Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Howdy Y’all! Sorry, I wasn’t able to keep a very good update going here on my blog. Our journey was cut short at the beginning when Jake, our pack mule, got a bad cinch burn behind his front leg. 
We made it roughly only 40 miles away from home. We camped by the Amite river for 4 nights and 3 days. Then decided it would be in the best interest of our equine to trailer them back home and allow them to rest and for Jake some healing time in their pasture. So Bobby, my husband, caught a ride back to the house and my grandson and I stayed with the horses at the river. Bobby returned shortly with the truck and horse trailer. We loaded the horses and mule into the trailer and returned back home.
We doctored Jake’s boo-boo’s and turned out our horses back into their pasture. Since we had already unloaded everything from the horses and into our truck we decided to drive on and do some primitive camping for a while.  We wound up visiting relatives in Texas and then on to Murfreesboro, Arkansas and to the Crater of Diamond State Park. We had a truly wonderful, memorable summer, despite the extreme heat and humidity.

We are regrouping and planning on heading out on another journey. Our grandson, Mikey, won’t be coming along this time with us. I am sure going to miss him not being with us and a part of our upcoming journey, as I already miss him any ways. He really knew how to cowboy up! Mikey has left me with many cherished and blessed memories from our short journey and summer camping. I hope to have implanted the same into him. His new goal is to learn to train horses and to one day own a horse farm.

We’re hoping to be able to leave out the first part of Oct., 2012. The temps should start dropping around then, and become more bearable and comfortable for the horses and on us too. Bobby has a covered wagon now and he plans on driving it on this journey. He wants to do a little modifying to the wagon and it needs the canvas cover over the top. I will still be riding the journey on my horse, Flicka, and plan on staying the nights in the wagon. Taking a covered wagon we will now be able to bring along feed and water for the horses and have less to worry about where to fulfill those needs along the way. Also, we will be able to carry some cool drinks along for us. Keeping a drink cool was just impossible, as we discovered from our last experience.

I will be trying my best to keep updates to my blog this time. It was extremely difficult to find any wifi service at all in many of the rural towns as we passed thru. Another difficulty we experienced was keeping everything charged up. The solar unit we bought and brought for our journey didn’t work, so we returned it for a refund when we brought our horses back to their pasture.

I have this to say, this short riding journey was one of the best times I have had in my entire life! Even for just this short bit, it was everything I had hoped for and then some. It has only left me craving for more. I believe I have discovered a new lifestyle truly fitting for me. I’m still considered to be crazy by some folks around here, but until you’ve experienced it you will never know what you are missing. Since returning back into our home, in August, I haven’t been the same. The walls and ceiling give me a feeling of smothering and entrapment.  There is so much of life missing when one is enclosed and stationary, behind the walls. A wonderful, peaceful bliss seemed to soak into my soul as I traveled along at 3 mph, 5 ft off the ground, and on the back of the most wonderful horse I have ever known, hearing and viewing our earth’s with all its enchantments.

So for now we are busy modifying our wagon, preparing and for looking forward to another attempt at a journey…..going somewhere USAJ
Take Care my Friends and get out there and live those dreams!

This is Jessie, she plows, she pulls and she rides! Hopefully, she will be ours very soon :)

This is Bobby's covered wagon. Our soon to be home away from home wagon:)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Howdy Y'all! This evening will probably be my last at home post on this blog. YEEHAWW! FINALLY!!
We will be heading out yonder come the break of dawn in the morning!

The past couple of days around here have been pretty hectic. I think today it really topped it off. Having some things we just had to leave until last thing(s) to do. Seems that wound up being more than overwhelming. But, it's now done! We hope. One thing for sure, a few miles down the road tomorrow, I for one, am not gonn'a even give a hoot!

So until my next post, everyone stay well, healthy and happy!
Giddy Up!

