She has a ballet dancer's body and posture, an open friendly face with an always ready smile, and a gaze that looks right into your center. Her hands are large and competent, her love of life evident in every move she makes.
Her name is Bernice Ende and she calls herself a Lady Long Rider. This long trip she will be on the road for 2 l/2 years and will cover 8000 miles before she returns to her cabin in northwest Montana. Her traveling companions are Essie Pearl, a 13 year old Norwegian Fjord pony and 5 year old Spirit, a Norwegian Fjord Pony/Percheron cross. Their ample bodies, strong feet and steady temperaments make the trip possible. She treats them with utmost care, their comfort before hers, always.
I won't presume to tell her story, please go to her website, endeofthetrail.com if you want to really know who she is and what she does.
She was passing through Geneseo on her way to Rochester to see Susan B. Anthony's home. Cindy P was outside when Bernice and the girls rode by and couldn't let her pass without offering a bit of shade and perhaps a little pasture rest for the horses. It turned into a two day visit and we were lucky enough to have happy hour and dinner with them all on Saturday. Bernice took Cindy's invitation and set up her tent in the back yard next to the girls temporary pasture. She's one cool lady with so many stories to tell.
|all the comforts of home|
|Bernice introducing me to Spirit|
|she covers them with sheets to keep the biting flies away|
|in the background, Cindy's mini horses wonder where these newcomers came from|
|Spirit's dorsal stripe (typical marking on Norwegian Fjord ponies).|
It runs from between her ears all the way down to the tip of her tail
|the girls enjoy a mutual grooming session|
Monday morning we went back down to watch her pack up and load the horses for the next part of her journey. After seeing the Susan B. Anthony House, she'll head east to Seneca Falls and the home of the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Women's Rights National Historic Park. After that she wants to ride along the Atlantic Ocean and will perhaps winter somewhere in Maine. Her return trip will take her the entire length of Canada. She doesn't plan far ahead, she thrives on the unexpected.
|a place for everything - everything in its place|
|Essie Perl has plenty of padding between her and Bernice's saddle|
|Spirit dons her pack saddle|
|Bernice gets ready to lift those big saddle bags and secure them to Spirit's pack saddle|
|a girls got to have a little bling....|
|Bernice, Essie Pearl and Cindy P - Walter looks on|
|out the driveway they go|
|up the hill on Reservoir Road|
|a last minute adjustment for Spirit|
|happy trails Bernice.....I hope we'll cross paths again someday|
I wonder where they are tonight.....