A Trail’s End Ranch Tale

I met a girl while living in the San Fernando Valley and we went out a couple of times. She was a friend of a brother and sister band member. And like them, she had money. Nice clothes and sports car.

The brother/sister family had a yacht out at Marina Del Rey. We went out to Catalina Island for a weekend once. But that’s another story.

We went horseback riding. Beyond Chatsworth at the far west side of the Valley.

When we got to the ranch, the horses were already saddled and ready to go. I saw no one. I took it for a private ranch, not a riding club stable or such.

She easily swung up and onto the saddle of her chestnut mare. My horse was a beautiful, a buff brown and white paint. Both were quarter horses.

As I mounted up, she told me to “Keep a tight rein on him.” He was a bit spirited, but I had no problem with him. It had been a couple of years since I’d been on a horse but we were at ease with each other.

We headed out and soon picked up a trail running alongside a still flowing creek leading up through boulder outcrops and scrub brush and open forest land.

We had a picnic in a meadow just off the trail by the creek. It was springtime and everything was green.

The sound of helicopters thumping through the air over a nearby ridge caught our attention. She told me the Trail’s End Ranch was next door to a ranch where the Manson family had spent some time.

The police were poking around looking for whatever they might find. We would hear them from time to time throughout the afternoon.

The time to head back came much too soon and we headed for home.

Just after the trail crossed the creek near the ranch, my horse bucked. Time seemed to stop as I went straight up, seeing nothing but blue sky through tree branches. Straight down I came, flat on my back.

It took me a moment to gather my senses and reckon that, except perhaps my pride, I wasn't hurt. I could have been. Seeing I wasn’t hurt she started laughing saying “I told you to keep a tight rein on him.”

It was kind of funny. I got up and walked the few paces to my horse who was casually eating at some grass. I picked up the reins and got back in the saddle for what was left of our ride.

I had slacked off on his reins and he took advantage of the opportunity. Some horses are like that.

The girl’s name was Mona. The horse’s name was Buck. I liked him. It was a fine afternoon.

Have you ever been bucked off a horse? That was the second time I left a horse’s back.

1 Comment

  1. nikkowills on July 9, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    I’ve never been bucked off a horse, because I gave them only a couple of Opportunities; the last time was in Cozumel 15 years ago when Alex and I went on a horse ride with a group. The horse was not a team player with me, but we made it through. Alex did a whole lot better!