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Back in the Saddle with Mariana Bayón

Riding horses with Mexico's Next Top Model winner

We’re back with Mariana Bayón and this time we’re trading cowboy boots for riding boots and we’re hitting the ranch! Riding horses long before she trotted down runways, Mariana gives SS gal Danahe Calzada her tips for first-timers.

Mariana! Welcome back to SS! This is a beautiful horse! What was your first time on a horse like?
It’s been so long that I can hardly remember! I have seen pictures of me and my granny when I was 1-year-old and she had me already on a horse at our ranch in Chihuahua! It’s a working cattle ranch, where you can see cows, cows, and more cows. Horses are used for herding cattle—they are mostly working horses.

So you’re obviously a pro. Give us three words to describe your horse-riding mantra:
Wear comfortable clothing!

What is some advice for anyone who’s never been on horse before?
You have to give them a lot of respect! They are very perceptive creatures and can easily feel your fear, which plays against you. It’s also important to be advised and monitored by the owner if it’s your first time on that horse. You need to know enough about the horse’s personality, if he or she is playful, grumpy, quiet, or gentle.

What does an ideal day out horse riding consists of?
It depends, if I’m in my ranch in Chihuahua, I saddle the horse (the saddling is different, more like the cowboys), the strings are different, and the horses are not necessarily placid because they are work horses. I go for an hour walk, I canter with them, give them  some water, and a food treat.

In Mexico City, I go to a friend’s house to ride his horse, Waldemar, and I feel very comfortable with him. It’s a very beautiful place and I love the way they treat the horses there.

What is the difference between a city horse and a ranch horse?
I’m more used to ranch horses than competition horses but in the end it does not matter—they are horses and they’re spectacular creatures!

Who has been your favorite horse?
As a child, at The Rainbow (that’s what my family’s ranch is called) I had two ponies, Manolito and El Regalo (The Gift). They were grumpy but very cute and we used to ride them all the time, they were our favorites! My mom used to braid their manes and I have so many pictures with them! Ponies are amazing for children because of their size.

If they were human, which celebrity’s voice would these horses have?
Mmm … I think they would have a voice just like Caleb Followill!

Photography by Richard In

Special thanks to Baitenmann family!

Dogs, chickens, cats, and parrots—you name it, we’ve interviewed it. More Pet features here. Pippa@sousstyle.com xo