The excitement of the ride has my blood racing this time of year. Yet as I told Nancy Haugan the other day when she was out to vet the horses, “It never fails each and every time I step back out it’s as if those 1000’s of miles behind me never existed. It’s as if I had never done any of it and I question, “can I do this again?” Three weeks into the journey I will be taken over with the exhilaration, the call of the horizon, the love of the ride.
Theodora Brennan looking over my cleaning; She had guests from Australia this weekend staying at Theodora’s Hideaway Guest House, which by the way is the place to stay if any of you EVER come to visit me.
All my tack and saddle gear come from Tuckers Saddle and Out Fitters Supply and have been for 11 years. Twice a year the gear is completely taken apart, cleaned and oiled. This is a Tuckers Endurance Trail that I will finish the ride with, Tuckers has my Black-Mountain saddle in for repairs after what 16,000 miles arduous miles,I might add. New hobbles and more saddle oil from OFS.
Nancy Haugan’s DVM …..Her 9th year of vaccinating the horses for my rides. She keeps Pride the big Tennessee Walking Horse at her Ranch in the Yaak.(north of Eureka, Mt.) She has promised a ride with him after wrapping up this 8000 mile jaunt. The little black pony curious as ever. Spirit however was going to have nothing to do with Nancy. Look how hairy Essie still is.
And yet another SUNBODY HAT!! This is not the complete collection some have not returned. Stories etched out in each hat keeps me from tossing them out. I told Jimmy Pryor owner of Sunbody Hats that I would not feel like the lady long rider with this hat!! An essential part of my riding attire.
Each one embellished with little gifts.
I feel the same way about the Ariat boots, Like a good friend that rode with me I simply can not let them go.
I must tell you, this is a beautiful sight to me. Horseshoes from Roger Robinson’s The Blacksmith Shop, (see sponsorship page) I would not even consider riding the paved roads without these shoes on my horses hoofs. They have literally saved our lives more than once.
Comfort for my girls. I ride bareback all winter- nearly everyday. I am only now getting the horses ready for saddles and cinches. I stepped back into the Tuckers Endurance Trail the other day for the first time in months and said,” Oh my gosh this is why I use a Tucker!” Comfort!!!
STAN STRITSKE, FARRIER OF OVER 45 YEARS ( photo from last year) Once Roger sends out the horseshoes from the Blacksmith Shop in VA., the shoes must be shaped and fitted to the horses hoofs. Stan will look the feet over and do the first setting, I always feel a professional should look over the horses feet before I begin each ride. I then ship ahead the extra shoes and my shoeing equipment.
STAN STRITSKE on left, SHELLY WALDEN GARY BELLINGER from Chewelah, Washington are helping with details in Chewelah, Washington where I resume my ride. Gary is really my main contact and is going above and beyond the call of duty. I do not think they realize just how much their assistance means to me. It’s not always like this!(last years photo)
The Canadian Geese are calling, and I reply to them…”I am coming, I am coming.
” I plan to ride out on the 13th of April.