Not all those who wander are lost – J.R.R. Tolkien
When I was 12 years old my sweet father took my sister and me on an epic six-week trip throughout the Western United States. We visited, camped, and backpacked in many of our country’s most beautiful public lands like Zion, Aspen, Glacier National Park, the Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone. We explored deep box canyons in the desert and camped out under vast star-filled skies.
But throughout that trip I was so homesick, especially for my horse, that I had a hard time enjoying myself. I was a miserable traveling companion to my dad and sister. When we passed horses on the road, I’d yell for him to stop just so I could be in their presence. When he wouldn’t, I’d mope and pout for hours. My poor dad…
These days I do better leaving my horses, although I’ve never left them for that long again. I learned a lot about myself on that trip. And isn’t self-awareness one of the many reasons we travel? I learned early that I’m a die-hard horse lover.
When I travel it’s best if my journey includes horses in some way. I’ve taken horse-related trips to Brazil, Spain, and Portugal. Horses have been my reason for travel all over the United States and Canada too. I’ve seen the hunt gallop through the mist and fall leaves in Virginia while working with a group of Irish Connemara Pony inspectors. I’ve been to Maryland, Texas, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania horse country while on learning or showing excursions as well as extensive travel closer to home in the Northwest and California.
These horse-related travels kept me out of tourist traps and put me into the rural landscapes I love most. I met people from all over the world who I could instantly relate to and appreciate—they were horse people, after all! Horses connect us and lead us into deep friendships.
I love my home, Blue Gate Farm, but the homebound situation of 2020 has me antsy for adventure. I want to explore and ride some new country. I inherited these itchy feet from my father, no doubt. I’m saving my pennies and making plans. Hopefully, I’ll sneak off to another corner of the horse world soon. I hope you do too! [email protected]
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.