When we left the Gray’s home, Richard was barely functional. He was getting sicker and sicker but was determined to push through it. I was proud of him for his resolve, but concerned that it just wasn’t going away. I know our bodies are completely taxed and exhausted, so we have little energy left with which to fight even a common cold. By that night, he had a fever and was completely sick. We stopped to water the horses at a home, they offered us to stay, we hesitated because it was a bit early, but when we sat on the chair they offered- that was the end! Richard wasn’t feeling good, it was very hot and we are not used to that yet, and sitting was too tempting. Yep, we stayed! We enjoyed a nice supper with them and the horses gorged themselves on their unfenced field for hours.
That night, Richard was pumped full of medicine, but still was very sick. We propped him up on several saddle pads and I let him sleep a long time in the morning. He was determined to keep going, so I got the horses and everything ready all by myself while he slept and rested. We left just after noon and did a short day to the park in Fordsville.
It was nice and quiet there. We even had a bathroom! Richard mostly rested while I unpacked. Then the Grays surprised us and showed up to help, then bought us supper too! We ended up staying another day at the park while Richard slept and rested.
The following day, he was feeling a little better but had no desire to stay there and sweat all day in the heat. Soooo, we rode again. He did well until the last hour or so. While stopped on the side of the road talking to a visitor who pulled over to chat, we had a side conversation with a man mowing his yard across the street. We asked if he knew a good place to stop, so he called his in-laws and they invited us to stay. One more mile… we can make it….!
Richard was utterly glad when we were offered the sleeper horse trailer owned by the DeJarnette’s friend because it had air conditioning! Then offered many times that we stay and rest. Richard was just not getting better. We planned on staying only a day….. and here we are a week later. They were such gracious hosts and totally accommodated us and our horses while Richard recuperated. It just took a very long time for him to gain strength again after just a cold.
The horses were not doing well either. Satchmo had a terrible saddle sore. We were starting to get concerned that it is caused by the saddle being too wide and nothing we are doing is helping enough to prevent it. We were blessed when we were offered a saddle- one that fits Satchmo much better as well as Richard. We are going to try it out and see if it works, but we are hopeful that this will solve a big problem. Fiddle has a puncture wound, Tiska and Chance both have sore withers, and Apache’s saddle sore is still healing and his back still hurts a bit. The ulcer medicine has helped, but we are trying to determine if he needs to be re-treated for Lyme Disease again. It’s been a while since we’ve had to doctor all 5 horses everyday. But this is the third time on the trip that they are all falling apart. It is very challenging and disheartening and it means lots of resting, low miles, creative problem solving, and LOTS of prayer.
At the time of this writing, Richard is feeling much better and we are planning to head out in the morning towards Lexington. Satchmo’s saddle sores are much improved, but all the horses still need to heal more. Hopefully by the time you read this, we will be in Lexington and Lord willing, find a good resting place for another fairly long stop to try to let the horses (and ourselves) recuperate and energize a bit. Please, please… pray for healing, strength, and energy for ALL of us so we can finish strong. Thank you sincerely.