dressage, equestrian, Menlo Circus Club, Silicon Valley

Silicon Horses

Silicon Valley is known for monster companies like Oracle, Facebook, and Google – monuments to technology. Homes have jaw-dropping price tags. And I’ve never seen so many Tesla’s in my life. I am out of place here.

Still, there’s something to enjoy in almost any city, and just a mere mile from our hotel is Menlo Circus Club. This is a wacky name for a historic facility that houses a fantastic equestrian center.

Melo Circus Club Equestrian Center

Melo Circus Club Equestrian Center

The dog and I wandered over to gawk and breathe in the scent of horses. (Although this place was so tidy, even the horse scent had been sanitized. I’m not sure where they put it. Skittles was sadly disappointed that there were no horse ’snacks’ left lying around.)

I watch a few rich people warm up their horses in a gorgeous outdoor arena. Jumps are stored in the middle but no one is jumping. Too bad! Watching jumpers warm up is really only entertaining if someone is misbehaving.

I'm shocked that board is only $850/month!

I’m shocked that board is only $850/month!

The temperature is perfect for riding. Of course. The horses shine with show-ready polish and everyone behaves. Skittles is bored.

I’m shocked that board here is only $850 per month. I doubt I could get an apartment here, for that price. The only thing missing is turnout. There are a few small sand paddocks where a horse can gaze at the outside world if he’s lucky. Other than that, he’d better know how to entertain himself. Our Northwest horses have it so much better.

I’m trying to line up an interview with Grand Prix jumper rider Peter Breakwell. He’s prepping for a big show in Sonoma, so I’m not sure how that’s going to go. I leave him a voice mail and an email and hope he’ll respond.

As the morning passes, I realize I’m missing my regularly-scheduled riding lesson, back in Bend. So it’s appropriate that I get a little horse time, even if vicariously.

Do I sound somewhat pathetic? I haven’t sent my horse a postcard—yet—but I’m thinking about it.