(My favorite part of the trip: stopping at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island)
After 5 days and over 3,000 miles, the two ponies, Pa, and I pulled into the Stanford Red Barn parking lot, my second home and a place I've missed desperately over the past nine months. It feels unbelievably good to be back, and even better to know that the trip went smoothly and the ponies (touch wood) came through just fine: Ringo's leg (which decided to develop scratches T minus 1 day before departure: perfect) never blew up, we didn't crash, the ponies didn't kill each other, and Kiki managed to not slip and fall on her face coming off the trailer ONCE. Phew.
I hadn't realized how stressed I'd been for their safety until we got out of the truck at Stanford, and I literally felt my knees wobbling as the adrenaline washed out of me. The last time we made this trip after all, Kiki fell off the ramp unloading at Stanford and was as a result lame and out of work for the entire fall, and basically ended up coming to California only to sit in a stall for three months until it was time to start the whole long and arduous trip back to Massachusetts over Thanksgiving . D'oh.
The plan for the next few days is to slowly bring them back into work after the six days they've had off in transit. I'm just going to get on them long enough tomorrow to feel how they came through the trip, and then make a plan from there. My dad is around for two more days, so we're going to try to do a little sightseeing as well.
I can't write this post, however, without mentioning how heartsick I am for Andrea and Gogo. Gogo and Ringo were both rehabbing at the same time, and I gathered a lot of strength from Andrea's obvious commitment to horsemanship, and her unceasing quest to do right by her horse. Hugs.