Fawni Hill

What do you love about horses in Woodside?

Riding on the trails in Woodside and Portola Valley and passing other riders brings back fond childhood memories of growing up in a rural area. I love the peace and serenity of that rural feeling even though we live in the heart of an intense urban environment.

What kind of riding do you do?

Trail riding with a destination in mind is a favorite. We love riding to local restaurants and tying up our horses while we eat. Places like Bucks, The Little Store, Alice’s and Parkside Grille all have tie racks, and we can keep an eye on our horses while we dine. Our horses also travel with us to destinations such as Monument Valley, Texas, Arizona and have been all over the state of California, taking us to places we would not have been without them.

What is your favorite equestrian experience, or favorite horse story?

It would be impossible to select a favorite experience as they are all unique and rewarding. Most of the year, we enjoy riding through the local parks as ambassadors for the Volunteer Horse Patrol, and introducing children and adults to horses. They are amazed to see horses and to be able to touch them. The smiles are priceless. We also patrol and search on horseback with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Mounted Search and Rescue unit. In the summer we spend time at a camp in Idaho introducing inner-city children and families to horses and taking them on rides into the national forest.

Tell us something about you and horses…

My riding experience began on our family ranch and I was helping with chores on horseback when I was eight years old. When I was old enough, I joined 4-H, rode in parades, gymkhanas and learned trick riding. Horses were my passion then, but I left that behind for many years and moved to the city. I missed that connection and after years without horses in my life, I am now enjoying my love of horses again.

Is there anything else you’d like to include?

Horses are magical creatures with enormous healing power that I have witnessed many times.