Los Altos Hills doesn’t really consist of roads. When the large tracts of acreage got divided up, bit by bit, instead of putting in roads and streets, they just added long, snaking private driveways that branch off from one another much like a tree. In an effort to avoid the racing teenagers in BMWs, gravel trucks, FedEx trucks and motorcycles, we ride the pathways that are squeezed between properties. A good deal of this pathway is either on or adjacent to private driveway. The other day, a sign appeared on one of these driveways, the one we have been traveling on an almost daily basis for a year and a half. The owner has, evidently, had enough of hoof prints on his driveway. We’ve been forced to ride on his driveway because trees have overgrown the pathway. As of this week, I’ve holstered my clippers and have been, bit by bit, as we ride through, cutting back the trees.
Yesterday I was out with seven year-old Katelyn. When we paused to clip branches, I had to explain the situation. Katelyn said, “Why would he not want hoof prints on his driveway? I wouldn’t care if there were hoof prints on my driveway. I would love to have hoof prints on my driveway!” Such is the mind of a horsegirl.
We did make it to the arena where Katelyn lead her friend Sammy around on the pony, rode the pony bareback and generally had a marvelous time until she was finally pried away from the arena, sometime around 4pm, by her mother. But that was not before we were joined by Katie D. Katie had been given the assignment of “riding the tar” out of Stoney, who, having has his hocks injected, was ready to run in the Kentucky Derby. Galloping all over Los Altos Hills hadn’t been enough for him and they ended up at the arena, with more galloping, being chased around by Katelyn, jumping and schooling.
Even after all that, Stoney still wasn’t noticeably tired, but he did walk quietly enough home from the arena, giving Katie and I the chance to chat and catch up. I don’t quite remember how the conversation got around to injuries, but Katie went off on a rant about how people are alway injuring themselves skiing or skateboarding or playing soccer and they have the nerve to give her a hard time about riding. “People say I could get killed riding and yeah, that could happen and I’m hoping if it does happen it happens when I’m really old, which would definitely be my preferred way to die, but what’s the point of living if you can’t ride a horse? I will ride till I die.” I’m sure that Katelyn, had she still been with us on our ride back to Quail, would have agreed.

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