A low point.

A long quiet rambling here, friends, as I’m finding myself with down time. Something I haven’t had much of yet. Takes both hands and your full attention to ride alongside traffic. All that long quiet riding I’d been dreaming about, sitting back in the saddle and enjoying the ride, hasn’t exactly happened yet. It’s been more like micro management through some hairy situations. No pictures to share of that as I got my hands full.

And then, we get a break. Sometimes longer than we anticipate.

We’ve been sitting in the same spot, having the vet check the horses, getting them properly shod, and waiting for Canela to heal. As soon as we arrived, she rolled, and wouldn’t you know, got herself caught in the fence of her lovely safe stall. They are horses. Things happen. No matter how careful we are. Like I learn anew every day, it’s all about adjusting. Trying, then trying harder. Try to be strong and know when to bend in the breeze. You know what they say. You can take the girl out of the country…

She’s doing well and is in great hands. But. It’s been a rough start. More miles most days than I plan on, too much heat, and way too much traffic. The young horse couldn’t handle it. (Bayjura is back home.) Now it’s just this old lady (me) and her two old horses (Canela and Crow). Down scale, downsize and simplify.

It’s tempting to call it quits. Already. Yes. Seriously. Because this is seriously hard. Harder than I thought it would be. I envisioned hard days of waking at first light to care for the horses, clean up, saddle up, pack up, then long hours in the saddle, searching for feed and water for the horses, then unpacking, unsaddling, brushing down and keeping an eye on the ponies as they feed and I set up camp.
Yes, it has been all of that. But that has been the easy part. See, the hard part is riding along traffic. Fast traffic. Traffic that speeds by and may wave their hand or tip their hat but won’t slow down, move over, and usually won’t even smile. Maybe everyone is just so used to seeing such things, middle aged mamas out there trying to make it through the bar ditch among all the beer cans and booze bottles with a couple of hot sweaty horses. But I don’t think it’s that. I think people just don’t see. Our world is crazy busy, and we have become blind and closed, locked up like every gate I ride by. I get why. It’s not the 1950s, like it was for a remarkable even older woman I read about who rode even further way back in the day. People knew horses then. They had barns and hay and left water alongside the road for her horses.

But you know what? There are some folks out there doing that still. I have been blessed to meet a bunch of them. And no doubt we’ll meet more.

Maybe we’re just a bunch of hillbillies itching to be back in the mountains. Longing for cool air and fresh water and safe open spaces. And that we are. But in the meanwhile I want to be here and now. Experiencing this journey, wherever it leads. And mostly where its led us has been into the kind hearts of strangers who end up feeling more like friends.

However it’s also led us down slick hot pavement on fast driving winding roads without much of a shoulder to ride along.

Not a lot of folks riding outside of an arena or organized trail out there that I’ve seen. Now I know why. It’s hard. Give it a try. Carefully, please. But I know I’m not the only one. So if you happen to see someone horseback along side the road, maybe pull over, stop, visit a moment or two. Be curious. Be kind. Or at the very least, slow down and give them some space.

They say this is a horse friendly town. Maybe if you’re riding your fancy horse in a fancy arena. But that’s not who we are and not what we’re doing. We’re just out there. Like a couple of wild ones finding their way. Trying. Learning as we go. Not always pretty or slick or sleek. And definitely slow.

As I was riding out 14 days ago, neighbor Sue said, “make good decisions.” Her husband Chris said, “Have fun.” Those are the words that guide me. Shoot, those could be words that guide us all.

Well, can’t say most of it has been fun yet. And often my decisions are not great, they are just what it takes to make it through.

Still it’s interesting because no matter how jaded our world may seem, there are always good folks, and a lot more good than bad. You just gotta get out there and see for yourself.

