Special Horses, Wonderful People, Beautiful Drive
Ravishin' Robbie and I set out at seven AM yesterday. I had an appointment to visit Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Santuary for an interview for my Heartbeats column in Trail Blazer. Most of my interviews I do on the phone, but when the stories are about People and Horses Helping Horses and People nearby enough, I like to go visit. I really wanted to meet the horses there too. There is something about a senior horse that really gets me. They have a wholly different kind of spirit, and heart. They've seen a lot, done a lot, endured a lot. And the kindness, understanding and lessons they can share are so special. So touching. I wanted to meet Mike and Chris Smith too, the wonderful folks who devote their lives to giving a loving home to these kind and knowing horses. They are a very kind of special too.
The drive from Appomattox to Spotsylvania VA, mostly up route 15 is a delightful drive. It meanders quietly through good scenery, by many horse and cattle farms, and through several neat little towns. Mrs GPS says it should be a two and a half our drive that always seems to take me nearly four. I've been known to pull over to admire the big beautiful maple tree cloaked magnificently in shimmering red leaves, or oaks decked out in yellow with a hundred foot branch-span.
I'll happily swerve onto the road shoulder to gaze at a beautiful horse. Old barns with dilapidated machinery guarding them are things of beauty to me too, and of course worthy of a pause to soak it in. Black Angus cattle, their coats shimmering in the sunlight can often automatically force my geriatric Tahoe to stop.
Any friend of our Coffee Clutch blog knows almost any bird, from Blue Bird to Carolina Wren can stop me, too. You can ask Kessy that one, but that's a story for another day. So yesterday's Great Blue Heron fishing in a small roadside pond, well that was a no brainer.
We did eventually did arrive at our destination, right on time, right behind our dear friend, Karen Lindely who was meeting us to take the pictures for our story. She does really beautiful work. If you'd like to see some of her things, be sure to "friend" her on Facebook.
We all had a simply marvelous visit. Mike and Chris took us all on a leisurely tour of the property and introduced us to each of the 18 horses living there. Housing for elderly horses is so important, and the paddocks or pastures are large with run-ins so we had nice long walks in the pretty sunshine. They told each horse's story, as much as they knew, and I visited with each one, often doing a bit of my Therapy For Therapy Horses exercises.
|Just hanging out in the sun, and lovin' life|
Robbie took notes of our conversations for my story, and Karen had those shutters snapping. We were having so much fun, it was hard to leave. But eventually we had to.
The story of what they do there to help aged horses, and how Mike and Chris help guide other folks with senior horses will be in the Jan/Feb issue of Trail Blazer. Be sure to watch for it. Chris' motto is from Seabiscuit, "Just because a horse has a few bumps and scrapes doesn't mean you give up on it."
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry