Friday, June 22, 2012

Pony Express: At The Halfway Horse Barn!

All is well on the Pony Express as we have successfully, safely and quite happily made it to our halfway stopover barn and B&B!

We stopped about every three hours throughout the night, each time selecting large "truck stop" facilities with easy access to open fields around them and taking Charlie out of the trailer to give him a lengthy walk. While tending to his every need, the three of us would take turns seeing to our own food, beverage and relief requirements.

Charlie's late-nite snack at a TA Travel Center ought to qualify him as "official spokes-horse" of that establishment, don't you think? He generally ate well throughout the night, and our horsewomen were remarkably thrilled every time he rewarded them with "solid" returns. It was news to me that horses are actually quite sensitive to travel distress, but I was happy to cheer along with them at their delight about Charlie's overall steady, stable health and fitness.

We stopped for an early breakfast in Brazil, Indiana -- home of the Popcorn Festival, by the way -- where Charlie was closely supervised by Sam, and they received numerous double-takes from drivers at the truck stop. I wouldn't say they appeared shocked by the sight of Charlie dining in the field next to their rigs, but we were certainly not a normal sight for them.

This routine continued apace throughout the morning, and by noon we were passing through St. Louis and approaching our destination a few miles west near the town of Wright City, MO. As we pulled into the facility and backed the trailer up to the barn, many of the ranch's permanent residents came from all over the pasture to check out "the new guy." Horses really are curious characters!

The "Rockin' E Ranch" is an excellent facility, and just perfect for all of us. Charlie has a large stall in a tidy barn where he can get some peaceful, well-deserved rest over the 24+ hours before we hit the road again tomorrow evening. The B&B facilities are very comfortable, quiet and cool, with proprietors who couldn't be more welcoming, friendly and non-intrusive. If you ever need a place to stopover with your horse in the area, this one gets the official Macgellan seal of approval!

Sam, Kelsie and I have each taken power naps, the kind after an all-nighter where you wake up completely disoriented and not sure you did yourself a favor by sleeping at all. Slowly but surely we are recovering and reviving, very glad that we will have the same rest break as Charlie.

We're talking about going out for a nice, big, early dinner, quite confident that we will all crash hard almost immediately after.

We will have most of the day here tomorrow, and I will try to post something more before we load up and head on down the road to Fort Collins... Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

If you hear a distant howl across the prairie it's Stella sending you a "Happy Trails" hello.

Unknown said...

Nice thought I like you thought I also tell you something. Standing or tie stalls need to be wide enough for a horse to lie down in comfortably. Depending on the size of the horse they should be at least 4ft to 5ft (1.5m) wide and 8ft (2.4m) long. There is usually a manger for hay at the front of a standing stall, so the width of this should be considered. A pony will need a shorter and narrower standing stall than a larger draft breed.Horse Stables