It’s not the world I grew up in, where you could walk home certainly safe from school and open your door to strangers and assume that was okay. Its different now. I get it. I see why those gates, eyes and hearts are closed. There’s a lot of crap out there. A helluva lot. But there is also goodness, kindness, thoughtfulness, curiosity and hospitality. And I’ve been lucky enough to find a bunch of those folks. Good folks. True angels that appear as bikers and hippies and regular folks. All kinds of people, restoring my faith in humanity. Because that’d why I’m out here. And hopefully restoring and rewarding their hearts in kind.

It’s hard. On one hand you know how crazy our world has become and you want these good folks to keep their gates locked and their kids safe. And I need to keep myself and my horses safe, so you gotta be savvy.

On the other hand, you want to have faith. You want to love people. You want to believe that no matter our differences and divisions, most of us are all the same. We love our kids. We want to enjoy life. We want this world to be a good, safe place. So we open doors and hearts and minds. Because that is where magic is made. That is where angels are found. Just behind those closed gates.

You know. I thought this was going to be a solo journey. Wrong again. I have found myself more dependent upon others than I ever imagined I’d be. Truth is, though this is still the beginning, I would not be this far without the encouragement, support, help and hospitality of so many strangers. Yes, restoring my faith in humanity. I can only hope I do a little bit back in kind.

With gratitude to and for more angels who have opened their world with me. The latest round up includes The R Wild Horse Ranch, especially Frank and Theresa (yes they are an amazing crew, and yes they are hiring!); new dear friend Sherri, Scott and Nancy of Rosebud Ranch; Alyssa and Wade and their beautiful family and land; Megan, Mike and their marvelous M Squared Ranch. I can’t imagine a better place to lay over with a couple of horses and one woman that need some extra care. Thank you Megan, for that care. You have been exceptional and I highly recommend your services! Thank you too to Kevin Terra and the two best helpers a wonderful vet could want; and farrier extraordinaire, Paiden Gillis.

And yes, once again and always, thanks to my husband, Bob. I love you.

#ALongQuietRide #wildride #horseadventure #spiritualjourney

10 thoughts on “A low point.

  1. We’re missing you here(Hyampom) Gin…You are extremely tough and dedicated to your ride…your Ride share is great…I knew Bowman Rd would be a challenge, narrow lane with not much shoulder.
    Love, George & Sylvia

  2. I see an awesome journey even with some set backs with m.ore good times ahead. Because of your determination and awareness it will seem easier ad you go along on your journey. Remember our love is along with you.

  3. I Love this…. I feel like I’m along on the ride with you! You’re amazing…. And an inspiration!

  4. Hugs and love in this hard part of the journey! The fact you have made it this far says you’re a rock star! Keep on keeping on my friend. Love ya! C

  5. You are amazing Gin! We are enjoying your ride with all of the ups and downs. Tough times never last, but tough people do!
    Love and prayers as your journey continues! Jim and Lorena

  6. I Love you Gin! I’m here with you all the way, at every turn, when it’s rough and scary and when it’s smooth and easy. You, Canela and Crow are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. You so have this and I’m so in awe of this journey you’re on. I had tears the entire time I was reading your words. Tears from your truth about how hard it has been and tears for the hope for humanity you’ve found from the Angels you’ve met along the way so far and there are more out there waiting for you. Big Hug and Love you!

    • And i cry with gratitude from your words and support. Seriously. Iam so filled right now. Thank you, Sue. I just wrote this to your folks:

      Hi G&S

      Sitting on a stump watching the horses happily graze a the sun has set and its finally cool enough for a down jacket.  Found another little bit of paradise to pitch my tent, a peaceful meadow shared with a crane. Hwy 44 was ok, good shoulder,  shingletown was nice, but the country roads have been incredible. So have so many people. Log truck drivers and logging roads rock! Elena who I stayed with last night was the latest angel. You would not believe how much people feed me.  Maybe you would, and do the same. More angels, magic and stories than I may ever be able to remember but I will try. Love you guys. My Grel Ranch family 🙂 please share with your kids if you’d like. I’m slow and limited in communications but so grateful for being able to feel connected. 

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