After leaving Justin’s, we headed East on J and it was immediately obvious that we had been on TV the night before. People were honking and waving, smiling and pointing, and pulling over frequently to talk to us. It makes such a difference to be known when you are on the road- people seem to be a little more careful not to run over a celebrity! One gentleman, Terry, pulled over and wanted to help somehow. He took on the task of driving ahead to our 15 mile mark and knocking on the door of a rancher he knew of to see if we could park there for the night. Ralph and Linda offered their hay barn for us to put up their tent and their pasture for our horses.
The terrain is definitely getting more hilly and curvey. It seems we are getting into the foothills of the Ozarks. We actually had to break down today and put the brichen down on the pack horses on a steep hill for the first time since Colorado!
Bella is doing wonderfully- even on these narrow roads with little or no shoulder. I have to admit, we were a little hesitant at first when we were offered to borrow a shock collar to help train Bella. It didn’t seem like the most humane option in the world, yet we were faced with precious little time to train her to keep her safe on the roadside. We did opt to give it a try and have found it to be an absolute lifesaver- WHEN USED CORRECTLY. We read the directions and followed the training protocol carefully to get her used to it and not afraid of it. After spending several days on a leash learning ‘heel’, ‘sit’, ‘come’, ‘no’, and ‘ditch’ (for staying on our side of the road but walking at her leisure), she was ready to venture out with just an electronic leash. This particular collar is a well designed one with a warning sound button that can be used in lieu of a shock, and an adjustable shock strength knob. It can be turned down so low she can barely even feel it. It only took a couple shocks to teach her that when we give her a command, we mean it. In just a couple short days, she is staying on our side of the road like a pro and even ignores all the dogs that come running out to her on both sides of the road. It was worth a few shocks to teach her quickly that the road is off limits so she doesn’t get hit by a car yet she can still have fun on the side of the road off leash. I bring all this up to share an amusing story about someone who tried to use a shock collar…. with not-so-good results!
While riding on J highway near Morgan, Steve stopped us on his way home from work and visited with us for a while. He shared a story about a stallion he once knew that had a bad habit of squealing at other horses all the time. It was obnoxious, rude, and irritating and they kept trying to figure out how to stop him. One day they had an idea. They would put a dog barking shock collar on the horse so that every time he squealed, he would get shocked. It seemed to be working- the horse was rarely squealing anymore. But they noticed one strange side effect; the horse had become terrified of chickens. They were baffled at what was causing this until one day they witnessed a most hysterical sight. Bright and early in the morning, their rooster would crow. The shock collar, programed to detect loud noises, was set off by the vibrations of the rooster crowing! So every time that rooster would strut his stuff, that stallion would get shocked! After laughing (in a kind of ‘oh woops!’ way) they immediately removed the shock collar from the stallion. For the rest of his life, he never recovered and shook like a leaf every time he saw a chicken or rooster! Folks, don’t try that one at home!