Greetings to all of you that follow the ride. I rode into Trego, Montana on Monday July 8th. We, Essie Pearl, Montana Spirit and I were welcomed by cool sky’s and an afternoon shower that left hot pavement steaming and the air smelling fresh and clean. We were out approximately 2 months out and covered over 600 miles. We rode the mountains of Montana, thru the towns of Libby, St.Regis, Thompson Falls, Happy Inn and Hot Springs Montana… Easy riding. Grass, water and campsites everywhere, pop in and out of towns for supplies then head back out on National Forest Service roads that zig-zag up, over and thru the Bitterroot Mountain Range, LoLo National Forest– spectacular country. Two snowstorms, lots and lots of rain, roaring creeks and spring flowers thru out the entire ride. I accomplished what I had set out to do and that was to ride a faster, lighter ride. Claire dog stayed home as did the big paint gelding Hart.
The horses seemed to enjoy the pace, they were snappy and lively each morning that we set out. Please do not get me wrong I did not out to do a endurance ride. I get off and walk up and down the steep inclines and on flat stretches we just pick up the pace. I made every effort to strip down any excess weight. Essie Pearl packed not more than 80 pds and Montana Spirit had me to deal with. It was a change that I had wanted to make for sometime now. There were of course several issues that I encountered such as rubbing and change in horse shoe wear. I kept the breast-collars and rear packsaddle harness up to reduce any rubbing. The pads had to be perfectly set and I also had to take the packs and saddles off often to smooth out the horses hair. But all in all it was a good change and interesting to try. I will add more stories later but here are a few photos that serve to fill in the ride, until later..
I will write more soon! In the meantime, here are a few more pictures.
Here is Kelly with Cal and Gerry St. Onge at their beautiful homestead. We were south of Libby about 45 miles and heading home when a snowstorm hit. Here we are waiving good bye as we leave.
More updates and images of this ride soon! Happy Trails!
Your Lady long Rider
Greetings to all of you that follow the ride. I have been out riding for over two weeks now. Essie Pearl and Montana Spirit are moving well, fast and snappy. I do miss Claire and Hart but they are both in good hands and better off at home. I am updating from the home of John and Robin Webb, of Thompson Falls, Montana. We met John and Robin coming down the Vermillion River. They were up cutting wood and stopped to visit and talk with the two dirty looking horse back riders. They have been kind enough to invite Kelly Cott, my guest rider and I into their lovely home. Kelly and I have been out for a week now. We met up in Libby got ourselves and her little Halflinger pony all ready and out we rode. We have had a great week of riding. But unfortunately Kelly has been called back home. She and her partner Ben own a garlic farm and she is needed back there, it just could not be helped. So we are turning our ponies around and are heading back to Libby where she will haul back home to Moyie Springs, Idaho. I will head back out after she is safely off. The weather is spectacular, blossoms show off the future bounties of wild fruit, winter snow is cascading down raging rivers and creek, the birds can not help but sing. Spring is in full glory. The following photos are Marion Eash setting on horseshoes with drill tech (a hard surface that prevents the horses from slipping on pavement). He did a great job. I feel that the horses should have a professional farrier set on the shoes once a year just as they should have a vet check each year, and that is photo #2 of Nancy Haugan from Mt. Vista Vet Clinic in Eureka, Montana giving the horses shots and a vet check. The next few photos are of Kelly in Libby, Montana and then there she is on her beautiful pony Copper. They both did real well, it is not easy this long riding business, but they both did very well I will update more later. Thank you for following the rides and please, if you see me out there send a hello to the guest book and it will help others know where I am..Happy Trails Your lady long rider Bernice
Thank you to FIDO Friendly Magazine and AARP for offering a platform to write about my life as a Lady Long Rider. To all of you who have shared your thoughts on the Comments Page I deeply appreciate your kind remarks and encouragement.
Happy Trails! Your Lady Long Rider Bernice Ende
Please click on the image below to see the most recent FIDO article and for more information about FIDO Friendly below is link to their website. Also, to find more information about AARP, I have provided a link below as well.
Here is a story I must share with you, (with permission)Hello Ms Ende A mystery has been solved! A few years ago I was crossing over the old Custer Ave overpass in Helena when I saw the most amazing sight – a cowgirl and her dogs crossing over the bridge right smack dab in the middle of town. I shouldn’t admit this but since no one was near me on the road I pulled out my camera phone and snapped a fast picture as I drove by. I wondered who you were, where you were going, and how did you have such absolute courage to travel with horses and dogs thru town when I’m petrified to ride my bike down a similar road. I could tell that you were about my age and I had a moment of envy of your life as a free woman doing your own thing. Imagine my surprise, while flipping thru the AARP magazine tonight while in a hotel room in Tulsa, OK (where I’m traveling for work) to see a familiar picture! Finally, a name and a story to go with my picture! And what a great story you have. Your mother was an amazing woman to raise such an independent and adventurous daughter. On a side note, I also owned a Norwegian Fjord, tho I had to keep him with friends up at Ft. Belknap. He was the most amazing horse, tho I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him. We recently lost him to old age and I always have hope that another Fjord will come into my life. Well, with that long winded email from a stranger, I’d like to send you the picture I took that day in Helena. I’m sure you have many similar ones, but it’s an honor to send this to you to keep as part of your travels thru Montana and the west. Safe travels, Kathy D. Helena, MT