trail riding bc, trail riding british columbia, horseback riding bcI hadn’t been on a horse in many years, about 20 years to be more accurate. And it wasn’t a good experience. I hadn’t been shown properly how to handle a horse and when the horse unexpectedly started running, I got tossed off. I was pretty sore and roughed up, that was my first and last time on a horse. So, when the idea recently came up for me to go horseback riding with Equutrails I started panicking. Especially because the horse that was supposed to be my trail ride happened to be the biggest horse I had ever seen.

I will be honest, I was freaking out about riding for many reasons, the size of the horse and the fact that the selected trail was a steep incline which means an equally steep descent. With me not being a fan of roller coaster type rides either my nerves were pretty shot. At first I decided that I was too scared to go through with it so I chickened out. Then I thought about it and finally figured I needed to face my fears. Off I went to Golden Ears Park to prep myself for the ride.

I helped unload the horses from the trailer and when it was my turn to get up on the horse, I had to stand up on a big rock to be able to reach him. Finally I was up! And wow was it a long way to the ground!

Suddenly he started walking around the hitch up area and I just practiced my starting, steering and stopping. Finally the rest of the riders were mounted and ready to go. Off we went up the trail, with us at the back of the line, taking our time, nice and leisurely.

I was just trying to remember to breathe, to relax as we wound our way up the mountain. We stopped to let the horses graze or grab a drink from the stream, or for us, try some of the wild berries growing in the forest. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny and we enjoyed the coolness under the protection of the trees, the tallest, most luscious green…..until we reached the lake.

We had made it to the halfway point and now it was time to head back downhill. It was a really smooth trip down, with Pepi treating me so gently, running lightly when he felt it was needed, then stopped at just the right time. He must have known how I was feeling, that I was a beginner. We just took our time, neither of us in a rush. Finally, we were near the end of the trail and approaching the hitch up area.

I couldn’t believe that I had actually done it. I made it up and back and had an amazing time. I had been so worried about the trail, the heights and the big horse. Of course, this big horse turned out to be the sweetest, most mellow horse and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him.

Words can’t describe how I felt once I realized what I had overcome. I owe a huge “thank you” to Peppy and to Zsa Zsa, who encouraged me to face my fears. I couldn’t have done it without you.