Lots of administrative things to do post-ride... like announce a winner for the beautiful print from Mark Terrell and Wild Horses of Nevada Photography!!! Exactly one month after riding into Reno, Ryan and I drew for a winner today. Apologies in advance for the low-budget filming ;)
Congratulations again to Heather Nichols of Reno, Nevada and thank you to everyone who donated during the ride. With the raffle over, I've taken down the donation page on the website. The final tally for donations is $1,530 -- all of which will go the Wild Horse Preservation League to help wild horses. Curious about where those donations came from? Check out this map I whipped together:
It's amazing that we had donations come in from as far away as Louisiana and South Carolina! Receipts are going in the mail this week so keep an eye out for those.
So, what are we up to now? Making appearances around the area! Look for Sage and I at the Wild Horse and Burro Expo on August 2 & 3. We'll be riding after the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard and competing in some trail trials. Fun! And mark your calendar for our ride presentation on August 24 at the Wilbur D. May Museum. Come hear stories from the trail, see new photos, and ask questions! We look forward to seeing everyone there!
Getting in some trail rides around Reno.
It's hard to believe we've been home for nearly one month! Now that I'm back to the real-world, I'm actually dying to hit the trail again!!! I miss the simplicity of just riding every day. Maybe it's time to start planning another long ride?!
Still, it's good to be home and our work for wild horses is far from over. We have several events coming up to promote the ride and our mission. This Sunday, Bella and I will be at ArtPaws in Reno. It's a pet-friendly event dedicated to all-things animal! We're looking forward to seeing all the people and dogs that attend. Sage was certainly the star of the ride, but Bella crossed the state too, and as a rescue-mutt deserves to get some attention! If the mail arrives on time, I'll be selling postcards, mugs, and calendars with images from the ride. If the mail doesn't arrive on time, we'll still be there to say hello to people! Stop by and see us if you're in the Reno area!
August will keep us busy -- Sage and I will be in the opening ceremonies at the Western States Horse and Burro Expo on August 2. Look for us after the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard! We've also entered in a few trail classes just for fun. I also have some talks coming up on the ride, including a public presentation at the Wilbur D. May Museum on August 24. Mark your calendar! It's going to be a fun recap of the ride with new stories and photos. Tickets will be $5.00 at the door. More information is on the homepage of our website.
I'm working on a new page for the website that will recap and review some of the gear we used during the ride. Many people have asked about our bridle, saddle bags, or shoes. As you know, we were lucky to have EasyCare Inc. as a sponsor for the ride. Sage's feet would never have survived the 452 miles were it not for the EasyBoot Epics. I recently wrote a review for the company, which they have published on their blog. You can check it out here: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoofoholic/nevada-discovery-ride.
Next week (July 22) is the big drawing for the Mark Terrell print! Time is running out to get a raffle ticket so send your orders in ASAP! Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We've managed to raise nearly $1,500 for the Wild Horse Preservation League! Today I spent several hours putting together donation receipts and thank you cards. Those will go in the mail after we draw for the print so keep an eye on your mailbox.
Bella immediately fell asleep as we drove home after riding into Reno!
We've been home now for one week, and it's been an interesting transition back to "real life". The first few days I just wanted to sleep and shower and eat. There was also a lot of gear to unpack, as well as the truck - which is incredibly filthy by the way! We came home to a big stack of mail, excited cats and dogs, and family in town. I also had to get back to work fairly quick and so did Ryan. No rest for the weary! One week later and Sage and Bella are adjusting just fine. Sage is happy to be back with all his barn buddies and Bella is happy to be back on the couch. Unfortunately we have had a spell of 100+ degree days so no one is feeling very active. I'm so grateful we missed this heat spell during the ride. But I'm hoping the temps will cool off here soon so we can get back to riding!
You might be wondering what comes next. The ride may be over, but our mission is not. I am busy booking presentations and lectures so that I can share the ride and wild horses with more people. We have several events planned already, which are listed on the homepage. I will continue to update that as we schedule more. I'm excited to continue with the momentum of this amazing adventure. We have thousands of fans on Facebook and just as many following us through this website. I have been inundated with wonderful emails and messages from supporters all over the country who are inspired by the ride and interested in wild horses. My goal was to show people what a great trail horse a wild horse can be and I believe I succeeded. People are very impressed with Sage, who truly was the star of the ride. Not only did he take me across the state through some incredibly challenging terrain and conditions, but he did so calmly and bravely. He also came out of the ride in better shape then when we started! So, look for us out and about sharing our story. I may also parlay our ride adventures and drama into a book... only time will tell!
Donations and raffle ticket orders are still coming in which is fantastic! We're drawing for the Mark Terrell print on July 22 so there is still time to get your order in. Don't forget to make your check out to the "Wild Horse Preservation League." Our goal was to raise $5,000 for the group. Right now we are at around $1,500.
Also, I've uploaded many, many new photos to a Flickr account for the ride. These are photos that Ryan took throughout the month. You can access it here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nevadadiscoveryride/. They are in backwards sequential order, so scroll down to the bottom to start from the beginning of the ride.
Thanks again to all of you for your support during this project. The Nevada Discovery Ride was a three-year labor of love for me and it's a little bittersweet that it is over. But as long as there are still tens of thousands of wild horses still in holding facilities then I'm not finished. Trust me, you haven't seen the last of Sage, Bella, and I! Stay tuned for more :)
The latest updates from Samantha on the Nevada Discovery Ride.