Do You Hobby When You Travel? New York City 2018

Travel

8th Avenue & 56th Street, Manhattan, USA

While I was researching my recent trip to NYC, I came across a website that offered horseback rides in Central Park. Having grown up in Manhattan [NY Cliché, Guest Post], riding a horse through my former playground would be a kid’s dream come true. I knew that Claremont had closed, so I wasn’t sure where this barn was or if the company was still in business. I kept running across websites for awesome restaurants that had closed four years previously. Nothing dies on the Internet. Maybe this was more of the same.

Not every horse can be a pampered pasture ornament owned by an indulgent amateur. Some gots to work for their feed: pulling carriages for tourists, making endless circles with beginner riders, walking down the Grand Canyon trails. I would hope they live and work under good management. So, I had no theoretical objection to trail horses in Central Park.

What I didn’t have was time. There was always something else I would rather be doing during my six-day stay. At home, I horse. At home, I can’t eat at interesting restaurants, wander the streets admiring urban life, or take a weaving class [Gotta Start Somewhere]. So, no trail rides for me. I never even discovered if the offer was viable. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go, but I wanted to do other things more.

Which got me wondering about what we chose to do on vacation. There are hobby trips, e.g. attending Rolex-as-was, going to knitting conventions, displaying LEGO models. Name the hobby. Somewhere people gather to do it together.

But what about trips that are not hobby specific? I don’t horse when I travel. Sure, I look out for horses on signs and in the flesh, and not just for blog posts [Time To Go]. But I don’t make time for horse-related activities. I want to do things I can’t do at home.

Or am I missing something? Would I increase my horsemanship by touring a barn on Staten Island? Perhaps see how an urban barn solves its weather, footing, acreage issues. Would I go farther with my riding if I were to remain on task rather than futzing about discovering Japanese candy shops?

Am I curious or am I unfocused?

On the fence around the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

Note: the photos are bordered with the colors from the official NYC flag, which hearkens back to the Dutch founders of the city. “The colors of the flag derive from the early flag of the Netherlands, the country that first settled the area in 1625 and named it New Amsterdam in 1626.” CRW Flags, NYC

[NYC Previous Years]

Thank you for Reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Horses, Travel

5 replies »

  1. Haven’t traveled in years, would actually have to check my photo albums to see when.
    Would be interesting to know where in Central Park horses are available. Might have been fun, had you had the time.
    Love the photos.

  2. The two get-on-a-plane-and-go-somewhere vacations we’ve had since 1981 were specifically to horse. Yup, we’re those kind of people. And if I could just find someone to take care of the home team, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Best money spent EVER. This time, rather than go somewhere to ride and take in the sights, I think I’d do an intensive week of one-on-one horsemanship classes. (Not interested in doing a “working” vacation like cattle drives because … work, and my life already has plenty of that. But improving my horsemanship skills .. you bet!) Since travel is difficult due our own zoo at home, I’d be up for going with a girlfriend! The whole plane thing aside, there’s an Icelandic Horse ranch a few hours north of us that does rides and I’ve been threatening for a few years to go visit. I’m really going to try to make it happen this spring if I can. Could probably even make it a day trip if I absolutely had to, though staying over at least a night would be fun. Again, this will probably end up being a girlfriend trip since the hubby would need to stay home and take care of our gang. Personally, I enjoy experiencing different horse stuff, something different than what we normally get to do with our horses at home. I like riding in a different climate or terrain, or on a different breed. I find that pretty satisfying, and the people we’ve met on our riding trips have (for the most part) been quite lovely, knowledgeable and interesting.

  3. Ha I’m kinda like you – I have a very full horsey life and the horses of NYC aren’t necessarily a critical component of that. When I’m traveling (not often, usually for work) then I just kinda focus on that and leave the horses for when I get home. Exceptions tho have included trail rides on the beach and through breathtaking mountains, or when I’m visiting a friend who lets me ride their own horses

  4. I want to blame my horseless trips on that fact that I am visiting non-horsey family, but really, I love my New York City visits. For one week a year, I get fast-paced, high-density input in whatever form I chose at whatever quantity I can handle. It’s not a sustainable way to live, but it makes for a great vacation.

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