I’d like to start by letting everybody know, obviously, I’m not managing to get this put down in the blog on the day is actually occurs. Several factors are included in this…dead tired at the end of the day, wi-fi accessibility, etc. I hope to get better at it. So, back to my entry for Monday!
It started out as a beautiful day. Horses and people alike seemed ready to go. I rode Patriota. Melody rode Little John and Marla rode Rocky. I gave Rocky lots of lovin’ before we started as I didn’t want him to think I didn’t love him because I wasn’t riding him. The arrangement worked well since we made better time than when Rocky and I teamed up. It was different riding Patriota because I was actually able to squeeze my legs around him. Patriota did try to do things his way a few times, but all in all, we worked well together. We met some more four-legged friends along the way. What a beautiful sight. It was apparent they all wanted to join us on our trip. Who wouldn’t?
Melody made a comment today referring to us as greenhorns. Marla said she lost that title when she got up to ride Rocky after Patriota had gone down the day before. They said I had lost the title after getting back up to finish the last leg of the journey the day I got sick. Still, I don’ think either of us is ready to compete yet! We didn’t eat heavy today, just snacked when we stopped to water the horses and let them graze. This happened about every five miles.
Some of our funniest stories today involve bridges. I thought Melody was nervous of the bridges just because she was riding Little John Little John is definitely a naturalist with little toleration of man-made objects. He shied one time when a double wide passed with lots of plastic flapping. If Melody had not reined him in time, he would have bolted. We weren’t even on a bridge yet. When we came to the first bridge that was causing some concern, we were making plans that Marla would ride across and come back for horses. She asked what I wanted to do and I told her I was going to ride. I didn’t realize at the time that this sounded like a challenge. We had just finished finalizing our plans to make it across the bridge…I would hold onto Melody’s horse while she walked across and Marla would come back, ride Melody’s horse across and I would ride across. Suddenly, Melody calls out, “If we’re going, now’s the time to do it!” And off she went! She lost her straw hat, but it was worth it to feel the victory of successfully crossing the bridge. She decided she didn’t need to backtrack on the bridge to get the hat back. I began to understand better her concerns over bridges when we came upon the last planned rest stop of our journey. It’s a bridge over the North Canadian River. We found out it was 6/10 of a mile long. That may not seem that far to most people, but on horseback…well…it was 6/10 of a mile. Originally we had planned to load the horses and remount on the other side. God sent us angels, though. The bridge was having some work done on it. Matt went to ask if they could assist us in getting across the bridge. The funniest question to me was when the guy asked, “How many horses?” Perhaps he feared a stampede before the day was over! He got on the radio and got the guy at the other end to help slow down traffic for us. All set, we took off. We didn’t run, but with my experience, it felt like we were flying. Any time I took a chance to sneak a glimpse to the side, it was pretty scary. That was a long way down! Matt followed behind. He said we were only going about 4 miles per hour. That’s really fast on a horse, isn’t it? At one time Patriota actually started to run. I could barely tell she was under me she was so smooth. Because of the speed I instinctively pulled on the reins. I felt some regret, but later I was glad we hadn’t run all the way. Angels indeed! We did made it across”! Marla started singing “We are the Champions…” She has a song for Everything. I think it was about a mile later that Patriota went down. I’ve never met a man that’s as much a gentleman as Patriota. He made sure not to roll. He just sat down. I jumped away. I was physically fine, but my heart cried out for Patriota. I wanted him to be o.k. so bad. He sat and grazed until we got him up. The vet said the nip on his back was the problem. The blanket and saddle were hitting a nerve. Bless Patriota’s big heart. He went on and on until he just couldn’t take anymore. Makes me feel guilty for all the moving around in the saddle because I was feeling a big saddle sore at the time. Patriota was finished for the journey. A vacation well deserved. Marla and Melody finished the last leg on Rocky and Little John. I still felt like crying for Patriota. My plan was to finish the trip pestering Matt to teach me about the technology we would be using for the rest of the journey. We stayed at Melody’s sister’s house. What a wonderful family! While Mary and I stayed to clean up after a delicious dinner of Mexican casserole, beans and cornbread, the others went riding. Melody wanted to ride with her nephew, Chisholm. He got to ride Rocky. He told me how big Rocky was. He couldn’t even bend his legs. More bad knews, though. Little John began limping. He had been travelling shower than usual, so perhaps he and Patriota were travelling more with the strength of big hearts than with their physical strength today. All the horses are going home tomorrow for a much needed rest. Matt, Melody and I will visit extra places we weren’t sure we had time for before we show up in Frederick. Marla and Steve will bring the horses down on Friday for the Crossroads reunion Saturday. They said they would bring Rocky and that Patriota should be well enough by then. Little John will have to stay home. He won’t be ridden for at least 45 days. I guess this could be likened to the East to West coast voyage of the Abernathy boys. They had 60 days to make their journey, but knew they would not make it. Regardless, they felt the need to finish what they had started. We plan to finish our trip at a later date. Donna
6 years ago