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My first campground stay…but NOT my last! #Fleetwood Family here I come!

Stacy Westfall camping photo

We’re getting a motor home! #Fleetwood

This week I stayed at a campground for the first time…EVER!

My husband grew up visiting campgrounds, my kids have gone to campgrounds with grandma…but not me.

As with most of my life, my camping experience pretty much only happened because of horses. While I haven’t stayed at a campground until this trip, I have spent many nights in a tent at many horse shows. Two of my favorite memories of tent camping are:

  • My mom cooking blueberry muffins on a BBQ grill (she used a second pan to buffer the heat:)
  • waking up in the morning with the ‘ceiling’ of the tent inches from my face…and full of water! It rained all night and the tent wasn’t pulled tight…water built up on the top and sagged it all the way down almost to me…whew, close call!

As fun as those memories are though…I’m a bit more fond of my memory foam mattress these days and I never have been able to match my mom’s cooking:)

This week may have been my first ever stay at a campground…but I am confident that it will not be my last…because I am very close to joining the Fleetwood Family!

Yep, we are getting a motor home! Watch for upcoming photos and in the future some videos…and maybe some even bigger things.

Maybe a 2015 ‘Tour’ around the country? Clinic tour? Appearances? More horse shows? A trip to the Grand Canyon? All of the above?

Stacy Westfall 's first campground stay was in a cabin...but her next will be in a motor home!

Stacy Westfall ‘s first campground stay was in a cabin…but her next will be in a motor home!

Campgrounds may be new to me and this motor home will be an adventure for sure…but one thing hasn’t changed-I’m bringing the horses too!

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Life

 

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Stops with Stacy: traveling with horses; horse motels brought to you by Tekonsha

We frequently travel with our horses to far off places. We have trailered horses from Maine to California, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, several times into Canada to name a few.

To keep both horses and humans safe, on long trips we stop for the night. Recently, I have made several trips between Texas and Ohio. The drive takes about 20 hours which I break into a two day trip.

The nice thing about traveling the same route is that it is possible to become familiar with certain amenities…including the horse motels along the way.

If we are traveling an unfamiliar route and need to find a place to stop we go to www.horsemotel.com. The website features a map that gives an idea of where the stable is located so I can quickly see if there is one on my route.

My favorite feature of the website is the comment area. It is a section of the website where people who have stayed at each horse motel can rate the stay and leave comments. We have been using the site for years and have stayed at dozens of the stops. By reading the descriptions and the comments all have been what was described.

Some places can handle a large number of horses and other might only take two or three. We try to call in advance to let people know we are traveling through the area and to ask if they will have room. There have been time, however, when we have hit bad weather and could not make it to our original horse motel. The original hotel has always been understanding and the new hotel, with as short as one hour for notice, has also been accommodating.

Some offer lodging for the humans also in the form of cabins, apartments or RV hook ups. If they don’t they can give valuable advice as to how far human hotels are and what they recommend; much of this is already listed at horsemotel.com.

Cindy Ruprecht and Circle R Horse Lodge has been my go-to stop between Texas and Ohio. Her place is close to the highway and her stalls are big, sturdy and clean. Like most horse motels Cindy checks the horses health papers and coggins, which I like. Stopping at Cindy’s place already has the feeling of visiting with a friend and I like knowing that she checks on the horses while I am headed to my human hotel and again in the morning before I arrive.

Many of these places could be destination trips. Some have miles of trails or easy access to other horse activities and others can offer invaluable information for things that might occur on the road. For example Cindy has a local horse trailer shop and RV store nearby if you need repairs as well as a feed dealer and tack store.

Traveling with horses is extra work but it is also a great way to get to know other horse people around the country.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Stops with Stacy, Video

 

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Let the travels begin! Horse motels and the weather.

Happy Valentine’s Day and happy moving day!SNOW 1

We officially moved out of our house in Ohio today and our first stop it Texas…but the midwest isn’t done with us yet. We planned on driving 374 miles in six hours (per map quest)….but add snow into it and we managed to drive 181 miles in six and a half hours.

