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...

At the four 6's ranch


Playing around in David's leather shop
Preacher David Fox at work

David's dad, Ron Fox, took us down to the four 6's ranch today to get Soj checked out. I was a little nervous going down, but Ron and David are jokers and pro's at keeping things light which helped a lot.

The vet, Melissa, was wonderful and told us we could call her if anything came up or if we had questions in the future. You know those people you meet in life and leave thinking "she/he would be a good friend of mine if we lived closer together..." well, that was Melissa.

Anyway, she wasn't too concerned about Soj. We were going to X-Ray but she didn't think anything would really show up because it's most likely swelling in the soft tissue and so it probably wouldn't show us much.

Swelling in the leg like this is not too uncommon and as long as he doesn't show any pain then he should be fine. It could have been from an injury a while ago that has begun to swell now. This would explain why the swelling goes down with exercise. Sometimes when you have an old injury that swells the horse can stock up a bit.

I am to wrap it in the evening as a mentioned before and take it easy for a little while. I think I am actually going to go ahead and stay off of him for another week or so. We're going to go ahead and take off walking the day after tomorrow, but I am going to just walk beside him. I should get some sneakers though...and watch for the snakes.

Ron's other son, Phil, is a cowboy down at the four 6's so we got a great tour of the stud barns.
Some of the horses are worth so much money! Millions and millions of dollars! I couldn't believe it. They're race horses. Maybe some of you have heard of Dash For Cash. He lived there before he died and now the hottest horse on the race track, Mr Jess Perry, is the Daddy to have. The babies of horses like these sell for around $400,000!!

This ranch was full of little babies. As Soj was getting checked out quite a few mares were walked by with their little baby glued to their side...all of them possible little racers.

The ranch is all separated so that the mares are with their babies, the Geldings are all in another gigantic pasture, and the Studs are in their stalls.

They use artificial insemination to impregnate the mares allowing for far more births. The act of a Stallion jumping on top of a mare is not a gentle process. I have been the person holding the mare at the end of a lead rope before while the Stallion goes for it and it was like a horror scene from the Discovery Channel. It didn't work either.

If a good mare is starting to get old, then they have mares to carry her baby for her. They will go in and remove the egg from the older mare and put it into a surrogate mother.

We had dinner with Ron and his wife, Latrelle, last night. Ron is showing me a book on the Four 6's ranch.
Tomorrow I have to work on some guitar straps. I'll probably bring them over to David's shop so we can work together a bit. He is going to show me how to make a concho and I was going to show him how I make my straps.

Ron had the vet bill mailed to his home today. He wouldn't accept any money for gas either. I only hope I can treat him and his sons to a vacation in NH someday. The lessons I learn from all of these people I've met is invaluable. They give so freely and with nothing desired in return. It is like fuel; fuel to keep going, fuel to do something good, fuel to be kind. It's more contagious than fear and spreads like wild fire.


  1. So glad that Sojourner got a good report from the vet. What wonderful news. And your host wouldn't even allow you to pick up any of the costs! Now that's generosity!!!

    Good idea to walk for a week. Give Soj every opportunity to get feeling better. If you can possibly afford it, go for quality hiking boots. They are only about 1,000 times better than tennis shoes. And your feet don't get all that hot in good ones for some reason. Not sure how that works. Walter must know all about hiking boots from Yosemite.

    Such terrific news!!!

  2. This is pretty cool. I went through the racing stallions on the 4 6's website and found that my Buster is fairly closely related to every single one of them. Buster's great grandsire (if those terms were used for horses) is Easy Jet and Easy Jet's sire is Jet Deck.

    Buster inherited all of those genes and looks just like Easy Jet. Buster's mellowed out a bit now due to age and the fact that I am always working to control his speed, not encourage it. But when he was younger, Buster was unbelievably fast.

    I've only let Buster go all out once and it was like nothing I have ever experienced. The guy I was racing was on Buster's full brother right along side me and said that Buster probably had even one more gear if I had asked him for it.

    Quarter horses are the fastest horses alive in the 1/4 mile distance. That's how they got their name.

    Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool to see my Easy Buster Brown represented in every one of the 4 6's racing stallions.

  3. Enjoy, relax and rejuvenate. Awesome news... and happy trails saddle pal. Love those racehorses... Sophie my throughbred (AKA Track Rebel) is the granddaughter of a 36 million dollar race horse named Devil's Bag.

    BTW--- Humanity's greatness lies within it's generosity.

    Peace & Hugs to all...

  4. WOOOOOOOOOO!! So happy for you guys!! Definitely agree on getting good hiking boots, well vented and great ankle support too..
    YEAH! So glad you guys can continue together :)

  5. Oh I know!! I'm so glad it all worked out! I had a pretty good feeling, but still I was nervous. We were even looking at other horses to buy and were ready to ship Soj up to NH on Wednesday but I was in such turmoil because this just isn't the same ride without him. He's the horse. So, I'm as happy as can be and ready to go. :)
    Megan, Tom-how cool that your horses come from some of these racers!
    I kept asking them at the ranch "but why? How? Why on earth is THIS much money involved?" I guess it's like anything else though....it just inflates. We were talking about how funny it is that these horses have no idea of the value we have placed on them. They would just assume eat and sleep in a field without a care of their worth. :)

    I do love a fast horse. I know what you mean about it being like nothing else. It's like a chugging machine under you, but at the same time it's like flying. Nothing is the same. You've got to go to Mendocino and run on that beach at sunset. NOTHING is like it. You'll probably cry. :)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I'd LOVE to run horseback on the beach in Mendocino!

    About the swelling problem.....I don't know how you feel about supplements?; however, the same thing used to happen with Nathan and goes down with riding him.

    MSM is AMAZING and he never swells on it!!!!!!!!!!
    I buy it cheap from Valley Vet or the local store here. I started using on myself years ago after a knee surgery. I put it in his PM feed everynight! He's 22 and I've noticed a HUGE difference since I started using it 2 years ago. He acts like a 4 year old! Runs and Runs!

    It's like DMSO, except without the smell OR possible long term problems. It's cheaper than Chondroitin and Glucosamine. It's a naturally occurring sulfur that mammals don't get enough of. (I use Trimedica on myself, which I find at almost any health store and has NO taste).

    It's even great for cramps (all kinds) and spasms. It's the best thing Big Pharma hasn't ruined yet!

    Google it:)
    It's FANTASTIC stuff! I've gotten all my friends on it that have arthritis or RA. In fact....I'm going to take some now that I am thinking about it ;) I swear by it !

    Glad to read about all your new friends! Safe travels and hugs all around!

  8. They sound like a truly wonderful bunch of people. Glad to hear that your horse is going to be fine. This is the first time I've visited here and you seem to be having a once in a lifetime adventure. Watch out for those snakes on the trail. Good luck.

  9. We have spoken since you wrote this but I cannot resist commenting on your continuing and expanding awareness of the human condition. Funny how "God Bless The Child" comes to mind. Most of the time in life, I have found that those with the least to share or give are the most generous; those with the most to give say "help yourself but don't take too much." But it seems that the generosity you have been experiencing crosses all boundaries. Indeed, there seems to be no boundaries at all, at least in the world of horse lovers. I am learning from you as I read your reflections.