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...

riding today in honor of Rashad, a 30 yr old Arabian recently put to rest. can only write in title. on phone. bad service.



  1. Thanks so much, Linny! Such a thoughtful tribute to an amazing horse. Although the term is often overused, Rashad truly was a "one in a million" horse.

  2. Hi and thanks for your tribute to one of our great forum horses, have an excellent ride today!

    WashingtonBay, baywindfarm.com forum

  3. Jessica kindly agreed to allow me to post this link to her FB photo album honoring Rashad on his final day on this earth.

    Although understandably a sad day, it was also a tremendously uplifting celebration of Rashad's incredible life. And the grace that Jessica and her dear friend Faith showed in honoring Rashad is an inspiration to all of us.

    Rashad let Jessica know that it was his time through various cues of increasing importance over the past several months. But Jessica chose to take that last bit of suffering that so many creatures have to endure upon herself by choosing a time for Rashad when he still had the dignity of a proud and strong Arabian. There are no words to express such love.

    Here is a link to the photo album. http://www.facebook.com/?tid=1278397780583&sk=messages#!/album.php?aid=236388&id=514475951&ref=mf

  4. Rashad was my horse for 14 wonderful years. I am so honored by you dedicating this day to him. He would have loved to join you on your ride. He loved the trails as much or more than I did. Funny thing is, he came to me because he was "not a good trail horse". He was my best friend and the love of my life. Whatever I needed, whenever I needed it...he was always there for me. On Monday September 20th, 2010 he passed from this world and my life will never be the same.

  5. Such a beautiful tribute!

    Have an amazing day!

  6. What a wonderful tribute to Rashad! We all loved Rashad as if he were our own.

  7. Thank you so much for helping Jessica to honor Rashad! He was as much a member of our forum family as any of the humans and he will be missed by all

  8. Posting this for "ownedby7horses". She wasn't sure how to create a profile to leave a comment.

    "What a great tribute to a great horse. Rashad was definitely a forum favourite and also a personal favourite of mine. He had such a presence about him and his pictures were always beautiful and his eyes told a big story. Such a magnificent beautiful treasure he was. His memory will live on through Jessica and Faith and through our forum family as we all felt a piece of our heart break the day he was layed to rest. It's comforting to know that there are still great people on earth, and you're one of them. Thank you for riding for Rashad!"

  9. Rashad, a beautiful horse and a beautiful name. When I first read about Jessica's Rashad I had to look up the meaning of the name.
    Thank you for honoring Rashad.

  10. Posting for CaddoCinnamon (also finds the comment box confusing)

    "Thanks for riding in honor of Rashad. He was one of my favorites. The pictures that Jessica and Faith took of him depict the love that they had for him. Even though it hurt them they made the decision to lay their friend to rest. I just wanted to say thank you. Horses like Rashad are rare. I like to think that I have one named Cutter.

    Rashad's memories will never fade away."

  11. Thank you for honoring Rashad. It's a wonderful tribute to him, one that he definitely deserves. He touched the hearts of many and will be greatly missed. I never got to meet him personally, but he sounded very much like my 21 year old horse Dakota. And I know Jessica and Faith loved him as much as I love my boy. Rest in peace, Rashad.

  12. Adding definition to Monika's post. "Rashad" means "Wise" or "Good Judgment" in Arabic.

  13. Beautiful tribute. Peace to all. Speaking of wisdom or good judgment (Rashad) Here is a divorce story that is pretty unique and has a positive ending. I have not included her name to protect her as I just got this update from her. She was in a very dark place when I first saw her. Here she is now and wanted me to relay her story to your ride:

    As a young woman, many people would think that I have not yet lived long enough to experience life. I was a month shy of my 24th birthday and already I had accomplished and experienced more things than many women twice my age. I have graduated high school, been married, had a child, owned myown business, been divorced, owned a home, found my "soul mate" and been through many personal losses and was blessed to know what path I would take professionally my entire life. I am 29 years old now.

    I’ve had many people tell me that I am divorced today because I was married too young. I was 18 when I got married to my ex-husband. I was 19 when I had my first child, but I believe strongly that maturity has much more to do with your advancement in life than age. Luckily for me, I was raised to be independent. I’ve never depended on anyone to take care of me. Of course I had help from my parents, especially while going through my divorce. They were my support. They gave me and my son a place to live and helped me get back on my feet. I had bought my own home before my divorce was even final.

    I think I knew before we were married, that we would not work together. He came from a “high class” family and never had to do without. I came from a middle class family that worked every day of their lives to get what they had. These teachings followed us for years to come. He thought money grew on trees, while I was “frugal”. Probably more than I had to be. The statistics say that the main reason for divorce is financial difficulties. I guess I’m just another statistic.

    After my divorce, I decided to be the best person I could be. I made the choice the day I left, that I would never rely on my ex for financial support. I work very hard to do what I need to for my family. I’ve made great strides to become a better person and better mother, because of my ex-husband.

    About 6 months after our separation, I met someone, who is now the love of my life. He went through a divorce around the same time I did. He also has a son a few months older than my own. We are “peas in a pod”. Life does get better after divorce! And if you try hard enough, it will be better than you could have imagined.

    There was a period of time after the initial split that I thought my life would never get better, that I would never make it on my own. I was wrong. I thought up this quote one day, shortly after my separation, and have lived by it ever since. “Good things don’t happen to people. People make good things happen.” Every time I am down and think the world is against me, I recite this line in my head and realize that I have to make the difference. I have to make the extra effort to make my life the way I want it to be.

    I am grateful that there was light at the end of that dark tunnel, and a better world on the other side. I kept my head up, kept myself strong and looked for a positive outcome. A positive outcome is exactly what I got! -

  14. Wow! What beautiful comments! Greyhorse-if only there were words I could write here to heal you; I would write them in an instant. It looks like you and Rashad have created quite a family which is pretty awesome. I have learned on this ride how a horse can connect so many people together. It's a beautiful thing. I'm thinking of you...

    Megan, please thank the young woman who gave you the story to post here. I'm so glad she's feeling so positive!

  15. Linny.. I sure will. I've got several more that I am asking to post with their permission... it comes with the territory of doing marriage and family counseling. :) many are happy to share their experiences...both positive and not so positive. I know you are riding for them.

    For Greyhorse -Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. May the peace that passes all understanding bring you quiet joy in your hour of sorrow about Rashad.

  16. I can't thank you enough for honoring Rashad both for him and for my dear friend, greyhorse. It means so much to all of us on the horse forum. There's a thread over there and also on greyhorse's FB commenting on what a fitting honor it is to have you and Sojourner ride a day for Rashad.

    I mentioned in private to greyhorse that my beloved Buster is my "lifetime partner" who I love with everything I've got, but I don't compare him to Rashad in terms of temperament and disposition. Rashad could go from proud athletic Arabian to gentle babysitter in an instant. A lot like Sojourner, really.