Friday, June 8, 2012

This day has heartache in it. My beautiful, loveable, sweet Daisy won't be going West with us. Instead she went to Pet Heaven this morning. R.I.P. my sweet Daisy. I am the cause. Making my heartbreak even worse. I didn't know she was in front of my truck as I went through my drive way.
I had returned to my house to run in and grab my camera. I had forgotten to take it with me earlier this morning when I left. Daisy wasn't at my side when I went back out to get into my truck as she usually does. She's use to me going to work when I leave the house, and I back out of my drive. Instead today, my U driveway was empty, so I just pulled forward. I never knew she was there, never even seen her! I was thinking she was at the side of the house since she wasn't at my side. Today just had to be so out of sync. "IF" only I had backed my truck (as I am sure she was expecting) out of the driveway my Daisy might still be here and going with us on our journey. We are so missing her. It hurts badly when you lose a fur family, even harder being the cause of. I'm so very sorry my precious Daisy.
My heart aches.

Today was medi-pedicure day for our horses. Most of them where also shod today. The only two that was not shod, Jake the mule, and Diamond the 3 yr old. We discussed this matter with our farrier. Kyle felt that the mule, Jake, would do fine without shoes and only a trim. We won't be riding Diamond, so he says she should be fine also with just a trim.

Working on Jake, are farriers, Kyle (working w/hoof) and Nathan standing and holding Jake
Ol'Red, Flicka, and Sugar behaved nicely for the farriers, Kyle and Nathan. For the most part so did Jake. He wasn't really fond of his back hooves being fooled with. But, Kyle went into his trailer he pulled on the back of his pickup and came out with the solution! A rope. He roped his back feet one at a time. Nothing traumatic, but a good safe precaution and it even helped Jake too.
Diamond was a whole different gig. She was a naughty-naughty girl today! Never before have we had an issue with her raising either of her legs. She surrenders without issue. Not today. Diamond rared up and pawed Nathan right on his head! I thought for sure Nathan was going to pass out. He shook it off though and started assuring us he was alright. He must surely be one hard -headed man!
Miss Diamonds misbehaving didn't deter either one of them. They went right on back to work and Diamond got her hooves trimmed rather she wanted too or not!
Kyle and Nathan did some great work today. Thanks fella's! We really appreciated them. Kyle even told us if we have any problems on our journey to call him. He knows of several farriers towards the direction we will be traveling in. This is comforting to know.

Bobby put the horses back into the catch pen for awhile after the farriers had finished with them. After a couple of hours passed he got them all back out and tied them each up to a trailer. We then brushed and groomed on them. We also decided Jake should try out his new outfit for the journey. I think he looks real spiffy! Wearing his pack like a real trooper.
There is a lot of thought and work in preparing to leave out on a journey like this. One also wouldn't really think that to carry so much less, it would take up so much time figuring it all out. Some how it just does. Then for us and the horses, we all have to keep on working at it all to try and prepare for the days-weeks-months ahead.
Know what? We are ALL loving every single minute of this and still can hardly wait till THAT DAY arrives!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

                                            Tamor Veterinary Service, Magnolia, MS.
We've had a busy past two days. I notice that my camera date is 1 day in arrears. I need to try and fix this. Yesterday, we loaded up our traveling stock (which has increased) and off to our vet we went. Coggins day and health check. The coggins test results should arrive back to the vets on Mon. June 11th. We will be going and picking it up, verses in the mail. This now puts our leaving date as June 12th. I asked Dr. Gordon and his assistant, of Tamor Veterinary Service in Magnolia, MS., if I could include their picture too? Ah shuckens, it seems they were both just too camera shy~

