Friday, May 29, 2020


I grew up in Altadena, California at the base of the San Gabriel mountains in Los Angeles County.
My neighborhood looked like a typical suburban neighborhood, but there was a secret lurking behind some of those houses.
Lincoln Avenue in Altadena
Chipper in Cathy's backyard
Altadena was zoned for horses, and there were backyard stables in some of the most unexpected places. 
Jeremy and Snickers at McAllisters
Later, I would ride at many of those tiny stables, but that's a story for another day. Today I'm remembering the times those backyard horses would ride up Roosevelt Avenue. My mom would call out, "Jennifer! Horses!" I'd bolt out the front door and stand at the end of the driveway, trembling with desire, wanting to be the girl on the horse, and hoping with every fiber of my being, that maybe - just maybe - that girl would stop and let me pet her mount. That happened sometimes. Not very often, but sometimes.
Janie and Elliott on Altadena Drive
Today, I went riding with Diana. We crossed under Airport and Colfax and rode to the Star K Ranch area. The horses were great, the weather was fine and the conversation lively.
But the best part of the ride came near the Morrison Nature Center. We crossed paths with a group of moms and kids.
One of the kids saw us and shouted, "Horses!"
We rode past them just a bit, stopped and settled our mounts and asked, "Would you like to pet them?"
They would.
They petted them and fed them all the carrots Diana and I had in our saddlebags. 
I can't be certain, but I bet at least one those kids goes home and draws a picture of Guaranteed or Stealth tonight.
It's been a long, hard week in an uncertain world, but today there were horses, and for that, I am grateful.


  1. We lived in a non-horse neighborhood, however the Lady around the corner had a white horse that she boarded in a pasture that was on my walk home from grade school. I always had a carrot for her Mum made me ask her if it was okay to give her a daily carrot. Some days, the Lady would be grooming when I came by to give the carrot...and much to my delight, she asked if I would like to ride bareback while she lead the horse to her house...I could scramble up that white horse fast enough! Mind you, this was the early 60's, so my dress would be gobbed with white hair as she would walk the mare the extra block to drop me off in front of my house! At first my Mum was mortified, hair all over my dress....then my Mum, wisely, just gave up! Thanks for stirring that memory Jennifer!!!

  2. I grew up in a non-horse neighborhood, but with 2 riding stables fairly close-by. One time I went to visit a friend in Northern Utah and they had a lot of backyard stables and I was amazed to see all the horses. When my parents moved to their house in the mountains, some of their neighbors the next street over had horses and when I heard or saw them go past my parents' house, I'd always hurry to the window or out on the porch...I was in my 30s. hahaha.