallied. Time, horse(s) and destination, all recorded.

Magical Jeep Odometer :))

Spirit of my Jeep :))

I treasure these records, as they paint the overall picture as to how my Horse Life is playing out, over the larger scope of time.

Going back through the years and adding up my number of rides and hours spent in the saddle — I’ve noticed, as I’m getting older, the numbers tend to shrink.

You might be tempted to think, “One day, when things slow down — I’ll live the Life of my Dreams.”

Oh, so naive.

You might find, as you age, you won’t quite have the energy levels you have now.

(Like our vehicles, our own body mileage starts piling up, and we require more maintenance to perform at previous levels of expectation :))

“A good reminder to you younger folks — On with it! Get out and get on with your Dreams! Find a way to manifest the Life you’ve always wanted . . . right now.”    DawnHoof

Magical Odometer

Magical Truck Odometer :))

The Urge to Call it Quits . . .

In fact, from time to time throughout my more difficult years, when the High has partially alluded me, I’ve actually considered finding a new home for my herd.

This happened a couple years ago. My rides had gotten less frequent, and some of the thrill had gone.

“If I’m not riding as much, and not enjoying it like before,”  I asked, quite seriously . . . “Would my horses be better off with someone else???”

Sample Mind Map

Sample Mind Map

Mind Mapping my Solution

So I did what I always do when faced with a Life Dilemma:  I got out felt markers and poster board, and started a fresh Mind Map to explore the topic.

I Rode.

I came home.

I Mapped.

I rode again.

Over the course of a week, I had my answer:

  • No, I don’t need to re-home my herd :))
  • I am an excellent horse owner — but my Life has shifted at this stage, and my horsing must now adjust
  • So, rather than find faults, change my expectations and enjoy the phase I’m in now
  • Create joy in all that I do with my horses, whether I ride, or not :))

In shifting my approach, I’m happy to report, my Horse High, which powered the dreams of my childhood, has returned! 🙂 :))

Little Dawn with Horses

Little Dawn with Horses

Altering my Expectations

I reset my goals and expectations to include accepting a bit less time in the saddle, yet allowing myself to enjoy this “golden autumn” phase of Life and Horse . . .

(Like the colors and light that grace the fall equinox season.)

From my Mapping, I discovered that my Horse High shows up most when I shake up the usual mix :))

  • Hauling and riding somewhere fresh
  • Inviting a friend to join me
  • Making some daring change to my everyday routine

Shadow Puzzle Surprise :))

Road Trip!

So recently, I took action — and loaded Aria and Laddie in the trailer, and headed toward Lockwood Valley.

Earlier this summer I joined an endurance-riding neighbor for a big evening/moonlight ride (4.5 hours!) up Seymour Canyon, an old haunt I hadn’t ridden in years.

Now I set out for an encore ride of just the lower, easy part of Seymour, riding Laddie and ponying Aria.

Aria with Light Orbs

Golden Seymour Canyon

Up, up we rode.

Up the dirt track.

Past the dried creekbed.

Silhouetted trees.

Exposed roots.

Magical Sunbeams :))

Tree Roots

A single doe,

Large eyes and ears,

Paused. Looked —

Leapt off into

The underbrush —

Laddie’s neck high,

Eyes following.

Twisted Roots

Upward. Onward.

Past ramshackled remains

Of previously inhabited

Trailers and outbuildings.

Abandoned gravel pit.

Grass-lined, dried-out ponds.

Thirty-mile vistas.

Trail Vista

Up, up, ever up —

Winding past private

Fenced-off areas,

Along the forest line.

Outside the fence,

Outside of time . . .

No! Trespassing

To Golden Seymour Flats,

Ablaze in once-a-year

Perfect fall glory.

My saddle warm,


My horses eager.

Forward. In sync.

My body fit, fine.

Seymour Flat Shadows

Walking, swinging.

Trotting, loping,

Galloping into freedom —

One-and-a-half hours

Of constant, fluid motion.

On the Trail . . .

Heading back,

End-of-day light.

Satisfied. Complete.

High on Horse!

High on Nature.

High on Life :))

Fall Ride Evening


The day after a big ride, my lower back, neck and shoulders wake up stiff.

But they work out of it . . .

More powerful than that, my Soul wakes up refreshed, yearning for more.

Dreaming. Recounting. Re-living —

Bursting out in an effervescent, obsessive, Horse High!

Magical Light Beams on the Trail

:)) :)) Old Fashioned Horse High :)) :))

So today, all I could think was:

  • Where to go next?
  • What day could we go?
  • Which horses should I take?
  • How far shall we ride???

Distant Hills

High, Again :))

So I rode again, tonight —

Another hour-and-a-half,

In the moonlight.

