Since we are winding up for riding again, I figured I better get back in the habit of blogging! They won’t be every day, but it’s a start!
Our last day of riding (gosh- has it really been nearly two months now?!) was one of the lowest points of this trip. Satchmo and Apache had saddle sores (complicated by a corrective measure that backfired as previously explained), Chance was too tired to carry Richard anymore, Fiddle had a puncture wound and a mild limp, and Tiska had a rope burn. They were tired before that- but every one of those injuries happened within a 24 hour period of time. There was no denying that it was time either to rest or go home. Richard and I walked the whole day. It was so incredibly hot and humid. We were just as exhausted as the horses, and every footstep felt like an atrocious effort.
We would have had no choice but to go home too if it had not been for the kind people in central Kentucky who have helped us. I cried most of that last day of riding- or walking- because we knew that it could be over. We gave it our best, the horses gave it their all, and there is no shame in that. But it was a sad day. Through my tears, I was blessed by my dear husband who chose to sing praise songs to Jesus despite our misery and feeling of defeat. I think He honored that humble trust and put the right people in our path who generously offered to host us indefinitely while we all healed. We have experienced so much, yet it still amazes me that the original prediction of 3 weeks to heal a saddle sore (that’s normal) turned into more than two months (apparently the time it takes for very tired bodies to heal)- and we were never for want of anything.
The first people we owe a big thank you to are Elaine and Mike in Cecilia, KY. They had set up a place for us to stay that last night. But when it became clear that there was no way we were going to make it there, without hesitation, they offered their home which was several miles closer- knowing that we were unable to ride anymore and had no idea what we were going to do about that. They welcomed us to stay there for several days until we had enough information to make some decisions. We spent several hours up on a tick infested (yuck!) hill on their property where our cell phones got reception making some tough phone calls and important decisions. Mike and Elaine gave us our space, yet were there for us and our horses in any way we needed them.
Ultimately, we ended up getting in contact with the Brown family who own and operate Wild Rose Equestrian Center in Elizabethtown, KY. Karen and Tom were excitedly willing to host us and our horses on their facility while we recuperated. We were very blessed and uplifted- 3 weeks is a long hosting committment for 2 people and 5 horses- so we were very thankful that we weren’t forced to quit the ride yet. Elaine and Mike loaded us up in their horse trailer, hauled us over to Wild Rose, and helped us get settled in to our new temporary home.