I gave you all a little teaser as to what my past weekend’s activities would hold, and now that the adventure has come and gone I’m exhausted, sun kissed and somehow udderly (pun intended) over the mooooon (yes another) more in love with my pony than I already was. How is that even possible?
Let’s back up a minute and tell I’ll you where I was, why I was there and what I was doing. There is a show on RFD tv called Best of America By Horseback (BOABH). The program travels the country and films trail rides on location. Giving viewers a glimpse of what the trails hold and usually offering some insight into additional attractions or history of the area they are riding in. Over the years the show has gotten quite a following and riders will travel to the locations they are filming at to ride with the show. Once a year the host, Tom Seay, and his wife Pat open their home to the viewers and riders of the show for The Gathering. They live on a beautiful piece property called Andora Farm which is a working cattle ranch. So as guests of the farm we got to drive the cattle, participate in team penning, take trail rides and participate in an obstacle trail challenge.
I’d never done anything with this group before and decided on a whim that this looked like something fun I wanted to be a part of, after a friend forwarded an email about the event. It took me all of about 15 minutes to call and make my reservation. Having no idea what I’d gotten myself into and no one to join me on the trip, I started
begging selling convincing my friends what fun it would be until I finally found one sucker willing participant to come along. We actually signed up for this event last year, but it got rained out so we had to move our reservation up to this year’s event. This trip was almost a year and a half in the making….talk about a build up.
On Thursday we put our horses on the trailer and hauled the six hours to Culpeper, VA. The haul, thankfully, was uneventful and the horses seemed to travel well. We got to the farm and they both settled, ate and drank quickly. The day we left, Hank, my travel companion’s horse threw a shoe. Deciding not to delay our departure we put him on the trailer, hoping we could find a farrier on the other side. The BOABH staff found us a farrier that agreed to come by Friday before the first cattle drive at 2pm. 12:30 pm came and went and no sign of the farrier, 1:30 and the other riders were all saddled up, warming up their horses and ready to go. As 2pm crept closer we were sad as we slowly accepted our fate of missing the cattle drive. We were heart broken…it’s what we came for. But oddly, the group wasn’t leaving. I finally walked up to the trail boss and asked “Are you all waiting on us?” He winked and replied “It’s just slow”. He must have seen the light come on in my eyes when he followed it up with “we don’t like to leave anyone behind.” I could’ve cried. The farrier finally arrived and in the quickest job of shoeing I have ever seen, got Hank fixed up. We saddled at lightning speed and somehow manged to head out with the group.