About me and SHLEP

I went to Philadelphia College of Art in the 1970’s.  I have been painting ever since as a “hobby” in that I have never shown my work publicly.  I made my living in the printing industry as a NYC sales rep instead. I was married for 23 years and have 3 children in their 20’s now. When I was 50 I bought my first horse and fell in love with trail riding.

SHLEP stands for Soul seaching, Home searching, Liberating, Equestrian, Praise. The P started off as Party but I changed it along the way since it was definately not turning into anything resembling a party.  The goals of SHLEP were that I hauled my 2 horses, solo, to all the lower 48 states. I started in September 2013 and was on the road for 13 months. Prior to this trip, I had never even driven a truck or gone horse camping. I learned as I went along, often the hard way.

SHLEP was not an “adventure”, it was a self healing journey. I camped, rode both horses, blogged and painted (my rules) in 43 states before a boulder in Montana bent my trailer axle.

IMG_5764I am now back in southern CA.  This photo is from my pasture this past winter. My herd is all mares and now includes a baby from the Oak Creek Wild Horse herd in Tehachapi. I named her Mary, after my mother.

I am working on doing the SHLEP paintings with oils in a larger format and add them here (upper right hand corner link on the home page) as they are finished. In the same area of the home page you can find my more recent, 2020-2021 paintings.

The book has been published on Amazon and has a 4.6 star rating, it just might inspire you to follow your dreams too! We are all much stronger than we realize, never give up, never tolerate abuse of any kind. God bless you! Link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/SHLEP-Finding-Healing-Horseback-Lower/dp/1093965185/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

The Audible version of the book is in production, narrated by me, and should be available in September 2021.

I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams!

19 thoughts on “About me and SHLEP

      • Hi Kathy,
        Just “back on the trail” of reading your blog, when I should really be getting some work done for tomorrow. .
        Regarding a showing (gallery) of your paintings. I know of two people who have galleries – one in Oshkosh, WI (small gallery) & another in Chicago suburbs. My sister-in-law has a sculpture & some other type of art thing going on in her gallery. Something to think about when the time comes.
        Until then enjoy the writing, painting & all.


  1. Am following and really enjoying your Schlep! At some point would you mind sharing your total expenses for the time you’ve been camping with your horses. I’ve done a basic for myself and for one year it is almost $35,000. Is that unreasonable?


    • That sounds low to me. But I don’t have good accounting on this trip. There have been some big repair bills too that I didn’t plan on. Also depends on how many horses, your trucks gas efficiency, what you feed and supplement…if u do primitive camping or want hook ups, if you eat out or like steak and how much you eat. There are too many variables.


  2. Greetings! Stumbled upon your blog whilst searching for a layover in MS. (Looks like Bill Mackey Ranch will work out well). Anyway, I am doing the same sort of thing as you. I call it my “Ride About” . Thus far I have hauled and ridden my Arabian mare in 38 of the 48 states since Fall of 2012. Just got back from long trip out west. Heading back to FL for the winter months. Planning to head up in the Northwest next year. Just saying howdy to a kindred spirit. Happy Trails.


  3. Kathy, I met you in Tenn. at True West in Jamestown, Tenn. You won’t remember me, but you bought the last hat they had, the one I had been eyeing. I came across tne card you gave me so am checking out your blog. Sorry about your Dad. I too am a kindred spirit. Would love to do that, in fact I wanted to go with you. Have you started the last leg of the trip? Would love to hear from you. Francie Vest


    • Ha ha, I do remember you wanting my hat! I did the 3rd leg after my mom died when I was in NJ. I got to 43 states total in 13 months and my blog and photos are here to read. I am now back in southern CA. I don’t forsee doing the last 5 states any time soon.


  4. Hi Kathy and greetings from Central Jersey. I’m a writer for the Courier News. Would love to talk to you more about your amazing journey and what is up next for you. Please send me an email. It’s nice to “meet” you.


  5. Hi Kathy and greetings from Central Jersey. I’m a writer with the Courier News. Would love to talk to you about your amazing journey and what you’ll be doing next. Please email me when you can. It was nice to “meet” you.


  6. Love your book, love your journey, love your horses and so glad to see you are home with your own land and pasture for the ponies. Yay for you walking with God and Jesus Kathy. He funds our programs when they are His programs.


  7. Hi Kathy. I just finished reading your book. I couldn’t put it down. I’m not a book reader so that’s saying a lot. I kept thinking I wished the pictures were included then saw on the last page where you listed your blog. When I finished I felt as though I was going to just ball. Not sure why. As I read the whole book…it felt like I was right there with you. You did SO WELL! I like how Dreamy acted when y’all arrived “Home”. I can’t wait for the movie♥️.


    • I’m so glad that you got into it and found this blog. I just added the link on the last page recently, dumb, I know, I should have had it in there. So many want to see the paintings and photos and they’re all right here. Somewhere I have a video of the mare’s reunion, I’ll look for it. A movie deal would be a dream come true for me, thanks for your kind words.


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