Nearly Full Moon

Gliding. Floating.

One with my mount.

Aria Shadow, Pinos Ride

Dreaming again now —

Where to go next?

Which horses to take?

What’s up for the rest of the week??? :))

Susan's Clay Rider


Please visit my Life Blog, Journal of Dawn ,

for Strategies and Insights into the

Journey of Life

Cosmic Clouds


Copyright 2019



















































July 31, 2019 · 10:34 pm

The Life of My Dreams . . . I Believe in Magic :))

Ah, the frailties of our human Lives . . .

How do we know if our Life will work out?

How do we cope with the hand Life seems to deal us?

What do we do about uncertainties???

“Do you believe in Magic? (Like the Lovin’ Spoonful song from my 60s childhood.)

I have to say, I do!”  DawnHoof

Rainbow Statue

Reflections . . .

Twenty eight years ago, something wonderful happened — Starboy, my Horse-of-a-Lifetime, was born, in my arms, outside my dome house, up a canyon, in Malibu.

Yet that same night, twenty eight years ago, something awful happened — my (then) marriage fell apart.

chicks preening

So much uncertainty. So many questions.

How were my two young daughters and I to make it? How would I feed and care for all the horses? How would our lives work out???

Mentor Looking

Flash forward . . .

To tonight — Starboy’s twenty eighth birthday . . .

When I rode my same Horse-of-a-Lifetime into the forest, into the moonlight (aligned with Mars, no less!) under the vast canopy of September 19, 2018 stars.

Full Moon Pink Eclipse

Starboy Moonlight Ride

Long shadows

Dipping. Drooping.

Dark across the forest floor.

Starboy’s hooves, resound

Upon the path, like heartbeats —

Steady. Musical.

Twenty eight years

His melody strums the earth,

Graces the moonlight,

Carries my weight, still.

Twenty eight years

Starboy’s movement, rocking, 

Swaying. Dancing moonbeams

Sparkling off his flowing mane.

Filling my heart with peace.

Wonder. Love for Life.

Like that first night

When he was born —

With so much promise,

:)) Fulfilled :))

Starboy's flying mane

Yet alongside the joy,

I remember the sorrow.

The uncertainty. The loss.

And I realize — WOW!!!!

All is well!  Everything

Turned out beautifully!

My children:  Grown, happy.

My horse dreams:  Fulfilled.

My (now) marriage:  Deep, fulfilling :)) :))

Our home:  Beautiful.

My Life:  The Life of my Dreams.

I achieved the accomplishment

We all wish for — hope for.

And I marvel — at the Magic!

And I thank God . . .

And I thank goodness.

And I smile :))

And my gratitude runs deep.

And strong . . .

Like Starboy!

Sombrero Starboy :))

Señor Starboy — camp clown  :)) :))

What about you?

Is this Magic limited to just a few? Heck no! I believe it’s truly available to us all.

Where are you in your Life right now? Joy? Sorrow? Uncertainties?

Pray. Do your best. Follow your dreams. Look up.

Make your best decisions whenever you come to a crossroads.

Dust yourself off when you fall. Get back up and go at it again.

And you’ll get there. It might take a while.

But be encouraged — you’ll manifest the Life of your dreams :))

Golden Rays

Do you believe in Magic?

Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart
How the music can free her whenever it starts?
And it’s magic if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie
I’ll tell you about the magic, and it’ll free your soul
But it’s like trying to tell a stranger ’bout-a rock and roll

If you believe in magic, don’t bother to choose
If it’s jug band music or rhythm and blues
Just go and listen, and it’ll start with a smile
That won’t wipe off your face no matter how hard you try
Your feet start tapping, and you can’t seem to find
How you got there so just blow your mind

If you believe in magic, come along with me
We’ll dance until morning till there’s just you and me
And maybe, if the music is right
I’ll meet you tomorrow, sort of late at night
And we’ll go dancing, baby, then you’ll see
How the magic’s in the music and the music’s in me

(The Lovin Spoonful, 1965 — lyrics)



Palms over Moon

Please visit my Life Blog, Journal of Dawn ,

for Strategies and Insights into the

Journey of Life

Kissing Cousins


Copyright 2018




September 20, 2018 · 2:47 am

Touchstone — Full-Gallop!!!

Aria Running

Aria Running

“I became a young girl again, flying full-speed through the woods — One with my horse –”                                         DawnHoof


When was the last time you ran — flat out — FullGallop!!! ?

Heart and hoofbeats teleporting you straight back to

Long-ago youth. Back to Days when horses and cowboys

Filled the dreams of everyday girls and boys . . .

Carousel Girl

I was all teenage again tonight, this ride on my AMAZING Aria,

Fleet and fit and flying across the forested earth . . .

