nicola at black mountain colorado dude ranch

I am writing to you in a very contented state, considering I was finally able to go home and show my horses this past weekend. Rolex and Dante were absolutely fantastic, and we performed wonderfully after having little training over the past two months, and considering Rolex was completely lame only a few short weeks ago. I cannot describe the feeling that welled up in my chest when I jumped him for the first time on Friday, after my heart telling me for so long that I would never be able to show him again. And on top of that amazing feeling, Rolex and I brought home many blue ribbons, and Dante and I took Reserve Champion at the end of the day. Needless to say, I was a very proud horse mama.

The high of this past weekend has stayed with me, and will continue to stay with me through the upcoming days. It got me thinking, that everybody ought to have an experience this incredible, whether it be on horseback, or within any other sport or talent. However, my bias encourages me to push the riding route on y’all, and so my purpose is to convince you that if you haven’t started riding, now is the time!

Horseback riding provides numerous health benefits. As well as being incredibly fun and satisfying, it doubles as great exercise. Depending on your style of riding, you can build muscle, sculpt a leaner body, and develop an impressive sense of balance. Horseback riding can also provide a strong sense of self. It is imperative you know where your body is while you’re on a horse, and after a couple lessons you will start to pay more attention to where you are spatially, which can help you develop better posture and do everyday activities with a purpose.

Additionally, developing a bond with this strong, powerful animal, that you are essentially trusting with your life, can be such a beneficiary process for your self-confidence and stress levels. You are controlling a half-ton animal with weapons in its mouth and on each foot. You are a predator sitting astride a creature with the instincts of a flighty prey animal. You are doing what our ancestors did tens of thousands of years ago. You are honoring those men and horses who died fighting the battle between political entities. Even though you may be simply walking around a dusty arena, you and the animal you ride are the products of thousands of years of the undeniable pull between man and horse.

So if you haven’t started riding, look up a barn nearby. Start off slow, let them know you’re a beginner, and begin this amazing process that I can say has enriched my life completely. A great start would be taking a vacation to the Black Mountain Colorado Dude Ranch, which welcomes all manner of riding levels. Or, begin taking your lessons now so you can show off your stuff this summer on a trip to beautiful Colorado, which is absolutely gorgeous in the summer months. The important message is, go out and start riding, if only once a week or once every other week. Let this sport captivate you as it has drawn in so many people through history and around the world. And if you are already a rider, keep up the effort! Continue riding and attempt to squeeze in some more barn time when you possibly can. A simple trip to the bar to give your four-legged friend a good brushing and a few carrots is special bonding time that can strengthen that incredible bond and greatly improve your rides.



  1. Katie

    Just getting back into riding after a long winter of teaching, so excited!

  2. James bowman

    Thats a great post, There should be more cowgirls like you

  3. Rose Paris

    I started showing at 50 and have had great time western pleasure and barrel racing. I can tell you , you wouldn’t believe the exercise it is. I lost 35 lbs my first year then leveled off and I can tell you nothing like a relationship with a half ton animal, the best thing I have ever started doing as a hobby it’s become more my life then hobby now. Love it !!!!!!!!!

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