Well, the drive yesterday was so much better than going to Kentucky. It was sunny without any major wind or the constant downpours. We could see the road, which was a good thing. We also could see the countryside, and it was so beautiful everywhere we went. We drove through rolling hills of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. Forests and farms lined the roads with beautiful old barns.
Dulce travels so well. He stayed calm after we got on the road. Loading him was a different matter. He was scared, cold, and shaking so hard. He loaded, but he didn’t want to step forward into the trailer enough for us to close the slant. He pawed my leg one time without hurting me before he finally came forward enough to tie him in. I’ve never had a horse shake so hard on me, and I worried for the first part of the trip as to how he would handle everything. We closed all the windows until it hit 40 degrees, and then we cracked a couple of them to give him air. It stayed the perfect temperature, and he hasn’t shook again and never got sweaty.
The first time we stopped to check on him, he would only let me pet his nose lightly. When I jumped into the trailer to check on him, he flinched when I stroked his back. The second time we checked on him, I fed him more hay, because he ate everything down. He let him pet his neck and stroke his back without any turning away from me at all. Third stop, more hay, and he let me kiss his nose, and he watched me everywhere I went. Fourth stop was Chapman, and he ate everything down again.
We didn’t think we were going to make it to Chapman, because of traffic. When we got outside of St. Louis, the traffic to Columbia, MO was all stop and go as the college students headed back to school after a night on the town. From Columbia to Kansas City we were making great time until we hit road construction. The freeway was backed up for miles and miles. It took us an hour to get through this ridiculously, small area of construction. After we got out of Kansas City, Jessica and I became slap happy over everything. The stress eased as we left the final big city behind as we rushed towards Chapman. We were sure we wouldn’t make it to Chapman, but the people at the B&B were so kind telling us we could show up later than their check-in.
Somehow, we still got there at 9:30pm. I have no idea how we did that. Chapman, Kansas is a small farming community off of I-70. The town consists of a few old buildings and a cobblestone street. We drove through a few miles of farm land before we got to Pretty Horses B&B, and I don’t even know how to express how grateful we are to the people that run this place. I don’t know what we would have done without this Kansas oasis.
Julie, the host, was simply wonderful and helpful. She could have left us to do what needed to be done for Dulce, but she stayed and helped out. Dulce was stiff to say the least poor guy, but he was happy to be out and move around. Luckily, the owners had their two horses close by, so he wasn’t alone in a strange place. He drank a lot of water, and immediately began chowing down on more hay. I checked on him several times throughout the night, and there was only one time that he wasn’t eating.
The space at the Pretty Horses B&B is so comfortable; better than any hotel room we’ve stayed at on this trip. We felt like we were at a home away from home. The rooms were so nice, and she made sure we had plenty of food and drinks to help ourselves to. We had the entire bottom floor to ourselves, and it was the first time I relaxed on this trip.
We loaded him up this morning, and it was so much easier. He seems to know that he is with me now, and his gaze follows me as I walk around. He even started to follow me around a bit last night. He is eating away as we drive down I-70 through Kansas towards home.