Loading our traveling buddies first thing that morning went fairly uneventful, kind'a, sort'a. We did have a few moments of challenges at first, when it came to loading up Diamond, the 3 yr old. She has only been trailered just a very few times.
Ol'Red, the horse Bobby is riding, loaded right on up, old hat for him. Next was Sugar, she is also coming with us on our journey. Our grandson, Mikey, is cowboying up to ride with us on our journey! More prepping, but oh so worth it! He will be riding Sugar, our 8 yr old trail ridden, bomb proof, quarter horse. Needless to say, she loads in any trailer just fine. Sugar will do anything you ask of her. Mikey has fell in love with her already.
Jake the pack mule, couldn't wait his turn to load and just went right on in after Sugar. Jake doesn't want to miss out on anything the others are doing :) Flicka, my horse was ready to load so aboard she went to her place in the trailer. Then it was Diamonds turn to be loaded. She approached the trailer as if she was going to step right on in. Ha, Nope, at the last second she changed her mind. She merely was bluffing us. We circled her around a few times and back to load and every time, uh~nope, just not happening.
Right next to the catch pen is a chute where cattle can go thru to be loaded. Bobby had an idea to run Diamond thru there. Moving the horse trailer to the cattle chute opening, she'd have no where else to go but aboard the horse trailer. At the same time we were trying to do our best to not traumatize her of loading either. That worked like a charm! Perfectly. She loaded right up, as if it was her idea all along. We figured we'd find a way to re-load her at the vets office, somehow.

Left to right, Diamond, Sugar, Mikey's ride, and my horse Flicka. Why is it every time I have my camera in hand to take their picture, they turn their rears to me???
Bobby, his horse Ol'Red, and our grandson Mikey. The only one not pictured of our traveling stock was Jake our pack mule. He decided to remain inside the trailer.
All of the horses unloaded at the vets perfectly. They all were very well behaved too! Not one single complaint from any of them during their blood draw. Jake too, though he became a tad bashful and remained loaded in the trailer. Dr. Gordon said that was fine with him. When time came to load them all back into the trailer. They were awesome! Even Diamond step right on in without blinking an eye. I was so proud of all of them :)

Today, the UPS truck arrived this evening about 6:30. Two boxes were handed over to me! YEEHAWW!
Bobby opened both boxes and we just eww'ed and awed over the gear we had just received! From outfitterssupply.com we received our saddle pannier for our pack mule, pair of tree straps, and a 6.5 gallon collapsible water trough. I highly recommend this place. They carry lots of supplies for the trail. Plus, when you call you actually get to talk to real folks and they are very friendly, and helpful!

The other box contained, 2 rain gear 4 horse back riding suits that I had ordered off  Ebay. Not included was our grandson's which was extremely disappointing to us. I haven't given up the hope of receiving it just yet though. I ordered his a day later than ours. Perhaps, he will get his tomorrow? Keep fingers crossed. The tracking stated it as included in this order though. I have written to the seller, hopefully this matter will soon be settled. If not before we leave, we will still see to it he stays as dry as we do on our journey. Even if it isn't exactly the same kind of rain gear as the other two are.

Have I mentioned lately just how EXCITED we all are? YEEHAWW!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Today was my last working day at my job. Tough day. I am sure going to miss my store family, and many, many of  the great customers (I think of as my friends) that go there. Hugs were exchanged, phone numbers and addresses were given to me, so I can try and keep everyone updated during our journey.  Lots of laughs today with my work buddies too. As they are for the most part still thinking I have lost my mind. Imagine that? They teased me with kindness and sent their well wishes with me in the end. What great folks :)

The gear that we ordered online should be arriving here the middle of this week. We're anxiously waiting. In just a few days we will have the saddle pannier (the pack for the mule), collapsible water bucket, to water the horses, and the straps for putting around the trees for when we use a highline to tie our horses to. These straps help by not causing damages the trees. We're taking this journey with "leave no trace behind" attitude. Also, our rain gear should be here about the same time.
As dry as it's been, I am kind'a hoping we will need to use our rain gear. Poor Texas, last year had such a horrible drought. I hope it's not a repeat this year. New Mexico right now, is having its largest ever wild fire in the Gila National Forest. I sure had high hopes of possibly going thru some outskirts of the Gila National Forest, but that may not even be accessible. Such a beautiful area, what a shame.

