On March 1st, 2010, my friend Walter and I set off on an adventure with my Arabian horse, Sojourner. I rode Soj across America and Walter drove our little truck (with no trailer). The trip began in Los Angeles, California and successfully ended in Bath, New Hampshire 8 months and 14 days later. It was a 3,700 mile ride.
We rode in celebration of family and as an outreach to those dealing with divorce-related depression.
This ride tells a tale of love in many forms - through the people we meet along the way, our connection with the horse, with the land, and with each other.
As this blog goes on it gets more and more in depth with tons of photos and experiences. Snuggle in with a cup of tea and read this like a book. I have switched the blog around so it reads start to finish so you don't have to read backward (except the first entry).
Here is our story...
last day in joshua Tree...
Headed to James' playground.
Jordan and Walter spray painted my website address onto the back of the trailer.
We are about to watch the space station fly overhead.
Today is our last day with Kelly and James in Joshua Tree. The ride begins again tomorrow and we are all set and ready to go. Walter, Jordan, I know Soj, and I are sad to leave Kelly and James and Pat and all the wonderful people we have met here, but the ride must go on!
Sojourner honestly looks the best he has looked since I bought him 2 years ago. I was leaned over the fence this morning watching him fall asleep (standing) and his legs were solidly under him. His front legs used to sort of slant inward to take some pressure off of his hind. Now he looks totally comfortable and solid. It's amazing. Dr. Larry Allen is the name of the chiropractor who came out to adjust Soj and he can be found through the website www.avcadoctors.com
I have never used a chiropractor on myself or any of my animals before and it has just seemed to do wonders for Soj.
This weeks long rest was a very good decision. We now have a trailer that I can fill full of hay which will keep Sojourner on a steady diet throughout the entire ride. I am also going to have him on a kidney supplement that was recommended to me by Paula (it's a silver lining product), and a supplement called Platinum Plus.
Yesterday James took Soj and I up to what he calls "James' playground". It was a fantastic ride. It was like riding through the old wild west and I just can't believe this kind of riding is in James and Kelly's backyard. James said it never gets old and I can't imagine it would. Sojourner lost 3 of his 4 Easy boots because we were cantering up some rocky-ish terrain and Jordan actually had to sew one of the boots back together when we got home because it broke. It was great fun though, easy boot problems or not.
I went through all of the stretches and pressure points that Paula taught me to go through this morning and will continue to do so every day for the rest of Soj's life. First I check Sojourner's polarity and then go through his energy quadrants. Polarity effects digestion and assimilation of nutrients. You can check your own polarity by putting your left arm straight out from your side and asking someone to press down on it while you resist the pressure. You should be able to keep your arm in basically the same place with your strength. Then you ask them to do it again, but using their right hand they then place their middle finger on your forehead between your eyes. This time your arm should drop letting you know your polarity is correct. If you are still able to resist the pressure even while their middle finger is pressing on your forehead then you need to clear your polarity. To do this you take three fingers and simply brush them across your forehead from left to right 6 times. That's it! You're fixed! The horses polarity can be cleared the same way. To check the horses polarity you simply hold on to the horse and have someone check you. His energy flows through you and you will be able to read him through your body. This is why you should check your polarity first so you can see if there is any difference once you grab hold of the horse. It's cool.
The bladder sweep helps to clear his energy quadrants to keep everything flowing. Horses will block off energy quadrants to assist in dealing with pain. To perform the bladder sweep just run your hands from his head, across his body, over his rump, down his back legs, and then pump just above the back of the hoof 6 times and repeat. Do this on both sides.
Paula said the Chinese call the kidneys the "master association point of all association points". She taught me where Sojourner's K-27's are and how to massage them to keep them from getting blocked. Our K-27's are just below our clavicle. If you were to rub them, it would probably be sensitive.
The goal is to have Sojourner physically, emotionally, and chemically sound. He seems to really enjoy his stretches, tucks, and lifts. He closes his eyes and wiggles his lips while I am working on him. The only thing that gets his attention is the bum tuck. This engages the muscles in his rear and you can really see him contract when I push on a certain point. He swishes his tail to let me know this isn't his favorite thing in the world, but somewhere inside I think he knows it helps and he's fairly tolerant.
I just heard the boys talking about home depot so I should probably go jump on that train. There are some last minute things I need. We are going to try and put this hay that was donated to us absolutely anywhere we can. The trailer will be full to the brim with it, some will go on top of my truck, and the rest will go on top of the ambulance. I need to buy some tarps though because the hay can't get wet and there are little windows in the trailer which need to be covered in plastic and obviously the hay on top of the vehicles needs to be covered. We should probably get some eggs, ice, butter...things like that for camping too.
Bob (who we stayed with in Rancho Cucamonga) put together a care package for us which we are going to go pick up in town as well. His wife, Monica, made us some of her delicious cookies and Bob added some more sage and protein drinks to the box. They're amazing. I can't wait to get the package. :) I love packages!!
Last night the boys put the hammock on top of the ambulance and we watched the space station fly overhead at 8:15 pm.
Oh! One last thing. James corrected me that horses are not creatures of habit, humans are. Horses are actually highly adaptive. Once they understand what it is we want, they will adapt to it and do what we have asked. Sojourner does seem to remember what it was he got away with last time and try it again, but it is not because he is being a jerk and now is in the habit of trying to get away, it's just that I didn't communicate what it was I wanted him to do clearly.
James was able to get him to do things instantly because he understood and now I can do the same with him. There's so much to learn...for both me and Soj. I love it!
Boys will be boys.