It was pretty awesome…
More than anything, I learned what a truly extraordinary horse will do for you, and that extraordinary horses are the stuff of legends.
I prepared for 3 years before setting off. I bought 2 horses specifically for the trip but I sold one of them 3 months before take off as I realized she wasn’t going to make it.
Rather than taking the time to find a replacement at my remaining horse’s level, I decided to go with just the one.
Roxy is a purebred, registered Morgan mare. She was born in Alberta, Canada, in June 2008.
What Roxy did over the course of 1 year and 1 week, was truly remarkable.
Carrying a load up to 30% of her weight, and never lower than 25%, is well over the recommended limits. But she did it. I rarely rode her up or down steep hills, instead, walking beside her.
We rode 6693 kms (4183 miles) and got truck rides for another 1100 km. A total of 7700 km or 4813 miles.
We ended up averaging 349 miles or 558 km a month for 12 months. Our top average was 435 miles or 696 km in 1 month.
These are high numbers for long distance travel for 1 or 2 horses.
Our trip average including days off was 11.46 miles or 18.33 km per day. We were at over 12 until taking 3 weeks off in Chiapas.
Over 250 days of riding we managed 16.73 miles or 26.77 km per day. The most we traveled in one day was 55 km. The least 3.5 km.
We travelled for 3 weeks in Canada,
6 months and 3 weeks in America, 4 months and 3 weeks in Mexico and 3 weeks in Guatemala.
We travelled thru fields, forests, farmland, mountains, towns, cities and even rivers.
We stayed with incredible people all along the way. People opened up their homes and hearts in unbelievable ways. Undoubtedly without the support of strangers throughout our travels, we wouldn’t have made it.
I learned a massive amount about horses and the different ways people enjoy them.
English, western, barrel racing, cart and buggy, field work, dressage, cross country, field trials, gaited, endurance racing, track racing, retired, rehab, starting, dancing, parades, cow horses, charros, and cargo horses. I saw them all…we stayed with them all.
I used 2 saddles (Big Horn Endurance and Orthoflex Traditional). I used Snugpax and Trailmaster saddle bags.
I went thru 8 sets of Easycare hoof boots, using the glove, back country, epics, grips, originals and edge models. My favorite model for my long ride: the Original.
We went thru many bags of Mad Barn custom horse supplement. This was an amazing life saver for us. We used Hoof Armor on Roxy’s bare hooves.
My phone was a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S5. I bought it a month before leaving on the trip. I had been living off grid in a cabin with no cell or Internet service for 2 years. So I didn’t have a current phone. I did the first 1350 miles or 4 months without a phone plan, just wifi. I finally bought a plan in Bowling Green.
Thru that phone, I got certified as a TEFL English Teacher!
I threw out 3 pairs of totally used underwear, and 3 pairs of socks. To reduce weight, I left many things behind all along the way. I was given many, many gifts, including at least a half dozen horse club shirts in Mexico.
I stayed in my super comfortable Hennessey Hammock countless times, and used my 4 Dog Bushcooker stove to cook. My MSR pocket trail water purifier saved me a couple of times, as well as my Silva Ranger Compass. My first set of boots were Keen insulated hikers, my second set a pair of Chippewa buffalo hide bird boots, that are still going strong. My headlamp was a Fenix HL60r. My backpack and rain gear was Marmot. I had custom saddle pads and ponchos made by Lynn Cheffins.
My memories are countless and with me forever; I will bring them back to life in my upcoming book. I took over 9000 photos, I’m sure about 500 are good enough to use as highlights.
Please be sure to check back on this site in the next few months. You’ll notice a much fuller and streamlined experience.
5000 miles of hope.
More than just a horse adventure.