Every so often a guest takes us for a little drive in The Horsey Set Net’s Four In Hand. Our short interview series is inspired by the method of driving in which one driver manages four horses pulling a coach or a wagon, a four-in-hand.
The way it works here, an interviewee receives a list of a dozen or so horse-related questions. Some questions assume horse experience, some don’t. Of those questions, said interview subject picks four to answer. Our previous Four In Hand driver was marketing exec by day/author by night Jennifer Fusco.
Our latest “driver” for “Four in Hand” is Nancy D. Brown. Nancy has a job many of us would dream of having. She gets paid to travel and, whenever opportunity presents itself, ride horses on her trips. Pretty cool, huh?
One of her recent stories, a guest post by Kate Matheson, is a trip to Argentina, which includes a ride through rugged country in Patagonia. Nancy also has non-riding horse-lovers in mind as in this blog post about Hotel Indigo, a great spot for those going to the races at Del Mar. Nancy calls the San Francisco Bay Area home.
So, let’s get started with that first question.
1. Did you have a horse or pony when you were a child?
I was fortunate to own three horses in my youth. After wishing upon a star (every night) for a horse, my dream finally came true in the fifth grade. My first horse, Cricket, was a silver buckskin mare. I remember riding her to school for “show and tell.”
Next came Pampa, a palomino Quarter Horse. (See photo below.) He was my pride and joy with the personality of a Labrador Retriever – motivated by food and woman’s best friend. My third and final horse was a Poco Bueno, dun colored, Quarter Horse. She was a show horse without much personality.
2. What are your favorite equestrian travel destinations?
I’ve been fortunate to go horseback riding in many fabulous locations; Arizona, Canada’s Cariboo country, Hawaii, Mexico, Montana’s Yellowstone Park, Curacao. I’d have to say one of my favorite horseback riding experiences was riding a Fjord horse in Bergen, Norway. You can do this as an excursion from a cruise ship.
3. Your travels put you on many different breeds of horses with different tack and ways-of-going. How do you stay safe while riding strange, as in “new-to-you,” horses?
Most all of the places I ride are “open-to-the-public” so the horses are typically “bomb-proof “and ridden Western. If I’m driving to my travel assignment, I bring my riding helmet and always wear proper riding boots. One time, while riding in a large group, they didn’t have enough horses to go around. As the “experienced” rider in the group, I was put on a Paso Fino stallion and told to keep away from the mares (female horses.) My horse was wonderful, but the ride, on this Caribbean island location, was wild.
4. Have you been on any horseback rides geared specifically to women?
One of the most unique rides I have experienced was in Darby, Montana. The four day all-women ride, called “Klicks for Chicks” is the brain-child of Triple Creek Ranch co-owner Barbara Barrett. Loosley modeled after the 100 mile Los Caballeros, all-male ride in Arizona, Barrett adds comfort and comradery to the mix. While we rode a lot, I would not call this an endurance ride. Instead, it is a trail ride in a gorgeous setting, with excellent horses, friendly staff and outstanding food and wine, with a plush bed waiting at the end of the day. If you think this ride is only open to confident cowgirls, think again. We had mother/daughter duos that hadn’t ridden since childhood and accomplished equestrians in the group.
Thanks for the great drive, Nancy!
We can follow Nancy’s Writing Horseback blog, www.writinghorseback.com and read her insider travel tips at www.Nancydbrown.com. We can also follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/Nancydbrown or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WritingHorseback.