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Apache’s bad day

I am pretty convinced that all living beings have bad mood days. There are just some rare days, as a horse trainer, I have learned that you just find a good place to quit and put the horse away. It’s just not worth the fight if they have a rare bad-mood day. Kind of like people- some days you just keep your mouth shut when your closest family is driving you crazy. It’s just not worth the fight if they are having an out-if-character day. That’s ‘grace’ in practice.

Such was a day I had with Apache. Some horse people make fun of him being an Appaloosa (ya know- the old jokes like ‘why did indians ride Appy’s to battle? – so they’d be plenty pissed off by the time they got there.’ etc.) Well, I defend Apache because he is normally well behaved. But today, like a day I remember in Utah, I was glad there were no cliffs nearby to tempt me to push him off! And unlike when I am training horses, we don’t have the luxury to ‘just put him away’ when we are riding across America.

I don’t know what his problem was, but he was freaking out over every truck, bus, motorcyle, and car that went by. He litterally bolted (ran very fast and out of control) several times. I thought once he was going to run into the road, but I managed to turn him into the yard next to me. I broke off a stick and got after him every time he did it, but it made no difference. He was completely out of control for no conceivable reason. It’s not like is isn’t completely used to traffic. My only break was a short stop we did when we used the bathroom at a restaurant we passed, and then they fed us lunch too. I was exhausted from dealing with Apache, it made my back hurt worse, I was frustrated, and my nerves were pretty fried from dealing with an unsafe ride all day when we finally stopped.

The owner of a boat prop repair shop let us sleep in his office. We seem to have a run of business hosts lately! We were going to highline the horses, but the neighbor offered his goat pen and fenced in garden. Perfect! The horses always recuperate better when they are able to move freely overnight. We separated Apache from the rest because it is rare, but when he is in a bad mood, he harasses the others all night. I was hopeful he’d be in a better mood the next day.

He wasn’t much better. I suddenly had a hunch. He started this rediculous behaviour the day after Roanoke. What if it was because his hocks hurt and since the cars were coming from behind him, in his mind they were causing the pain? It was a far fetch, but I couldn’t think of any other reason for the sudden change. The horses are due for a rest, so maybe they will heal some in the next few days so he doesn’t act so crazy after that. One can hope.

That night we stayed on the Savoy-Lee winery property. There was enough grass for the horses to graze, and it was so windy and cold that we set up our tent in the woods for a little shelter from the wind. The temperature is getting below freezing at night now, so it was a chilly night. I am so glad we will be finishing before the dead of winter sets in…. I hope!

On that note, we are getting excited about finishing. It’s less than a month away at the time of writing this, and we keep getting phone calls from old friends, new friends, and family around the country that are buying plane tickets to meet us at the end. It means so much to have this kind of loving support after such a grueling journey. I know it will be an emotional day- one that will take months for us to wrap our minds around. But we are starting to get jittery as we continue to solidify plans for the last few days of the ride. It’s completely overwhelming to think about, let alone do, but I know it will be a great end to the trip of a lifetime!



8 comments

  1. HEY LONGRIDERS!
    I remember reading about you early in your trip and the casualty the first couple of weeks. I was following Bernice Ende as well…..
    I can’t believe I missed you in my area! I was talking to a teacher and she said she saw an article about you in the paper. I am hoping to complete a long ride myself and would have loved to ask you questions.
    I was curious as to where you are now?? I didn’t know if was so far away that I couldn’t find you…
    You are an inspiration.
    Peace and cheers,
    annroberts

  2. Poor Apache and poor Jeannette. I know what you mean, I had a Applaossa with almost no spots at age 7. He would flip the bit and tear off and he was very fast! The other side is they are very tough! A fall is so unerving for them. In the wild it meant a quick or longsuffering death sometimes. He may have correlated the fall with cars. In some instances, they may have some ESP. I have had times where if they had not acted up something worse would have happened. (Truth-really!) We have been having earthquakes in Kansas and Oklahoma, so who knows what they feel.

    The end is near and we all pray for you all, the flyers and drivers meeting you and the weather to keep you all safe and dry.

    God Bless and relish this magnificent end to a journey beyond all of our dreams! Love to all.

  3. Hugs to you both, and please hug all your four-legged friends for us. We wish so much we could be with you, not only now but in Virginia Beach. Your trip through Roanoke sounded grueling! Please keep up the blog on your trip home and after you get home and get your lives on the path that God leads you. This “book” cannot end! We hope you have a nice host for Thanksgiving. Wish it could be us. We love you all. Barbara (and Jerry and Holly)

  4. Well, hello Jeannette and Richard!
    I’m so happy to have found you both and hearing about your adventurous story! I am mesmerized by your blog writing and hope to read it all from the beginning! I can’t imagine doing this kind of journey for two years, but remembering how in love you two were back in Quincy, I’ve realized you are pulling each other through the bad stuff with your love and sharing the great stuff with your best friend. A perfect match. It sounds like you have a great team of animal friends, too. I won’t keep you, but will stay in touch.
    Proud of you both,
    Valerie Headrick
    (2000-2003) Feather River Comm. College

  5. Hi Jeannette and Richard and Happy Thanksgiving. Hope someone welcomes you for a delicious traditional dinner. It’s only two weeks to the ocean. You told me when you were only five and didn’t even have a horse yet that you would make this journey some day. I never doubted you. I have always gotten great joy from you kids following your own dreams regardless of how crazy they seemed. This has been a long haul for everyone involved but I truly have not worried about you because I know God is taking care of you. You may be my daughter, but you are God’s creation and my gift from Him and He will not let you down. I am so very proud of both of you for your faith and sticktoitiveness. I am excitedly looking forward to seeing you on the beach really soon. This may be the end of this journey, but it is just the first step in God’s plans for your future. I am equally excited to see what the future holds for you. It will take many months for you two to fully absorb the reality of your accomplishment and all the ways and directions you have grown in these past two years. And to Richard, I want to say THANK YOU for taking care of and putting up with Jeannette 24/7 for all these months. I know how challenging that can be at times! We both love her dearly, and without you by her side my Little Pioneer may not have been able to see this dream come true. So for now, STAY SAFE, see you soon, and I get the first hug! Lots of love, Mommy

  6. Hi Jeannette & Richard and Happy Thanksgiving! Only 2 weeks to the ocean! You told me when you were only 5 that you would make this journey some day. I never doubted you and now you are almost there! It’s been a long haul for everyone involved, but I have not worried about you because I know God is watching over you. I am so very proud of both of you for your faith and sticktoitiveness. This may be the end of this journey, but it’s just the first step in God’s plan for your future. I’m very excited to see you on the beach, and I’m looking forward to watching your future unfold. It will take many months for you two to fully absorb the reality of your accomplishment and all the ways you have grown in these 2 years. Thank you Richard for watching over my Little Pioneer. Without you by her side, she may not have been able to see this dream come true. Stay safe, see you soon and I get the first hug! Love, Mommy

  7. Well it is Thanksgiving day and here is wishing you to be somewhere that you will be stuffed with all the goodies that this day brings. Have a wonderful day and know that there are a lot of us who are thankful that God has kept you all in his care on your travels and that your trip is closing in on the end of it. And like someone before said, please keep up the Blogs once you return back to your home. Again, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! God Bless.

  8. Happy Thanksgiving! Love the comment from your “mommy”! Only a minute more to go in this amazing journey. The 24/7/365 thing only a few understand and can do! We understand as we have been doing that for many many years. Wish we could watch you’all in person put all those toes in the ocean! Will look forward to the next GOAL. Your friends waaay back in Nevada.
    Clay/Robin Sharp


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