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...

Quick update....


I lightly worked Soj out last night in the round pen and didn't wrap his leg after so we could see if he would swell back up again. He did.

So, we are taking him on a 2 hour drive down to the 4 6's ranch tomorrow for an X-ray. Walter and I have been treated so kindly and I still have plenty of stories stored in my head from our visit here, but as you can imagine my spirits are a bit low and all I can really focus on is what's going to happen tomorrow.

David offered one of his horses to me, but I don't know it's age or anything, it hasn't been ridden much at all, and it doesn't even want me to pet him. I don't know. It's just not the same and I wonder what I'm even doing this for if it's not with Sojourner.

On the plus side, Soj still does not take a lame step. A man who has been with horses his whole life and is a trainer out here came to see Soj last night and put him through some tests to see if he would fumble on that leg a bit and he didn't. It's kind of stumped everyone who has come to check him out.

The 4 6's ranch has a great reputation though and it sounds like we'll know the answer tomorrow.

To finish the ride without Soj is a thought I don't even have the strength to think about too much right now, but if I were able to find a horse that I felt something with then maybe Soj could be shipped back to NH and I could continue on with another horse we buy down here. I was thinking about getting another horse anyway. I can't just hop on any old horse though. There's got to be something there.

Walter and I are hoping that Soj will be okay to walk if he is always on the shoulder and we shorten the days a bit. I wouldn't even put a saddle on him for as long as he needs. I'll just lead him like a dog. I would rather walk all the way home this way than get another horse now if it's an option, but if it's not, then I think I am going to have to try and quickly find a good horse that we like that is not too much money and fit. Oh man.

My mom and dad have both told me to go back and get the black mare Soj was so in love with. I would do that in a heart beat and be thrilled. That would be perfect, but she goes lame after a bit of riding and wouldn't make it.

Many people have said that sometimes a horse will have a little issue and swell up a bit like this and they just kind of stay swollen for the rest of their lives without a real problem. Maybe the vet will say he's going to have some swelling but that he should be okay if he gets a little more rest and then is just walked. Maybe.

Soj took us so far without any problems. I just can't really believe that this could be it for him. It just can't be. Walter said he feels good about it. He thinks the vet will say he just needs a little rest and then can be walked.

We'll see tomorrow.....cross your fingers tight for us, please.


  1. FIngers and toes crossed :)


  2. Thanks for the update. I'll be thinking of Soj and anxiously awaiting the next update. You are really fortunate to be so near the 4 6's. They will diagnose the problem.

    The great news here is that you were able to get on this right away. Whatever the issue for Sojourner, he is still able to walk normally and isn't in pain, etc. Plenty to be grateful for in this situation.

  3. I've Got a Long Rider horse for ya cowgirl...You won't hurt my feelings if you say no.... but I thought I would throw this out there as food for thought...

    As you know...Fancy is a PROVEN TRUSTWORTHY Long Riding horse.. She is legged up to handle 20 miles a day for 3-5 days in a row with a few days off, intense 115 degree NEW MEXICO heat, traffic, bridges...and knows the way I think you are going. :) Our total Long Riding miles this year are about 500...with a aggregate total of 1000.

    I know it's not Soj...but you are more than welcome to take her while he heals for a few weeks...if you decide to go that route.

    I can bring her down for you to test her out to see if you have some connection with each other.... she is 14hh and just your size and has brand new LONG RIDING shoes that will last about a thousand miles.

    Food for thought...

    Keep your spirits up and I will keep my fingers crossed... We are rooting for you all...

  4. Sounds like he may just be "stocking up". This is not unusual for competitive or endurance horses. When we jump our horses, be it lessons or at shows, we always put a liniment on the lower legs (we like Bigeloil)and then wrap the leg. I liken stocking up in horses to swollen feet and ankles in people. It happens to some, but not others and usually occurs after being up on our feet for a long time. BUT, since you've never experienced this with him before you are correct to be cautious and get him checked out by a vet. Sending prayers your way that this is just a minor bump in the road for all of you. Keep us posted - Mary
    Voss (Rancho Cucamonga).

  5. Best wishes and fingers and toes crossed for you from all of us!