I want to thank everyone I came into contact with during the 5000 miles of hope solo horse ride from Canada to Guatemala.
Even the people I wish I had never met. Because it’s ALL the influences -good, bad, and crazy- that helped shape the outcome of our journey. How I decided to react to people’s input is my choice alone…
First off, I want to thank my Mom and Dad, and my grandparents. Both my father and grandfather taught me how to be organized. Being organized is a very valuable tool to have when on a long ride. Thanks to my mother, her sense of adventure lives strong in me. I live for and love the open road. Thanks Mom.
My brother Greg and his wife Patti are reminders to me of what a happy family should look like. Having gone thru their own tribulations in the last few years, they came out stronger for it, and are now shining bright as an example for others.
Eon D’Ornellas was my bicycle coach when he retired from cycling and I was 15. I was a terrible pupil, but he had faith in me. It took me many many years to realize that to win a race you had to save energy for the end. But I did learn that lesson. Navid is an old old friend from back in university. His joie de vivre and creativity have always been a bright light in my life. He supported my idea from the beginning. August was the friend I could count on when living in the cabin the 2 years before leaving. He helped me out in so many ways. He saw my vision and was down with it. All my friends from back home who cheered me on.
The people I learned from
The doubters. These were the people before, during and after the trip didn’t think it was possible, nor worth it. I thank you for driving me on, and away from you. Because of you I have been reminded that although we live in one world, there are infinite universes upon it.
The bigots, racists and zenophobes I thank for showing me that although they have terrible views towards many people, they had enough decency to help me along the way. They aren’t all bad inside, they are just misguided and afraid.
The close minded bad horse people. They were the best and the worst people at the same time. They helped me beyond belief. They also showed me what happens when you think you know everything and you stop appreciating the learning process. I took that to heart, to try and understand where they are coming from.
The so called friends, who promised lots but absolutely failed to deliver. Thank you for showing me your true colours. Thank you for helping develop my intuition so I don’t have to deal with people like you in the future. Thank you for affirming that words mean nothing. Only actions and patterns do.
The ones who ridicule and still ridicule. You haven’t been able yet to see the value in what I just accomplished. Rather than trying to understand me, you make fun of me and tell me and everyone that I am the crazy guy in love with my horse. Thank you for showing me what a lack of love for animals, combined with laziness of thought can create. I am grateful to know that it is a human weakness to make fun of what you don’t understand.
The stupid picture takers who put my, Roxy’s, their’s and others’ lives in danger for probably half of the days of my journey. It happened primarily in one of the 4 countries I traveled through. Thank you for showing me that many so called intelligent people cannot resist their addiction to entertainment and instant gratification. Thank you for showing me reality.
The people who were good to me
The strangers. These were the people who for no good reason decided to help me along the way. Why you chose to help is one of the mysteries of life. You have helped me keep a tiny bit of faith in humanity. THANK YOU.
My nightly hosts. The good ones, the bad ones, and the ugly ones. Most of you were awesome, all of you were generous enough to open up your homes to me. I have memories forever…YOU made this trip!
Good horse people were the real blessings of my trip. When staying with a good horse person I could relax, knowing everything would be alright. Not all of them understood why I was doing my trip, but they respected the hard work we were putting in, and were proud of how I took care of Roxy, and how she took care of me. Your generosity in time, feed, food, bedding and donations was beyond my imagination. All the cool Cuadra and Club shirts are awesome! THANK YOU!
The Long Riders Guild and Founder CuChullaine O’Reilly deserve a special thanks.
As I wrote about in a post last month, the LRG is the go to resource for information, resources and literature about long distance travel. Thank you CuChullaine for advising, providing such good information, and inducting me into the Guild for successfully completing a long ride of more than 1000 miles.
Tania Millen is a horse lover who does yearly treks into the western Canadian wilderness. We chatted before and during the trip about long distance riding, in particular, foot care. Thank you Tania.
Orion Kraus is an American long rider who rode from Mexico to Costa Rica. He gave me advice way back in 2014, when I was just starting to plan the trip. Thanks Orion also for encouraging me to see the beauty of Mexico and it’s people.
Filipe Leite is a Brazilian long rider who rode first from Alberta to Brazil, then from Brazil to Patagonia. He helped motivate me along the way and I look forward to seeing how his next ride from Alaska to Calgary works out.
The online fans and followers I thank because you made my day, every day. I appreciated the well wishing from afar. It helped me persevere, knowing that our efforts were not on vain.