We have portable solar now! Yes! Bobby bought a solar kit so we will be able to charge our cell phones, and laptop. The kit even came with a solar lantern! Thanks goes out to my son Josh, for helping point Bobby in the right direction with this too! I had been looking online at solar stuff and hadn't seen anything like what we have now:)
So YEEHAWW! Time is growing nearer and we are becoming more prepared as each day passes.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Howdy Y'all! How it all started......

This blog is about our horseback riding journey from our home here in southwest Mississippi, to New Mexico. How an old married couple, Bobby and Debbie (the blogger here), both being hardheaded and stubborn as the other, came to this and how it progresses (or not) along the way. From the very start with just a thought, come take this journey with us from the preparation to....where~ever we may conclude.
I am new to this blogging stuff, so please bare with me here. WARNING, blog will often contain religious content. Also, if proper use of grammar and punctuation is a must for you, then you just might wann'a avoid reading this blog! We have the wants and needs of our good Lord with us, and I have a tendency write with the same slang I speak in! 
Ok, you've been forewarned.
Now, giddy up and ride along with us on our journey and let's GO! YEEHAWW!!!!
Several weeks ago, (more like about a month ago) I had a couple days off from my job. Thinking I could catch up a few things up around here (laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc., etc.). Instead, I was sick my entire time off. The day I got to really feeling better, I got to thinking. So much has been going on in our lives lately. It's been a non-stop emotional roller coaster the past few years. Family issues, family deaths, the truly awesome event of my niece's oldest son (with CF) receiving a double lung transplant recently and now he is doing beyond awesomely!! Praise the good Lord!!! We have such an amazing God!
I'm not real sure which of the thoughts I had then, that brought me into the idea of us riding our horses from our home here in southwest Mississippi to New Mexico....but it just literally popped into my head!
Yes, and I do mean by horseback, primitive camping along the way, there and back!
I do know why I choose New Mexico, its been the land of my dreams. Every since I lived there as a young child at home and my Dad was a mining prospector there. I learned how to pan for gold when I was 5 yrs old and we were living atop a hill in Gold Dust, New Mexico. Some of my fondest memories are from living there and other places we lived in New Mexico. Including the places in N.M. I have lived at since my childhood days and with my own family.

 I figure we have no certain time to be any where, so we will get there when we get there, and return home when~ever. Get up before day break, tend to the horses and us, heading out at the crack of dawn before the temps rise too high. Then mosey along riding till about 11am'ish then hang out where ever we are. Possibly setting up camp there or maybe in the evening on down a little ways. Taking days off as we need too. Taking care of our riding stock is #1 priority on our journey. Plus, they are our best friends too :)

Bobby came in later that day I was feeling better and I couldn't wait to tell him my idea. Let's take us a journey and ride our horses to New Mexico from here. I can't believe how he stood there in front of me and didn't give me his usual response of "huh?" or "what?" He just said, I'm ready, let's do it. I told him I was being serious. After all we have to eat any ways, the horses have to eat, so lets put the 2 together and really enjoy our life! I expressed to him that at our ages, I'm 57, and he's 69, we need to do what we're gonn'a do NOW! Life's just too short. Again, he said to me, then let's plan on it and just do it! Seriously, I didn't even have to try and convince him!
Can't say what he felt, but it felt to me like a ton of bricks falling off of me right then and there. I just felt free, my life seem to declutter in that decision in more ways than one! Flooding me to the core of my soul with such total calmness as I have never felt before.
As the days ever so slowly go by now, we're like a couple of young'ens, excited and anxious to get out on the trail heading West. We can hardly wait till that day is here, when we load up and ride off into the wild blue yonder! YEEHAWW!!!!!
For Mother's Day, Bobby bought me a matching set of saddle bags and saddle horn bags: :) I'm sure gonn'a be using them.

