Plumas County, CA is horse country, here on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You can’t drive through the area without seeing horses or horse trailers carrying horses. I live in a well developed section of E. Quincy and horses walk by my front yard every day, occasionally even pulling a buggy. Horses live on 3 properties within a stones throw of my front door. I have enjoyed feeding the neighbors’ horses bruised apples from the grocery store. I even owned a horse for a short time in the early 1970s.
The horse is a beautiful creature. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to spend more time with my own horse and I often wish I had become a better rider. One of my favorite outings many years ago – a date with a very nice lady and her kids – was a trail ride guided by one of my customers in Graeagle. It was a 2-hour trek through woods and creeks. Our horses were well behaved and we all had a great time. We all smelled like sweaty horse at the end of the day and that wasn’t too awfully unpleasant at all.
Our local college, Feather River College, has a well regarded equine studies program. It’s directed by Russell Reed and has had many years of success in training students in basic horsemanship and includes classes that will prepare men and women for owning and caring for a horse or mule and in depth business and management classes for those who want to have careers in training, pack station management, ranching and even rodeoing.
Anyone who works with horses needs to acquire a deep understanding of the animals and an ability to communicate effectively with them. Russell Reed, Director of Equine Studies, Feather River College
I spent an afternoon at the FRC Equestrian Center one day in 2015. I was practicing taking sports action shots, which was a bit difficult for me because of my poor lung health. But I had a great time. It surprised me the amount of work for both rider and horse that is involved in these classes. Most of the horses belong to the college, not the students, but there is a real affection shared between human and animal. My time at the arena was rewarding, especially when, at the end of the class, it was time for riders to dismount and prepare their horses for stabling, I caught this sweet gesture between horse and rider of appreciation for a good class. The affection seemed to be shared by both.
If you are interested in the Feather River College Equine Studies Program, follow that link to learn more about it. You may just want to take a date or your family on a trail ride. Plumas County has plenty of that too. I recommend the Greenhorn Guest Ranch, where you can do a lot more than just ride horses.