Flushing birds of prey from their evening roosts, soaring above us,

Startled by our roiling, energetic blast.

Rainbow Horse

This full-out ride a Touchstone to the best and fittest times of my Life :))

Back to my childhood first-horse, Rebel, Galloping the endless

California chaparral. Alone. Lithe. Energized. Elated!

Back to Fanta (Aria’s Grand-dam). Bold. Big. Inexhaustible.

Grace, Beauty, Spirit, Freedom

What other mechanism can do this for me?

Safe in my saddle. Hooves pounding. Exuberant! Free!

Fluid on the back of my own swift-moving childhood fantasy —

The culmination of my Life-long dreams :))

Disneyland Rides!

Delivering the rush and speed of downhill skiing.

The thrill of bobsleds at Disneyland’s Matterhorn Mountain.

The rocket-propelled thrust of jet-fired engines . . .

Combined with the heart and love of the line of horses I bred —

Filly Aria

Filly Aria, 2007

Aria — the horse I raised, trained and nurtured. On hooves

That I learned to nail with high performance, precision horseshoes —

Preventing overreach — enhancing her natural movement :)) :))

My same saddle I flew with Fanta, Mentor — holding me again. Safe. Secure.

Kailua Ferrari

Flying now, across the forest — Touchstone to my younger Days.

Timeless. Free. Galloping my way across the Story Line of my Life :))

Energized. Alive! No matter what my age :)) :)) Tonight, running —

Flat out — Again! On my Amazing Arabian-cross mare.



Copyright 2018


Vantage Point

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


Ella at Fuji's -- Dreaming

Please also visit my Life Blog, Journal of Dawn,

for Strategies and Insights into the

Journey of Life





June 26, 2018 · 10:46 am

Dancing in the Light

This time of year, long evening shadows grace our valley, our woods.

Drawing out the shapes, the colors, the motion of our end-of-day rides.

Long Shadows



Creating a certain nostalgia.

Projecting glimpses onto ground, grass, bark, leaves . . .


Here, a tail wisping — just a glance — against a pinon.

Now, legs lurching — a brief peek — then gone.



Highlighting our ride. Illuminating the periphery —

Calling my eye, my heart, to ponder.


Feelings flood back — barren winter.

Reminding me of how long it’s been since the warm shadows last appeared.

Now, the shape of my horse’s head, ears, mane — glints from another pine tree.

All of it dancing, moving.

Creating the feeling of Spring.

Projecting light-art, the original motion picture — only seen quite like this, when the sun comes round the mountain, this time of year.

Laddie Tree Shadow


As we leave the woods, off to the south — a long, golden shaft illuminates greenish-to-rust-toned foliage.



As if it will never end.

Like Life. Like our Ride.

As if the green grasses will never wither — never fade.


But this — illusory.

Day is done.

Sun setting, westward.

All seasons change.

Like the years. Like the moonlight.

Calling me to take comfort in the Dancing Light of my Ride — today.


Aria, Ella and Hokuleia

Aria, Ella and baby, Hokuleia.

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


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Journal of Dawn

Copyright 2017


May 27, 2017 · 9:33 am

Time Traveler

How many of us have the good fortune, throughout the span of our lives, to re-visit the best of our emotional childhood?

That passionate inner space that stirs your heart to overflowing . . .

Which touchstones open your vault of stored memories?

  • The fluttering silhouette of leaves and light on a curtain?
  • The beach? A hike? Petting a cat, or a dog?
  • The smell and the sounds of the day shifting — from morning . . . to afternoon . . . to evening?

Throughout my life, my access point remains the same: Riding my horse into Nature!

I entered that portal yesterday, and I danced, once again, between worlds.

* * *


All my hopes and dreams for you have come true!

You are my Starboy’s next generation. Starboy, yet bigger, younger. (See My Horse is So Cute! as well as Search: Starboy on this blog for more :))

  • Gliding gaits, smooth. Exuberant.
  • Responsive. Sensible.
  • Every horse-girl’s dream :))

You carried me into dreamland yesterday. And I loved every step . . .

Full. Rich. The emotions stirred deep inside.

Bubbling. Roiling.

Like the ocean waves that serenaded my early childhood years. Growing up on the sand, in Malibu, on then-pristine Trancas beach.

* * *

Maybe it seemed more poignant yesterday because of winter’s intervention.

(This being a snowy, wet and cold one up here in the mountains, I’ve only ridden once since November.)

So absence, indeed, made my heart throb fonder.

As I entered the forest gate, I entered my Time Traveling World.

* * *

All the forest seemed alive, calling back folders of stored emotions. Like a personal file cabinet, from which my entire life opened, and flowed . . .

