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What does the word “horse” mean to you?

The word “horse” can have many different meanings. It can be your best friend, companion, show horse, means of transportation, business partner, teacher or playmate. For some, a horse may evoke a sense of freedom, spirit, independence or spirituality. The relationship between horse and rider is an intimate one, whether enjoying the peace and quiet of a long trail ride, experiencing the excitement at a show, or sitting in an isolated pasture and sharing secrets. 

As the Equestrian Center Manager, I believe it is important to develop a good relationship and communication between a rider and their horse. More often than not, people tend to blame their horse for a show loss or misbehavior, when most of the time disappointing shows or training are due to human error. Horses are amazing because they put so much trust in their riders. They allow their rider to tie them up, strap a heavy saddle to their back, stick a metal bit in their mouth and climb on their back. Like any relationship, the best thing a rider can do is to connect with their horse and build trust. With this connection, any horse will run from the lightest kick or stop on a dime with the slightest tug from the reins. 

When I was learning to ride, my mentor would tell me, “Horsemanship is not a destination. It is a journey.” That is a saying that I carry with me every day. One of the most amazing aspects of riding horses is that every horse will challenge you and teach you something new. Even the best of the best horsemen will learn new things from the many horses they get to ride. 

George Straight said it right when he sang, “We ride and never worry about the fall; guess that’s just the cowboy in us all.” Horses teach us to never give up — a life lesson that applies to every person, every day. 

I have had so many wonderful opportunities and experiences since I began my journey with horses and I hope to share my knowledge and expertise with the kids, teenagers and adults of Cordillera Ranch by working towards expanding the lesson program at the barn and getting kids more involved. Horses are a great way to teach young people how to manage responsibility, build teamwork, learn to overcome challenges and best of all, create a lasting friendship. Our programming has exploded over the past year and the activity at the barn is amazing! Please join us for one of our Equestrian Center play days or take a trail ride with friends or family. Caring for and riding horses is also a wonderful social activity! Some of the fondest memories are made side-by-side with a horse. 

I invite all of our members and their guests to join the horse lovers at the Equestrian Center. There are seven beautiful and sweet horses to choose from for lessons, trail rides and even to lease. Our goal at the Equestrian Center is to teach horsemanship, equine safety and English and Western riding skills to children and adults to ensure a lifetime of pleasure around horses. 

Shane Reynolds is the Recreation Director & Outfitter at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at outfitter@cordilleraranch.com.

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