After an oil change and a check up on the trailer brakes and lights, it was time to go. As I loaded my things into the trailer, a mental movie played in my head about the summer and what Commotion V taught me and what I was able to give to him. There were a number of rides that we took that I did not write a story about. One day we focused simply on crossing bridges, starting with the biggest we could find down to little ones. One day an enormous band of sheep flowed like a single living creature over a hill, coming our way. One day riding out alone a para-sail floated out of the sky above and landed a short way in front of us, and many days where a whole lot of nothing went on. Just lovely scenery, good horses and laughter between friends. Many miles of just quiet riding. Never did I stop 'riding his mind' while we were out there, even if it was after hours of silence and nothing to deal with. I believe that all those quiet hours with nothing happening is what creates a quiet horse. By the end of the summer our brains worked in tandem. It was a beautiful thing.
Many people (like my husband) like to travel like this; they get up at a silly hour in the morning and pull out of the driveway before dark. They drive till dark again, only stopping for bathroom breaks and gas. Not me boy. I'd say my maximum is about six hours on the road. After that I start to turn into a she-devil. This is why David stays home.
Lily, my travel buddy, wouldn't mind if this was our full time gig. I think she is happiest in that big truck. (Lily is my dog, in case you missed that) As the miles roll by below our tires, she smiles at me while I practice my Spanish or sing out loud off key. She sleeps through all my audio books (there is an interesting short book about Sarah Winnemucca called 'The Paiute Princess' by the way. Interesting to listen to while driving through big barren Nevada).
Lucky for me Winnemucca is just about six hours from Sun Valley and the fairgrounds there are delightful. There's a nice big sand arena for the horses to race around and roll and blow out all that travel stress, then plenty of nice open stalls for them to spend the night. I can park my rig right next to them, and they even have a bathroom/shower where I can pay twenty five cents for every eight minutes of hot water. I unfolded my blue camp chair and table right there next to my rig, facing the horses, nibbled down my Winnemucca Pizza while Lily had her dinner. We watched the sun go down while the horses munched their hay and then we climbed into the bed in the gooseneck of the trailer. It's the only time Lily sleeps on the bed with me, and she thinks it's a real treat. The second day was only about four hours to my cousin's house. Rachelle lives up in the mountains above Sacramento. I got there early and we visited on her beautiful patio, drinking wine and catching up on all things. The horses travel well with a schedule like this. Nice easy days rocking down the highway. Always plenty of room and fresh water when we stop. Day three brought us home to Los Alamos, California.
Looking them both over as they raced around the pasture, tossing their heads and snorting, after their thousand mile journey from Sun Valley, I marveled at what a grown up Commotion had become over two or three months of summer. Such a sweet boy. I wanted to keep him for just a little while longer, to ride him through some cattle and to try to fatten him up a bit before giving him back to Sheila. I couldn't wait to show what a grown up he'd become.