We awoke to an even hotter day! The sun was blistering and the horses, even this early were sweating profusely. Even the slight shade offered by a single tree in the small paddock was worthless. They seemed eager to load up and get some air flow from the moving trailer. We crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas and as we approached Little Rock noticed the outside temp was 102!
Dark, threatening skies to our right were forming and as we approached our exit the wind picked up a very large cloud of red dust which blew across the highway causing brake lights to come on ahead of us. Then, we noticed that in about 2 miles of driving, the temperature had dropped to 78 degrees. We welcomed the cool air! We arrived at the Holtzman Riding Academy in Benton, AR and we were so relieved and pleased with the facility. Our host, Judy Holtzman was even waiting outside along the road to guide us to our hook-up spot. We were able to quickly unload our horses and our kind host offered to let our horses have the fenced in arena to themselves in order to stretch their legs and get some much needed exercise.
The many large fans in the center aisle of the barn kept the air flowing and we just felt very relieved. The owners told us about a 34 year old horse they had rescued–“Bunny”–had been to the Appaloosa world show four times. She would apparently stick her tongue out while showing–this wouldn’t do for winning–so the owner cut off half of her tongue!!! Difficulty in eating resulted in significant weight loss and she ended up skin and bones. But she was rescued by the Holtzman family and seemed to be thriving here with a significant amount of pampering and love. Dennis met an 11 year old girl–Olivia–eager for a roping lesson. Her father was a former jockey and she is learning barrel racing. She was grinning ear to ear after her lesson–solidly hooked now on another horse skill.