4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Indiana Jones in Coachella Valley

Coachella's got a lot to offer besides its namesake music fest.

Following the leader...
Following the leader...

Horses in the desert? What??

The Coachella Valley already offers a ton of activities – from hiking to the infamous Coachella music fest to epic pool parties to camping locales like Joshua Tree. Growing up in SoCal I thought that I pretty much knew what the valley had to offer. Wrong.

It’s been another torturous 72-degree winter day here in Palm Desert, and I’m winding down for the night. “Hey Dom, what do you think about riding some horses tomorrow morning?” a friend asks.

I almost fell off a horse the last time I tried riding (some 20 years ago). But hey, I’ve promised myself to try new things. Or in this case try old things that still scare the shit out of me. Excuse the language.

Palm Springs' Smoke Tree Stables.

Surviving the ride

It’s 9:30am and we’re at the Smoke Tree Stables in Palm Springs ready to jump on some mammals (I'm still acting as mellow as possible). “Check this box if you don’t have insurance…Check here if you are going to ride without a helmet.” The form is not calming my nerves.

We choose the two-hour vs. one-hour tour because this will take us to an “oasis” in the valley. I’m a bit dubious, but ok.

Video:

Horse riding in Palm Springs

We’re now a group of ten people/horses, being led by a guide on the front horse. I’ve already talked friendly chatter to my white horse (Ricky), but he sees right through me. He’s the boss, and I am along for the ride. So I start calling him Gringo in hopes to make a deeper connection. It’s not working.

The ride is along a trail heading straight towards a group of palm trees in the middle of desert. OK, so there’s the oasis – I get it. It’s going to be a relaxed stroll to some greenness.

But this relaxation is short-lived, because we’re now headed towards a mountainside. “Lean forward when going up the mountain; Lean back when going down.” That’s it. That’s all the instruction we get. What happened to going to the greenness?

But going up it’s all working out. These horses know the trails like their hooves (does that work?). They don’t need much direction at all. I’m now enamored at the fact I'm riding a horse up a mountain.

We climb, then descend down to the backside of the oasis. The horses amble along a running creek with palm trees sprouting from seemingly nowhere. I feel a bit like Indiana Jones in the desert oasis searching for the golden monkey head. (Or whatever it was. I forget.) But then again I have a vivid imagination.

The pool. The palm trees. The mountains. Classic Palm Springs.

Past the finish line

It’s a bit after 12 p.m. now. I’ve survived the ride and now I am at one of the fellow rider’s rented houses in Palm Springs. Actually, this seven-bedroom estate used to be a famous actor’s house. From the pool, I gaze up at the palm trees and mountains jutting up behind the home’s façade. Such a Palm Springs moment.

Thank you again Coachella Valley for showing me an unforgettable time. I’ll be back for more soon…

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Babe Kombucha brings a different success story to Linda Vista

Growth includes a new distributor, new brewhouse, and new yerba mate kombucha
Next Article

Animal Kingdom back in Oceanside to shoot sixth season

Security guards keeping locals away from Pope’s skate ramp
Following the leader...
Following the leader...

Horses in the desert? What??

The Coachella Valley already offers a ton of activities – from hiking to the infamous Coachella music fest to epic pool parties to camping locales like Joshua Tree. Growing up in SoCal I thought that I pretty much knew what the valley had to offer. Wrong.

It’s been another torturous 72-degree winter day here in Palm Desert, and I’m winding down for the night. “Hey Dom, what do you think about riding some horses tomorrow morning?” a friend asks.

I almost fell off a horse the last time I tried riding (some 20 years ago). But hey, I’ve promised myself to try new things. Or in this case try old things that still scare the shit out of me. Excuse the language.

Palm Springs' Smoke Tree Stables.

Surviving the ride

It’s 9:30am and we’re at the Smoke Tree Stables in Palm Springs ready to jump on some mammals (I'm still acting as mellow as possible). “Check this box if you don’t have insurance…Check here if you are going to ride without a helmet.” The form is not calming my nerves.

We choose the two-hour vs. one-hour tour because this will take us to an “oasis” in the valley. I’m a bit dubious, but ok.

Video:

Horse riding in Palm Springs

We’re now a group of ten people/horses, being led by a guide on the front horse. I’ve already talked friendly chatter to my white horse (Ricky), but he sees right through me. He’s the boss, and I am along for the ride. So I start calling him Gringo in hopes to make a deeper connection. It’s not working.

The ride is along a trail heading straight towards a group of palm trees in the middle of desert. OK, so there’s the oasis – I get it. It’s going to be a relaxed stroll to some greenness.

But this relaxation is short-lived, because we’re now headed towards a mountainside. “Lean forward when going up the mountain; Lean back when going down.” That’s it. That’s all the instruction we get. What happened to going to the greenness?

But going up it’s all working out. These horses know the trails like their hooves (does that work?). They don’t need much direction at all. I’m now enamored at the fact I'm riding a horse up a mountain.

We climb, then descend down to the backside of the oasis. The horses amble along a running creek with palm trees sprouting from seemingly nowhere. I feel a bit like Indiana Jones in the desert oasis searching for the golden monkey head. (Or whatever it was. I forget.) But then again I have a vivid imagination.

The pool. The palm trees. The mountains. Classic Palm Springs.

Past the finish line

It’s a bit after 12 p.m. now. I’ve survived the ride and now I am at one of the fellow rider’s rented houses in Palm Springs. Actually, this seven-bedroom estate used to be a famous actor’s house. From the pool, I gaze up at the palm trees and mountains jutting up behind the home’s façade. Such a Palm Springs moment.

Thank you again Coachella Valley for showing me an unforgettable time. I’ll be back for more soon…

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Swagyu Chop Shop’s must-try 18-dollar burger

Wagyu butcher in Poway and Imperial Beach smashes high-end beef between buns
Next Article

Selections from the Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Back into the light
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close