Lacy shadows cascading across green spring grasses.

I’m riding Rebel, my childhood horse again.

Young. Strong. Filled with hope.

Cool breeze accompanied with warm sunshine, the perfect combination.

Malibu. Elementary School.

Easter time. Wind and warm.

All the world alive, fresh, new.

Yellow blossoms erupting along the Pacific Coast Highway: Clusters of Giant Coreopsis, fields of mustard and Oxalis, bush sunflowers, tidy tips, sticky monkey flowers.

Springtime’s fragrant scent.

Blue sky, fluffy clouds. Hovering, floating.

Teenage again!

Riding Rebel behind Will Rogers State Park in the Pacific Palisades.

Endless sky. Endless opportunities.

My life as endless as the horizon surrounding me . . .

Towering Ponderosa tree, here, just off the trail. Still healthy and full and alive. Handsome Granddaddy of our woods.

Motherhood  now. Two lovely daughters.

My girls would ride into the forest here when they were young, tie up the horses, climb into this tree — sing, and play their flutes.

One day, they reported to me: “Mamma! We watched a calf being born in the woods today. We were up in the tree. The cow was in the bushes, near the wash . . . ”

In my mind, I see that calf being born, each time I ride past. I see it again now, and I see and feel the amazement of new life, once again, in my daughters’ eyes.

Across the way, the spot where my daughter, Anna’s, hair was caught by a snag and pulled from her Shetland pony, Silver.

The pain — how she cried! How hard it was to console her. Pulled from her pony by her hair, by a low-hanging finger of a tree.

Up from the wash, into the meadow now. Yellow carpet of Gold Field flowers, tiny blossoms painting the ground in swirling, creamy hues.

I’m here again, the first time we discovered the meadow in full golden bloom, when Fae was young, green, her maiden voyage that Spring. Anna, teenage now, riding her bareback.

I had my camera that day and I photographed the gangly forms of horse, and rider.

I see it again now: Anna sliding off, picking a tuft of yellow florets, and placing them in both her own hair, and in the forelock and browband of Fae’s bridle. Her long legs hopping, stretching, leaping back on again, in acrobatic precision.

Our cantering spot. Our Toodle Canyon . . .

The pond, dried in the drought of the past several years, now full, heart-shaped, inviting wildlife to sip and horses to spook at their smells.

I’m here again, with my girls — long-since moved away. With my horses — many now, passed to the other side. With my faraway Malibu childhood. Juxtaposed in emotional envelopes, side, by side, by side . . .

Alive again. Decades past.

Time travels. Flashes back.

      Re-living all the feelings. Again.

          Timeless. Alive. All without end . . .

Like an endless loop. Like “The Song That Never Ends”. Playing and re-playing over, and over, again . . .

And all along our ride: The Silent Sentinels (dead trees). Once majestic. Now sliver.  Aged. Wise.

My favorite one, still standing. Broken off at the top. Burned and hollowed below by some long-ago fire. Surrounded by fallen comrades. Twisted, faded.

Enter the longings of Grandmother and Mom, Grandfather and Dad.

Age and wisdom. Hope and loss.

Guideposts of Spirit and values. Philosophy and goodness.

Once here and viable. Now fading. Yet watching, still.

And right along side the bygone, the Old — sprouts the next generation: Fresh. New. Growing.

Encouraging, even in their decay. Our ancestors understand far more than us youngin’s Life’s endless cycles, and wherein we play. In. Out. Endless. Timeless.

All this to the music, the metronome, of my horse’s dancing mane. His flowing neck, swinging. Ticking off each stride.

Each hoofbeat, each memory, each emotion . . . connected through the stride and the dancing mane of my most amazing, time-traveling, doorway to another world: My horse!

* * *


* * *

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

* * *

Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Journal of Dawn

Copyright 2017


May 4, 2017 · 2:32 am

Praising Starboy

Yes, the day is balmy.

Yes, my horse is fresh.

And though we haven’t saddled up since November,

I’m riding Starboy, today, at his best!

* * *

He feels like we’ve never waited

For winter’s snow, mud, ice, to end.

We’ve picked up where we left off,

Starboy, my timeless friend.

* * *

Gliding in perfection,

Flowing with his every silken move —

All, with nuance, dance today

In horse and human groove :))

* * *

How the woodlands beckon,

Starboy’s pace abounds.

Praising precious Starboy,

Hoofbeats, smiles, resound :))

* * *

Awesome, wondrous, synchronized,

How best to describe the day?

Finding bliss on Starboy —

Then feeding his dinner hay :))

* * *

Long Shadow Starboy

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

– – –

Copyright 2017


April 5, 2017 · 9:42 pm