And just like that, I have new friends in Australia, Norway, Sweden, Spain and the UK.

Or, “How Social Media Is More Interesting Than I Thought.”

I innocently joined a hobby group on Facebook called “As Seen Through Horses’ Ears,” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASTHE/) because a fellow riding buddy kept sharing these amazing photos of trail riding around the world.  Through horses ears.  What’s not compelling about that??? So I clicked, asked to join, and posted my own “as seen through” photo, from a trail ride here in Palm Springs with the dogs on a gorgeous spring day.

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WOW.  Not only did the photo get hundreds of likes, as most of them do on that amazing page, the interaction with all the people just blows my mind!  I now feel as if I have ridden all kinds of horses, all over the world, with all kinds of new friends! Everyone is friendly, witty and super positive.  But that might define most horse people.  When you work with and love animals that weigh over 1200 pounds on average, you learn to be calm and patient!  And have a rather unique sense of humor.

Suddenly, I became obsessed with this page, and checking out the amazing photos from around the world.  New vistas opened up, new places to add to my bucket list.  I began to feel like Facebook was finally maturing for me, into a site that expanded my horizons beyond just food shots and political rants.  Inpspiring, to say the least!

But back to the topic at hand… a few days ago, one of the regular group members posted a random thought about vacation sharing, like the movie, “Holiday” with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz.  Swap houses for a few days and enjoy a new adventure.  In this case, enjoy riding and visiting around the world, with like-minded people who are willing to share their lives with, let’s face it, basically complete strangers.

Within hours, there were hundreds of LIKES and posts, all saying “YES!”  A web page was uploaded, where interested parties could pin their location and describe their horses and homes and riding areas.  Of course I signed up… who doesn’t want to gallop along a beach in New Zealand, across a fjord in Sweden, or through a forest in England?  By the way, I’ve already got 3 people pm’ing me with dates and details, and offers to visit their homes in Australia, Canada and Sweden!  I think my first traveler is planning to be here in November… better get the ponies ready!

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The moral of this tale is that sometimes, social media is more than selfies and food pictures. Sometimes, it works as it was hopefully intended, to create new paths of connection and communication of like-minded people.  And if you reach out, beyond your own circle, you might just find a few new adventures lurking out there.  I did.

But enough about that, gotta run… horses to ride, trips to plan, photos to take; through  horses’ ears, of course.