Just when you’re sure you can’t take it anymore, God gives you a reprieve. That came in the form of a man named John “Coy.” He was a friend of Norman’s- the man who had let us sleep in his yard after our unsuccessful 5 mile day. We had visited with Norman all evening over dinner and had been introduced to Coy that evening.
We had both had a fitful night of sleep. Richard because of his cold; me because of the noise. After two months of complete quiet at the Bashams’ sleeping in a tent next to a busy road was not-so-peaceful. I woke up screaming twice because I thought a motorcycle flying by was running us over. Every time a trailer truck went by, the loud noise woke me with a start and I sat straight up. When the thunder storm started at 4:30, I finally gave up on sleep. Eventually, we will get used to the noise again.
Then I sat up in bed (the tent) and my back pulled. Just like that. No warning. Just wham. Probably from all the stress, traffic concerns, hyper horses, and pulling on Chance- it was just too much. So now I can hardly move, Richard doesn’t feel good, and we hadn’t even started our day.
After another lousy night’s sleep and no better morning, I was glad to see Coy show up offering his help and horse expertise. He lent us a rope that he had used to successfully help many horses quit pulling back. It was very simple and just went around the head behind the ears and clipped under the chin. I wasn’t terribly hopeful, but at this point, we were ready to try about anything. We packed Chance very carefully to be sure nothing was bothering him and headed down the road using that new rope.
I couldn’t believe it. Not one single time the entire day did Chance pull back. He didn’t even bump the rope at all. I was flabbergasted at the difference in him. I could hardly turn my head and every step of the horse hurt my back, but I didn’t have to pull on Chance. In comparison, it was wonderful!
In addition, when we stopped by Coy’s barn on our way that day, he lent us a fly sheet for Satchmo who was bucking down the road because the horse flies are so bad. Fiddle’s new crouper seemed to be helping. I had chance the shims in my saddle pad for Apache and he seemed to be comfortable. We got started late and neither of us felt good, but all in all, the day went way better than the last two.
We were invited to stay in a family’s front yard with the horses highlined to their trees. As we were setting up camp, Coy came by with his wife Gretchen, as well as a couple who were willing to host us over the weekend. Coy brought us all kinds of yummy foods too, which we mostly saved for breakfast after spending dinner with our host family.
Then we had a real surprise…. Ronnie, Talli, Kenny, and Linda Basham came to see us! They had driven well over an hour to bring us a delayed piece of mail, but that was only the excuse. They really wanted to come cheer us up after the rough few days we’d had getting started. It was great to see them again and they helped us and hung out while we finished our evening chores. It was quite an exciting night after a slightly more encouraging day.
And praise God, we had finally gotten tired enough that at last- WE SLEPT HARD.