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.