Our journey friends (proposed) includes; Red, a 6-7 yr old gelded, thoroughbred horse Bobby will be riding. Flicka, (our grandson Daniel named her) a 5 yr old thoroughbred-quarter horse mare that I will be riding. I've recently learned that my horse Flicka is also an x race horse. Jake, our pack mule. Diamond, a 3yr old quarter horse mare, because she doesn't ever want to be left behind. We also think carrying another ride makes some sense. Can't leave behind our Toot-Toot either! She is our 16 yr old yorkie. I have another trick up my sleeve I am going to (maybe) bring with us, if it's at all possible. I just can't say yet.

Time to tell the Kiddo's (grown Kiddo's) I called and told my daughter about our intended journey. She was afraid I had a high fever right then, or maybe my cold medicine was kicking in. She asked that I call her back later. My 3 sons gave me responses from, oh's to the what if's, to ah-huhs. I think my oldest son thought more along the lines of, I have lost my mind. My middle son just told me, oh well, we've never been normal Mom, and our youngest son just listens to what we say.
We told more of the family and friends, the responses have been, Wow, go for it! A few think we've completely lost our minds. Maybe so, so maybe our minds went West? We will soon find out!

So the planning begins! Researching, routes, maps, gear to get, work and prepare the horses, get the horses coggins test, health checks updated and shod. What to bring, and what all not to bring. Cell phone, my laptop, and digital camera are included in the things to bring.
Make preparations at our home place so we can leave it for several months. Turn off electric, phone and internet services while we are away. When do we leave? Oh my! Soooo much to do!!!!!

The 1st major obstacle I had to focus on was crossing the Mississippi River. That's one big mighty river! We tossed several ideas back and forth between us. Finally settling on crossing the bridge in Natchez, MS. into Vidalia, LA. I read a story about one such woman rode her horse over it there in 2009. She and her (2) horses were escorted across. She is known to be the first person to cross that bridge by horseback. Well then, possibly our Jake may be the first mule to cross over it!
I realize I won't be able to solve every possible issue in advance we might could have along the way.  Most will have to be faced head on and figured out along the way. But, isn't that how real life goes anyways?

Having to tell them at my job wasn't an easy task to do at all. I work at a major grocery store chain. Not only leaving from a job in these times, but, I actually like my job, my co-workers, and the customers that come there. I felt teary eyed when I told them I was leaving. It was even harder than I thought it could be. Giving more than a 2 weeks notice and I avoided that word (quitting). I hope I can go back to work there when we return.

One of my friends at work has nicknamed me "Giddy Up" since she heard of our plans. Not that she is at all for what we are doing mind ya, she thinks I need some kind of doctoring! Ha~Ha! Another friend at work has also expressed concerns along this manner also. She keeps asking me if I have re-considered my thoughts lately?  Ha! Gott'a Love my Friends :) I think the others at work are just shocked, speechless, and keeping their thoughts to themselves, Ha~Ha!
I am slowly telling my customers as I see them that my last work day will be on Sunday, June 3rd. I get a lot of gasps of oh-no's, and then I tell them why I am going for now. The responses and questions from them have been in all directions! I will say for the most part they are responses of encouragement!
I'm gonn'a miss everyone, and all will be kept in my prayers and thoughts.

I posted our intended journey on a homesteading forum I've been with for several years now. I asked for any advise, tips, suggestions, anything. I started to get offers from folks on that site inviting us to stop by their place, rest us and our horses, and give us a chance to get to meet our fella homesteader's in person! How AWESOME is THAT!!!!!

Thank-You's goes out each and everyone from the HT forum who has offered. We sincerely appreciate each of you!
Bobby goes and gets hay from Mr. Bond for our horses. Mr. Bond was told about our journey and he gave us a roll of hay to help prepare our horses for the journey! Thank-You so much Mr. Bond! We appreciate Ya :)
Mr. Clark has invited our others horses to come stay at his place and oversee them while we're gone :)
Thank-You Mr. Clark, we truly appreciate this!
A family member contributed a few dollars towards buying stamps to mail out postcards throughout our journey. Thank-You Diane! Appreciated!

Our goal date to leave out is June 6th, or very shortly thereafter.