Sunday – New Blain, Arkansas
Barb had told me to not go on “Pig’s Trail”, looked at the Bing directions and said it wasn’t on there. Driving in Arkansas I listened to my trucker’s GPS repetitively warn me “winding road ahead”, like a million times…one road was so narrow it was impossible for my trailer to stay in the lane, I was wider. But it all was ok, very little traffic to deal with. One right turn I see a sign for “Pigs Trail Campground” and another for “Pigs Trail something else” and it dawns on me that I am on Pigs Trail. “Winding roads” warnings were non stop as well as “severe downgrade”. As I passed a fishing lodge place the 3 police cars parked there watched my passing…hmmmm, now the road is switchbacking.
I arrived at Lonesome D after 8 hours of hauling 280 miles. Pretty slow mph average. But its worth it, this place is beautiful. All sites are wooded, I have 2 corrals, electricity, water and sewer hook up. Its adorable and peaceful. My neighbors had me over for coffee this morning, super friendly folks. Quarter horses and barefoot. What a relief to find like minded horse people.
It was the one month mark on Friday 10/18/13.
This is state #6: CA, UT, ID, CO, MO, AR.
Arizona, Nevada and Kansas don’t count since I didn’t ride in them.
I’ve done 4 state paintings: ID, UT, CO, MO.
2 state paintings to do: CA, AR.
Day 1 I ponied a short trail ride on the red trail, which I lost and ended up back at camp after 1-1/2 hours (the red trail is over 10 miles). Day 2 I rode Dreamy on the dirt roads for 2 hours. She seemed sore on the rocks. Then I rode Wildflower on the red trail and was able to follow it for about 2-3 hours then got hopelessly lost trying to find red ribbons. I found yellow ones, white ones, striped ones and orange ones…It was cold and raining and it was getting dark. I found 3 locked up trailers, probably hunters (its youth shotgun season…I was at least wearing an orange vest). I ended up at a forest service horse camp. I had cell service thank God, and called Mary at Lonesome D (she had written her number on my map, thank God again) and she sent Frankie with a stock trailer to get us. My second lost & found rescue… this is humbling.
Frankie is an old cowboy from Rockin’ J Ranch that does therapy with horses with kids and teens, how much of a coincidence is that? I liked the way he handled Wildflower. We talked a bunch about the energy from horses and the energy fields that people have and how they can connect. He said he would help me with WF’s bully behavior and that we could ride together. I said ok. I also said I would come talk to the farrier on Wednesday to think about shoeing my horses.
Today I set up the portable electric corral. It was really simple and the mares are now out of their muddy tiny pens thank god. I let their feet rest today (and me too). I measured their feet and tried on the boots I brought. I have one good fitting set of 4. I am going to ride them both tomorrow with the boots to decide about the shoeing advice I keep getting. I met a couple here with peruvian pasofinos that are barefoot and they have been riding the trails with Cavallo boots successfully. I don’t want them to be sore but I don’t want to just throw away 2 years making their feet so healthy and beautiful either. I am torn…
I finally figured out what that buzzing sounds is in the trailer, its flies stuck on the fly sticky traps.
When it rained hard, my leaky roof in the horse compartment got all the saddle pads wet that I had put in there to dry. I climbed up on the roof and put duct tape on the seam. I hope that stops it until I can find a trailer repair shop. All my hay in the hay rack had gotten wet too. I threw a tarp over it when I got back. I hate rain.
I am going to go to Tennessee next because Tommy said he was going to South Carolina with a college buddy for Thanksgiving so I’ll make my way over there to see him too! Can’t wait. I have a long list of camps in Tennessee so I need to now figure what’s on the way and make reservations. This is the worst part of this trip, I hate the planning. I’ll probably leave Thursday so I HAVE to do it tomorrow.
Even tho I had the aggrivation of the AAA trailer insurance canceling my policy, I feel like it was a good day. If they don’t reinstate the policy I can’t leave Thursday…
Today was sunny and warmish. I watched Wayne the farrier do Frankie’s horse. He was very conservative in removing any frog and didn’t touch the soles. I asked a lot of questions and he patiently explained everything he was doing. He used 2 guages, one to measure the coronet to the ground and one to measure the angle of the hoof to the ground. Dreamy was very sore on her right hind which was new. He and Frankie agreed that her left front had been injured as a baby in the pasture and could of been corrected if treated then. I decided to trust them and shod both horses. He said there was little to work with but within a couple of shoeings they would be ok. He advised 6 weeks and to ask at feed stores for the best local farriers. Both got a problem nail in the right hind so I’m soaking them with epson salts a couple of times a day. Dreamy got bute too. Wildflower has sores all over her belly and I pulled a tick off her neck. Frankie thinks the sores are bites, most likely ticks like what was on her neck. He said to use Fureson (I had used Listerine and he said that would sting). He said bacon fat would help the hair grow back faster where I picked off the yucky scabby stuff on them. He also advised to rub Absorbine on her front left sholder and leg for the clicking noise which has gotten louder. I wish that Adequan would be available sooner, last I heard it was early 2014. She hasn’t had any for a few months now. A few other things from Frankie:
Use Purina Horseman’s something or other as feed and forget all other supplements
free choice hay
don’t wear a helmet on the trail, a branch can snag the chin strap and pull you off
don’t put lead rope in your belt like I do
don’t chase a loose horse on the trail after a wreck, walk back to camp and the horse will come back on its own
don’t use horse hair reins, use a slicker rope or leather
I rode with him for 2+ hrs today but we stopped a lot and he talked. We went to a beautiful place on this high bluff overlooking Sorghum Hollow (a hollow is a valley in hillbilly lingo). He told me some of his horse therapy stories and about friends that had died. His 4 year old mare was a competitive horse that he started last spring and this was her first trail riding. She is incredibly sweet. On the way back his dog followed a deer and he went back looking for him but couldn’t find him. He showed up at camp later. As time went on Wildflower became more confident with her now protected feet. We did some loping and she jumped a puddle. She was frantic not to be left behind but her stride was still short and it was difficult to control her as I was getting bounced around so much. But I feel that we are on the upswing now and that it was a good day.
