Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Texas trail ride could quite possibly save the world

Going on a trail ride in Texas could quite possibly save the world. Having traveled to many places, Texas has to be one of my favorites and will be mentioned often in my blog. Let's face it, Texas is a state of mind and can only be understood in person. Texas is rich in many ways, not just oil, but landscape, culture and history just to name a few. Every state has their share of problems and issues, Texas is no different, but if we look past this a whole world of adventure sits on your fingertips. Whether you prefer the city lights of Dallas and Houston, maybe the arts in Austin, or the rich culture of El Paso, Texas has something for everybody.

Photo: James Daniel Emmanuel/Cindy's Uncommon Horse Sense
I have to say one of my favorite things to do in Texas is a trail ride. If you haven't been on one, then you need to add it to your bucket list. My pop has lived in Houston since the 70s and has been trail ridin' for well over 20 years. He doesn't go on many trail rides anymore, mainly because most of his time is spent taking care of his wife (my step-mother), which is another story that needs to be told later. I never understood how important it was to pop until I went with him on one of his rides couple of years ago. Although pop is well into his 80s and isn't the young buck he once was, he still acts like a kid and pretty much soils his panties when he knows he is going on a ride. What I discovered from him is that it isn't so much the ride itself (although he loves horses), but the friendships he has developed with his club over the years. 

Pop belongs to a club called the "Stampede Riders" of Houston, people that range from young to old, business owners, even the regular working Joe and everything in between. When they all meet for a ride, they become a group of individuals that are all about having a good time. I gotta say, these people are "down to earth" and know how to live. The ride starts out early in a morning after a hearty breakfast. Teams of wagons and riders line-up, the sound of laughter is heard, the trail ride is ready to begin. I watch pop as he drives the lead wagon, the look on his face is pure magic.

One such person is James Daniel Emmanuel, known mostly as Daniel on the trail, a free-spirit kinda person like me that just knows how to enjoy life. Daniel's wife, Cindy rides her horse as a lead and sets the tone for the ride while Daniel rides in the lead wagon taking some bad-ass pics. Because my free-spirit nature, or whatever the hell you call it, I am often drawn to people who are metaphysical by nature, people like Daniel who travel the same path, the kinda people who dare to stick their hand in between a sofa cushion just to see what's there. 

Photo: James Daniel Emmanuel/Cindy's Uncommon Horse Sense
Anyhoo, Daniel has the same passion for photography as I do, I love looking at pics that people have taken because it captures a moment and tells a story. He has done some amazing work with his photography, capturing moments of time on the buttload of rides he and Cindy have been on. As if life couldn't get any better, Cindy has a website that depicts her passion for all things horses and is loaded with some great information about horses. The site also has tons of pics that Daniel has taken and can be viewed at So, get out there and be dazzled, hit the trail and own it like the bitch owes you money! 

Until next time, have a tragically hip day!

Ron Valderrama can be contacted by email:

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