I reached out to Ashleigh Buck when she was getting her magazine, International Morgan Horse Magazine off the ground. She featured our adventures in 7 editions. What a blessing! Check out her cool magazine! Thanks Ashleigh!
I was interviewed at least a dozen times throughout the trip. Thank you for considering my trip as interesting enough for your publication! I think back with a smile to some of the interview locations, in specific when I was interviewed across the road from Loretta Lynn’s sons ranch near Nashville on New Years Eve. It was a really cold day. During the interview I applied Hoof Armor while answering questions. Bourbon was not brought with the coffee, as per my rider…The newscaster later announced the headline: Canadian fleeing the cold by riding to Guatemala. With a straight face, ha!
The 5000 miles of hope support team
Dr. Mario Camacho helped me with contacts and delivery all thru Mexico. Dr. Taraska. Thanks Terri, great help crossing into and out of the States. Dr. Michael Davison. He came by and gave Roxy some good medicine and vet care when she came down with a virus after staying at a dirty farm in Kentucky. Alejandro Contreras, amazing broker. Can get your horse thru Laredo at a great price. Rosalia Dolores Esquivel is a wonderful women who helped us behind the scenes. She practices an energy modality that helps identify and balance health and vitality. She performed this on Roxy and me, several times during and after the trip. Lienzo mi Lupita in Tuxtla. I stayed at their place as Roxy healed up from her hoof inflammation. Dr. Marcos Garcia of Tuxtla gave the diagnosis 6 days after Roxy was,walking sore. NOT laminitis!!! Uziel from the Lienzo in Tuxtla helped me take care of Roxy when her hooves needed attention. Thanks bro. Dr. Laura Paiz, sister of Fernando Paiz, is a FEI vet. She helped diagnose Roxy’s subclinical laminitis, video video, all the way from UAE. Thanks! Dr. Carlos Orantes boarded a horse at the Lienzo and arranged trailering to the border.
Dr Concho Hernandez from Puebla was a super contact for me all thru Mexico. His advice from afar helped ensure Roxy stayed in the game. THANK YOU. Dr. Jaqueline helped fix Roxy up when I trailered from the Lake to San Andres Itzapa. She actually knew what she was doing. Unlike the 2 vets by the lake. Don Rubelsi, my old friend from An Andres Itzapa, boarded my horse when I first arrived and helped tend to her wound. Dr. Leonardo Montufar is a new friend, manager from SABESA. He’s on the team, because of what’s to come.
Barbara Whites, Amy Durst, Amy Whelan, Christopher Neely, Ashlee Coon, Greg MacLuckie, Stephen Smith, Kentucky dairy farmer, Laura Gould, Indi Miskolczi, Dave Renfrow. You didn’t have to, but you did. THANK YOU.
Carlos, Salvador and Jacinta Mancera. From Rancho Rosa near Pachuca del Soto. They helped out greatly during my stay with them.
When crossing into Guatemala my friend’s bad intel and his border friend’s bad intel cost us and stressed us out. We were in a bind. Betsy, a stranger, came thru when others didn’t. You are an angel.
All the people who bought me a beer, gave me a meal, put me up for the night.
All of you who looked up Maya Pedal on line or donated to them.
All of you who’s name I have forgotten…
Easy care / Easy boot. Great product, great company, great people. Thanks for helping us out, I look forward to using Easy boots for years to come.
Mad Barn supplements for performance horses. They made Roxy a highly concentrated custom mix for hooves, joints and digestion. It really works!
Hoof Armor makes a hoof protection product. I used it on Roxy’s bare hooves.
Amy Wallace Whelan donated a 30 year old Orthoflex Traditional saddle. I brought it back from the dead and now that saddle is almost as famous as Roxy THANKS!!!!
Eli Miller is an Amish saddle builder in Kentucky. He installed a custom ground suspended seat on my new/ old Orthoflex. What a shop, what a man, what work!
Fernando Paiz was there from beginning to end. Whenever I had a horse problem, I could talk to him. THANKS SO MUCH. He also helped with shipping logistics thru the 4 countries.
My web support
Julie Dulong not only gave me a smoking deal on my website, she did a fantastic job. The cool thing about WordPress is that you can get a website professionally made, then when you are ready, you can take over the reins and manage it yourself. Easy Artisan Websites
Finally, I want to thank Roxy for always being who she is. Driven, easy keeping, easy to look at, always willing to giver’. We make a good team. If you can’t keep up with us -too bad, road horses are supposed to WALK fast.