I have no cell service at all now and I can’t do any trip planning nor find out if my insurance has been resolved. Dreamy needs a couple of days rest too so I guess I’m staying her a while longer.
I got a package today of home made breads from Nancy, what a surprise! It was so thoughtful and made me feel loved. Thank you sooooo much!
10/27/13 Sunday 6am
I’m drinking coffee and waiting for the sun to come up so I can feed and prep to leave for Tennessee. I will overnight in Jackson, TN then move on to True West Horse Camp in Jamestown, TN. I have to hitch up the trailer, disconnect the electric, water and sewer, disassemble the electric corral, feed & muck and load, lock the cat in the bathroom and leave. It should be a 6 hour haul today.
I feel like I have been through the rough cycle of a wringer washing machine. I have no tears left to shed. I have a hole in my heart. My dear sweet Tucker is gone. How can God take him from me? How do people go on when they loose someone important to their survival and sanity? I don’t know… I feel guilty to question his decisions but I just don’t get it. The pain is so deep. I can not fathom loosing a parent or child or friend. I have been saved these traumas so far but I’m sure it is inevitable…I can not talk much about what happened except that I knew it was time, I went to a vet, he was put to sleep in my arms, Doug and Delicia (I’m sure I’ve spelled her beautiful name wrong) used a backhoe to dig a grave in a beautiful secluded field, I painted his name on the stone with a heart and cried until my body ached.
The day before had been so wonderful, I had met a group of really nice people that asked me to ride with them and then they had me for Dutch oven lasagna and peach cobbler with real ice cream. I had walked Tucker in the woods and he was wagging his tail. Up and down like a yo-yo. This healing process is so unpredictable and the lows are so low and catch me off guard so much. I hate to leave Tucker’s resting place.
Wayne, the farrier, came by again last night to check on Dreamy’s right hind sore foot. He thinks its ok now. That it had been a bruise prior to being shod. He gave me a jar of jelly his wife made from a wild berry found around here, Muskadine. And a big hug or two. Thank you to all here for your warm hugs…Doug, Delicia, Mary & her husband, Wayne and Frankie. I especially enjoyed visiting with Delicia’s 2 little boys, they reminded me of mine when they were 5 and 7 years old. It warmed my heart so…I wish Frankie had been here after Tucker died, I kept hoping I’d see him but he has gone home. He is a good man.
I had an amazing dream last night, it was a flying dream which I love, and I wasn’t flying away from some horror, it was just for the sheer joy of flying…
I drove to an overnight spot, a small pristine Arabian farm. Huge bedded stalls. Horses were very calm on this trip, roads were great (mostly interstates which I love), but we did hit a rain storm. I used the anti-skid, traction button and the diesel brakes this time. It made a big differance!
While driving I always listen to my music, mostly my God Songs that Rachel gave me as gifts the past year. I find them very inspirational. I truly believe that Tucker is with God now, the only being in the world that can love and care for him better than me. He is in no more pain. I miss him and keep forgetting that he is not in need of food or water or a walk or a hug, but now I feel a peace about him. I think I had a break thru with God today. I don’t think he has let go of my hand ever, it has been I that have let go. I prayed that I never for one milli-second ever forget to hold his hand.
10/28/13 7PM True West Horse Camp, Jackson, TN
I have arrived and settled in. This place is amazingly accommodating, they will even muck and strip my stalls. I am on vacation!
The drive here was easy, a little drizzle but the roads were good. I bought some Bermuda grass at my over night stop and fed it last 2 meals. Wildflower did not poop in the trailer, very unusual so I guess I’ll stop that and go to the wet grass hay bales I have left. I’ll drive to Jamestown and look for alfalfa cubes and do my laundry tomorrow. I gave her her supplements with a probiotic and I now have one small pile in her stall. She didn’t want to load this morning…I should of paid attention to that.
I met some really nice people already at the next site. A couple there was visiting a friend, they actually live here now, they are retired dairy farmers and school teacher from Ohio. They invited me on a ride Wednesday and a Halloween party on Thursday. Driving here it was such a beautiful super horsey area…I could live here. Mild winters and summers. 1500’ elevation. The fall colors are beautiful and the trail riding is abundant.
Going to go make supper and turn in early. It was a good day and the pain of missing Tucker is dimming.