We didn't go on a lot of trips, so I was pretty excited about this one. So excited, in fact, that I almost didn't mind having to skip my weekly riding lesson.
I'd just started taking lessons that summer, and the prospect of missing even one seemed like a terrible hardship. As much as I wanted to spend a week at the beach, I really hated to lose that hour in the saddle.
Fortunately, it turned out that I didn't have to. The beaches of Baja Mexico were scattered with small strings of skinny rental horses. I begged and pleaded and my parents agreed to pay for a ride.
I was assigned a chestnut mare name Paloma.
Erin rode a liver chestnut.
This was the year that The Black Stallion was released in movie theaters, so of course I had all kinds of romantic ideas about galloping Paloma through the waves.
Paloma wasn't harboring any similar Cass Ole fantasies.
I managed to get her into the water, but she really made me work for it.
This was the first and last time I've ever ridden on the beach.
Maybe someday I'll repeat the experience on another vacation horse!