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Appreciation for horses only grows when humans have to stay six feet apart

Angel, my Arabian mare, seems to ponder the long road back to normal. She completed her first 100-mile race a couple years ago in endurance and has always finished in the Top Ten. She is now retired, living and riding these trails on the Ortega. The horse of a lifetime.

–Jill McGovern, Capistrano Beach

Learning a new style of riding in Ione.

The young lady in the mask is from Germany, where she rides English. She’s the niece of a friend, and she’s riding my retired bridle horse, “Reese,” and getting the feel of a Californio-style cow horse. I’m on my two-rein youngster. Even with the light rain that was falling during our ride, it was a good day. (BTW…her aunt, the photographer, was “masked up” also!)

–Peter Taylor, Ione

Here’s Disco, teaching our dog, Bambino, the importance of social distancing. He found it easier than teaching me! Thanks for hanging in there and stay safe.

–Phyllis Laderman

Here I am last weekend in Santa Maria — social distancing and just having fun on my husband’s horse!

–Ingrid Vangelos, Arroyo Grande

Springtime social distancing through wine country.

I’m enjoying rides on my horse Brooks The Dunn in beautiful, rural Temecula Wine Country, taking in the springtime “bud break” of new growth on the grapevines. It’s an annual sign of LIFE and HOPE that comes to the dormant wintering vines. I wish LIFE and HOPE for America and the rest of the world during this most difficult time of shelter in place, quarantine and the reality of deadly illness for so many. My heart breaks for the sick.

More than ever, at time like this, I so am grateful for my parents who allowed me to love and own horses and dogs, as well as to appreciate nature. I love seeing people out riding, hiking, biking and walking now, breathing in the fresh air while soaking up life-giving sunshine.
My wish for everyone is to live strong and survive, the rainbow is coming. Blessings to all from Temecula.

–Juanita Koth, Temecula

The best getaway will always be your friends at the barn

–Kimm Wilcoxson, Colorado

Laura Sadler sees the silver lining of all this — improving her riding!

I had to shut down my massage practice, so I’m filling my time by spending more time with my horse. Staying in the arena and disinfecting everything I touch at the barn where I share with others. The silver lining for me is that I can use this as an opportunity to improve my riding, so I’ll be ready to hit the show ring when this is over.

–Laura Sadler, Burbank

Juliet Johnson with Maggie and Dewey in Los Angeles.

The horses are the ONLY thing in my life that has seen relatively no change since the virus. I get up, shovel poop, brush the horses, tend to my human family and then I saddle up and ride. From the second that I get on, the rhythm of riding relaxes my whole self. The trail is in front of me, the horses quietly flick their ears and plod along — and for a while, there is no virus. Just us.

I’ll ride ‘til they close trails, and then I’ll just take walks on the street with them. I hope everybody out there is just breathing in their horses and staying well.

–Juliet Johnson, Los Angeles

We are coping well with the situation — I am taking advantage of being at home and not commuting to play, doctor, and train the horses and burros. Loving it!

–Amy Dumas, Newcastle

Randy Mastronocola and Rio keep pace during a ride with his wife Audrey Pavia through Horsetown USA, Norco.

My husband Randy and I have been riding a lot to maintain our sanity — Randy on our Spanish Mustang, Rio, and me on other Spanish Mustang, Milagro.

–Audrey Pavia, Norco

My horses are actually my therapy during this time of social distancing! It doesn’t matter what we do, I just love spending time with them.

–Patti Palmer, Yucaipa

Finding time to groom eight horses!

Adrian just got done grooming Coaldale and Patty is taking a ride on Stormy. For the last two weeks we have been grooming eight horses and riding a couple of them.

–Patti Taylor, Anza.

As a horse owner and a pediatric nurse, there has been a lot of uncertainty, but in the midst of all of it our mare delivered during a rain storm Thursday morning — a healthy colt! It makes you realize life is such a gift and a blessing .


Greeting neighbors in Newhall.

We live on a small ranch in the Placerita Canyon area in Newhall, and we’re finding ourselves having even more time to enjoy the lifestyle beyond the daily commitment to stall cleaning and feeding. My big adventure last week was to drive to our local feed store to buy hay! Photo is of little Ashley saying hello to a new big friend on our walk. Fortunately, living in a rural environment has already set us up to more easily be socially distanced! That said, we are talking more with our neighbors who are walking by, as they, too, now are staying home! Happy, healthy trails…

–Linda Tarnoff, Newhall

A satisfying graze amid the post-rain lushness in Pala.

We had over six inches of rain this month, and I am enjoying watching the horses munch the lush pastures. Since the mustard and thistle are extra palatable from the late rains, the horses are eating them more than the grass! That’s nice. My friends can’t visit, and I have to get used to caring for and playing with my horses myself. It’s sure not fun or easy!

–Rachel Karno, Pala

We’re thinking we’ll just follow SM Boom My Guns and “roll with it”!

–Eric and Barbara Danell, Escondido

This, too, shall pass. We have been riding just around our place, and have taken advantage of the time to do some repairs that were put off for a long time. More time for brushing and hanging with the horses in our barn, too! We’ll get through this and will be out on trails and in arenas showing again! Best regards for safety and health to all…

–Scott Burnside, Rescue

Spending quarantine time with horse ladies from around the country — and with my 17-year-old Connemara, Crib Glasswork Bodhran and Riley, my dog.

–Bonni Kelley

We ride, we share apples and stay home. I am happy to have Doc in my life — all of his 27 years.

–Rhonda Sherry

Pattycake and Liz Levis in Blue Wash, Ariz., in February.

I appreciate my friends and am grateful God gave us these crystal waters, falling and splashing in the sparkling sunshine at Blue Wash Ariz. This picture gives me hope — I have faith there will be future rides together after this storm passes. Check your cinch and happy trails!

–Liz Levis, Arizona

It’s business as usual at Goldspirit Farm, plus sterilization of everything — cross ties, stalls doors, halters, tack, brushes, etc., every day, and several times a day. We are a small barn so social distancing and having less than 10 people at the barn is easy. We wish everyone a safe and healthy trek through this pandemic.

–Susan Friend LeTourneur, Los Angeles

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