Monday, 4 July 2016

Pony Express Trail - The Trot Up

March 27th and time to catch my flight back to Chicago, where I stayed overnight with the whirlwind Debbie Oborn at her fabulous new property which she was just in the process of buying when I left in the autumn.  It includes a lovely old weatherboarded house and outdoor and indoor riding arenas.  Debbie sorted out my iphone and organised a lively breakfast party for the following morning to meet up with old and new friends before I set off for Jamesport...
In case you are wondering why I am clutching a book, it is copy of Tom Best's 'The Welsh Pony' which I had just given to Debbie to enlighten her about this wonderful breed of pony.  And of course includes a section on my Cwrtycadno Welsh pony stud as well as several photos of ponies I have bred!
En route to Jamesport I returned to old haunts in Farmington where I stayed once more in my cosy log cabin at River Valley Horse Camp courtesy of Steve and Carolyn Kokjohn.  Here is another example of the unique accommodations they provide - in this case in an old grain silo...

Ann Burns treated me to dinner and breakfast at the Farmington cafĂ© and it was lamost like coming home.
 Next stop was Brian Rigdon's ranch near Memphis, Missouri to look at a couple of horses he had picked out for me.  I had asked him to look out for a quiet horse, preferably American breed, between 14-15hh, sound and bombproof in traffic.  One was very quiet and even laid down on command (!)but was a bit too small.  However I took an immediate liking to the other, a blue roan gelding with nice conformation though a slightly bucked shin.
 In Brian's absence employee Louis demonstrated his paces by galloping up the road dragging another horse behind...
... but I wrote the gelding off when the he looked slightly askance at my car and Louis said he did not think he had been on the main road.  However I was glad when Brian phoned later to assure me that he had been in the Fort Madison rodeo parade and across the Mississippi swing bridge several times, and the deal was done there and then.
He turned out to be called Buttercup, I felt rather incongruously for a dark coloured gelding, and a change of name seemed in order. Patti Gilham and I both individually came up with the name Missouri (Mo for short)  so Missouri it was.
The last stretch to Greenacres Riding Centre where Lady spent the winter with Patti, and it was lovely to see Amish buggies out on the road again...
....the more unusual open topped style in this instance perhaps a little risky in view of the dark clouds looming ahead.

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