We were close to being ready to leave the barn in Salyersville. All we had left to do was put the hoof boots on the horses. But we could only find 19 boots. Last I checked, 5 horses makes 20 feet. We were missing one.
Since we had pulled in with 20 boots, there is only one likely cause for a missing boot- dogs.
They seem to thing hoof boots are chew toys. We carefully guard and protect them. But this dog was crafty. He got through our defenses and managed to hijack a Renegade boot. What’s worse, we didn’t have a spare for that size. We’ve been out of cell and computer service for so long that we haven’t been able to order more.
That means we had to search with intensity to try to find the boot! Richards search didn’t come up with anything. Nor did mine. The barn help spoke very little English, but I managed to get across what our problem was. He was unloading hay and didn’t immediately have any ideas where the boot could be. But after throwing a few bales, a light bulb must have gone off in his head because he jumped down, took off around the corner, and moments later produced the missing boot! He must have remembered where the dog hides its loot.
Fast forward a couple hours.
We were riding down the busy road and came across an odd scene. Off to our side was a car in a ravine. My first thought was that no one bothered to pull it out after a wreck. But then I realized from the other cars pulled over that the wreck had just happened and there was still someone in that car!
911 had already been called, so we decided to keep riding and get the horses out of the way of the sirens and emergency workers who were within earshot.
Later that afternoon, we had a very difficult time finding a place to stop. Apparently the local citizens had had some pretty bad experiences with drugs, lawsuits, etc. because several people turned us down for camping in their field due to skepticism and liability. This has never happened to us across the entire country. I am sad for people who live in fear.
It was getting dark and we were getting desperate to find a place to stop because the next several miles were through the middle of a town where there would be no stopping. So we sought the help of an ambulance station- the last building on the road before town. They helped us get permission to camp in the neighboring field, for which we were utterly relieved and grateful.
But the coolest part of that stop- the paramedics had worked the accident we rode by during the day. They told us that the woman was so intoxicated that she didn’t even know she was in an accident. And she was driving on the opposite side of the road from where she wrecked. We saw the tire marks in the grass.
This means she drove across the entire road.
Across our path where we rode.
15 minutes before we got there.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Thank God for that mischievous dog and annoying delay that morning.
It could very well have saved all of our lives.