Waking up the first week of June needing a jacket, I realized quite quickly that it was more than an excellent day to saddle up a horse. With anticipation, as always I eagerly pulled on my ole weathered and trail worn cowgirl boots and jumped in the truck with my best riding buddy. He disappointingly commented that our 8:00am departure was probably not early enough as we discussed what else needed to be accomplished on the way to this much awaited ride.
We made it just in time to saddle up, take in the sites, and visit with our friends. Howard Cole, Carpie, Puddin', Julie, Tommy and Kim and a few more from the Bucksville bunch were there to share company with. The grounds were abuzz with activity. Horses were moving about, nickering to stable mates, prancing, pawing, along with the occasional braying. People were parking, taking photographs, laughing at one another's antics and readying their beastly companions for the event of the day. Every shape and size of equine was present. From ponies, to palominos, paints to spotted saddle horses, Rocky Mountains to Quarter horses, teams of mules down to a single donkey carrying a pack saddle.
There was no way a mind could be prepared for the number of animals present. As the time came to leave the stable topping the hill, Jazzy and I were counted as the number 115th horse present. There was a constant rhythmic beat of the many horseshoes passing down the blacktop. We didn't travel far when we rounded into a farmer's driveway. We gaited with the herd to the top of the driveway. I took in the site of this farmer's pride in his property. Neatly, freshly painted fencing lined the drive ending with a magnificent southern colonial style home at the top of the hill. The proud owners watched from their porch as the huge remuda paraded past. These sites were only just a taste of what I was about to witness. As me and my beloved mare topped the hill it crested and opened to the most breath taking view. My eyes scanned the horizon viewing miles of crops, cattle, other farm houses and barns that sprinkled the country side. Keith looks to me and replies, "beautiful country isn't it baby doll?" "Dad always said this was God's country." His remark touches my heart as well as my soul. This is the stuff memories are made of! I can't help myself, pulling out my trusty ole trail camera and begin snapping feverishly to make this scene a permanent one.
It wasn't too long before we were met by our hosts with pans of BBQed bologna and bottles of water. Now before a judgement is made about eating bologna, everyone should give it a try. That has got to be the best tasting bologna ever made! It tastes even better knowing you are out in the wilderness away from food. We traveled through fields of corn, across cow pastures, through trees on small foot paths, down country dirt roads, up stone roads, covering only a fraction of Richardsville's rich countryside. Because each horse travels at a different speed, the group I was accompanied with was never the same. Our last stop ended in a lush grassy meadow. When I came through the opening of trees it was a picture for the eyes I will never forget. The prairie was peppered with horses and mixed with mules. I again was so awestruck, out came the camera and the snapping commenced. tales were spun, jokes were told, memories recalled and made by all.
Back at the stables as horses were unsaddled and settling down at trailer side, the scent of BBQ mingled in the air. Old country tunes began floating on the breeze to the delight of my ears. Keith and I walked hand in hand toward the smell that tugged at our hunger. We both reiterated what a wonderful day it had become. We piled our plates full of pulled pork, grilled chicken legs, brown beans, green beans, coleslaw, potato salad, cookies, and brownies. If anyone walked away hungry only they were to blame. Keith thoroughly enjoyed going back to the country of his childhood roots, both to reminisce and meet up with folks he hadn't seen in years. As the auction was about to get underway, we decided that we had played hard and these two weary bodies needed to get home for some rest and relaxation. We rode home with satisfied spirits and smiles smeared across our lips. I think it's safe to say that we will be back again next year, Lord willing!
What a great way to end the day! Home sweet home,bonfire, husband, and loyal friend!