On the up side, we haven’t had a reason to stay at a horse motel this close to (our former) home. We had already arranged a horse motel, thanks to horsemotel.com, but when the travel slowed to a max of 40 mph we began a new search.

We try to schedule ahead but with weather issues that sometimes isn’t a choice. We were happy to find Cuttin’ horse motelUp Stables and Mike and Melinda Gerrish. They were very understanding about the weather…especially considering that we were calling on Valentine’s Day!

Maybe the best part was that Mike was kind enough to offer to help us in the morning if we have trouble loading our horses, lol! Turns out not only does he like to ride cutting horses….he also likes verbally ‘cuttin’ up’….lol

snow 2

Well plowed drive….

snow 3

Horse at entrance, nope, he isn’t frozen…just a statue….

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Life

 

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What should we do with the barn cat when moving?

Horses=Barn=Cat…at least it did for us.

Kids and kittens

Westfall boys and a friend with the barn kittens.

While planning our move, one of the big questions has been; what do we do with the barn cat? What would be best for her?

Do we leave the cat with the house? It is where she was born…where she has always lived…is that what she would want?

Or is taking her with us an option? How often will we move? Will constant moving increase her odds of running away or getting lost?

Or is there someone we would trust? Someone who would want her and care for her…maybe someone who could make her a house cat?

These were the questions we had no solid answers to until today. We kept running through them because nothing felt right…until…

My mom came to visit.cat during layover

And then all of the pieces began to fit together. It started as a joke, mom flying home with a cat, lol, I’ve never seen a cat on an airplane. Can you fly a cat?

Mom called to find out.

Yes, you can fly with a cat as a carry on for $125 as long as they can fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you. But only six pets are allowed per flight and mom’s airline wouldn’t sell a ticket before the day of the flight because she didn’t book it when buying her tickets.

This left us wondering…what happens if you arrive carrying your cat and…there is a cat convention and all the spots are sold? I guess we will be driving around the airport until we know!

But is Maine the best place? Don’t get me wrong, I totally trust my mom, but how will the cat adjust? Would she be happier staying here? One more call to the new home owners gave us the answer; they would allow the cat to stay but they weren’t really cat people.

Our cat is a people cat.

This won’t work. I was soooo glad they were honest, much better than an unhappy cat.

I sounded like an idiot calling my small animal vet, “Um, I know what it is called for horses…do you do health papers for cats to fly? Are they called health papers?”

Yes and yes.

“Someone recommended drugging the cat? Do you recommend that?” Martha Stewart cat carrier

We scheduled an appointment with the vet and went shopping for an airline approved cat carrier (still praying the cat could get a ticket)

Who knew Martha Stewart had the perfect airline sized carrier?

The trip to the vet gave us a test ride in the cat carrier which includes a tether strap…probably for those pesky feline bullets that shoot out when opening the door. Not our cat, she just peeked out.

Now we had a cat carrier, health papers, practice in the carrier, a prescription to relax the cat….but no ticket.

The worst part was probably the drive to the airport this morning and the suspense of wondering if the cat would be allowed to fly. The cat was looking even more calm than normal thanks to half of the little pill the vet had given us. I joked that maybe mom should take the other half, not knowing if the cat would be allowed was haunting her.

But they did. Mom had to take her out of the crate and carry her through the scanner. No problem. All the training the boys had done had paid off.

Today our cat, who had never been further than the vets office from our house, headed to the airport in Ohio, had a layover in Pennsylvania, and arrived safely in Maine.

Mom, or Nene as the boys call her, even thought to take old PJ’s that smell like the boys…which the cat is now sleeping on. Now that’s a cat person!

cat in Maine

The barn cat who flew from Ohio, to PA, to Maine!

Cat in new place sleeping on old PJ's that smell like the boys....

Cat in new place sleeping on old PJ’s that smell like the boys….

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Inspiring, Life

 

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