Sorry it's been awhile. I finally got out there, on the road! We were moving! I crossed bridges, fought epic battles with Bow, spent hours supremely frustrated with him, met wonderful people who helped in so many ways. About a week ago my stomach started feeling numb. This has happened before to me. In Alaska, camping. Not sure what brought it on but it went away in a week or 2. I kept riding on. Bow and I came to bridge. It was a small bridge with a swamp under it next to a cemetery. The cement on the bridge was ridged, bumpy. I think the lines were scaring him. He got up to it and spazzed. He turned to bolt. I caught him and got him back around. I wouldn't let him bolt so he tucked his back legs and started trying to run backwards. I pulled his nose around to do circles and tried again. This time he reared. More circles. I got off and led him over it to show him it was ok. We walked across it over and over. I got back on and he reared again. I'm starting to lose my temper. He is getting more worked up and more dangerous when he tries to bolt or rear. I lunge him in circles across the bridge and back. Cars keep coming and we have to stop and get off. He gets part way across and turns again and runs. I'm not wearing a helmet and we are on pavement. Once he backs towards the edge of the bridge. When he panics he doesn't see anything, he'll hurt us both. More circles. We get so heated and are fighting so much. l'm whipping his butt and doing circles and screaming. Everything I have been taught to do. This lasted for 2 hours. A man stopped and asked if he could help. I said yes, ride him across the bridge. He said if you can't then I can't. Why not just quit. I said I can't quit. We have to get over this. By this time I was exhausted and hyperventilating and Bow was all sweaty. Jensen came to help and was able to ride him across. The numbness started spreading but I kept riding. We had a big thunderstorm day and slept all day listening to the rain. It was beautiful. The little kitty Hank, Chombly, and Stan over on his section of our little 14 ft camper. If you told me I'd be living in a 14ft camper with a dude I'm not making out with and 2 animals who try to play chase in the little space I would have thought you were crazy, but oh how we project...
Anyway. I thought the rest would do me good and I wanted to keep covering miles. Then my hands started to go, and my knee, my foot. We came to more bridges and he does a little rear or a little buck but I can get him across it now, he doesn't want to fight that much again. Progress! When I finally called the Nancy, the founder of the Race to Erase Ms, the charity I'm supporting, she gave me some tips to try like ice and aspirin and a doctors phone number. I called him right away since it was getting hard to hold my reigns and the numbness was down my thighs and up to my nipples. Numb thighs makes it hard to squeeze your horse! And hard to walk to lead him. Also "down there" was numb! seriously, that is not ok! I've heard that MS can mess up your sex life, but I didn't know your coo coo went numb! Damn it! Thankfully it's back now mostly but we really gotta get this handled. Long story, still long, he said to wait the weekend in air conditioning and if it didn't settle down to come to LA because it's probably a new lesion on my spine. I got a motel room and watched the entire new series Maria Bamford did! Oh my god it's so good! It's all about how she deals with being bi-polar. She is sooo insane! I started wondering if I was crazy? How did I convince all these people to help me do something this crazy?! Am I a train wreck? No! hahaha I called Stan to have him bring the kitty to the room. I needed another being in there to sleep on my face and remind me who I was and that the trip was real and I'm not crazy. I'm just numb and overly optimistic. And I really hate air conditioning!
I'm in Los Angeles now. It's hard to type because my hands are asleep. I haven't written because I've been pretty sad. I try to keep it positive, and I will! But I worked so hard putting this trip together for over a year and I have so many people's support and there is no way it's over after 100 miles because my spine decided to quit on me! I've gone back and forth on places I should have chosen instead, I should have done Iceland! It's cooler there and there aren't crazy highways and carloads of gangster thugs that try to spook my horse by swerving and peeling out while we are on a bridge. I should have chose Cuba! It's tiny and they have horse lanes on the highway! I would have been done in 3 months! I chose America because I would be close to hospitals and my Dr. So I guess I was smart a little.
I am not quitting and this is not over. I am going to get 3 days of Solumedrol infusion and rest for a couple more. I have a sweet cowboy friend named Leroy Lane looking for a gaited horse who won't fight me every step of the way. He said if he was a little younger he would just drop everything and come with me. "Oh would we have a time" he said. Also Louis Beasley, an amazing horseman who is watching Bow for me. We'll see if we can find a horse who wants to be on the road. The stress of fighting the whole way is too much. He really doesn't want to be out there. He wants to be with other horses, maybe in an arena running in circles. The cowboys keep trying to get me to quit. It's really sweet. They are worried about me. Yes, I wish I chose a more beautiful route. Maybe a trail like the PCT or the Arizona trail. But every trail has it's own issues. If it isn't semi trucks, gangsters, creepy dudes in trucks on back roads, and a horse that doesn't want to be there, it's going to be rattle snakes, trees blocking trails, dehydration, or snow at high altitudes. No one said this was going to be easy. I didn't think I was going on a christmas vacation. This is work. And growth. This is a mirror to see what's there and what I am made of. And there is no way I am already quitting. But I will rest for a week and get a massage ;)