Saturday, October 3, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Buffalo Moon Expedition
Horse Hotels & Rider Rest Stops
Tracey Elliot Reep
Horse & Mule Trails - Information on campsites, trails, across the US etc
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Don't forget to check out Buffalo Moon Expedition These Long Riders' Guild gals are launching their ride on September 5. I look forward to following their blog. I only wish I could hop on one of my horses and really ride along. For now, I guess it's best if I just follow in spirit.
I just want to reinterate that if you have trouble posting a comment it's because I was bombarded with whacko comments from people who don't even know Donna or regret they helped her. How you can regret helping out someone in need is beyond me but I was tired of deleting their nasty comments. I'll try to change the moderation of comments again to make it easier to leave Donna a positive comment. If you leave something nasty, you're just wasting your time. It will be deleted.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I am in awe at the journey Donna has taken both emotionally & physically. I know I wouldn't last a day without a pool & a/c but I suppose if it came to that, I could. I just couldn't do it on such an extended basis. Just ponder for a moment how it would be to take 2 horses and start riding and in six months, have traveled over 1700 miles. I don't like long drives in the car and fly as much as I can when traveling. This journey is just amazing to me.
I'd like to add another amazing lady that is about to start on a journey of her own. If you care to follow her, read up on Long Rider's Guild member at the Buffalo Moon Expedition. Hurry though, she's about to leave on her trip!
Safe rides to all out there! God be with you!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Hello everyone. I have not heard back from Donna in a few days and I do plan to call her soon. I don't want to use up her phone minutes so I put it off as long as I can. I know she'd call me if she needed something. She has so few supporters left and feels very low. People say she has a choice in what she is doing and the horses don't. Well, the horses that are competing in endurance trials and eventing are ridden harder on any one day of their competitions than Donna's horse's. She walks anywhere from 12 to 20 miles a day with many breaks. The horses are doing well and the only health anyone should think of is Donna's. She has lived a hard life and continues on everyday. I have been so sick for the past 3 days and I think what if I were Donna? I'd be hold up under a tree somewhere, still having to tend to my horses, not being able to take a cold bath for my fever and not have easy access to any kind of meds to help my symptoms. That would be hellish. If I were Donna, my husband would not have gone out to take care of the horses last night as I was too dizzy & nauseated to do it. I would have had to crawl to take care of them if I were Donna. Those horses are are domesticated animals that have a level of trust and sense of responsiblity to their rider. Horses are just that way even the ones that seem so distant having had too many owners in their life. Some never get to bond with one human for very long. I know at this point, Tonto has gone through everything with Donna since leaving south Florida and he has a bond and sense of responsiblity as her pack horse.
I will update soon with some encouraging words from or for Donna. I remain one of her scant supporters. Maybe some of you that are following this journey with a positive view can leave a word of support for her. I am sorry to have had to change the way comments can be left. I know sometimes where Donna lands, they show her on the computer (she is NOT computer savvy in any sense of the words) where people have their say about her journey. I did not want this to become so ugly, so I deleted and pondered and edited and it's a little tougher to leave a comment and anything positive will get published. For those that are so negative and have nothing better to do than pass judgement on this little 90 pound lady riding across the country, living a life long dream, just go spew vile somewhere else. Better yet, try a random act of kindness and see if your heart starts to grow in the right direction.
Donna if you're out there reading this.....we love u girl! Little "S" says hi and we both wish we could ride with you. Even though he's 41, Riffy says he could still make it; PI, the one eyed wonder jumper says he could catch u in a couple days if we start now (I do believe he could jump the Mississippi if I ask him to...LOL) and Belle, well she's the show diva that actually wants to retire at the ripe old age of 10. Belle the most likely to make a trip of even half the magnitude, is also the most likely to not make it out of the driveway (unless in a trailer of course!LOL). You rock girl! Hugs n kisses to the horses.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
After much thinking and emails from a few that would like to follow Donna's ride info in one central location, I've republished the blog. Here is the latest news on Donna.
Cross-country trek brings horse woman to Lamar
Posted: 07/10/2009 08:44:01 AM MDT
Donna Byrne passed though Lamar earlier this week on horseback en route to Montana from Florida. Byrne is pictured with her pack horse Tonto Wednesday morning. (Alli Godinez)LAMAR—Going up and down Main Street, Donna Byrne has been seen the last few days riding her horse on the sidewalks with headphones in her ears and a big brown hat on her head blocking the sun.
Byrne currently has two horses. Around town she has been seen riding around on Mouse while back at Country Acres, her pack horse Tonto, who has been with her since day one, waits and rests in the shade. She was here in Lamar seeing if Mouse was the horse for her after tragedy hit and her previous riding horse Jay died.
“He ate something and had a reaction. I tried everything and anything, but nothing could be done to save him,” said Byrne.
Donna started riding on February 4, 2009 when she packed up and left her home Donna Byrne from Arcadia, Florida has been seen around town riding her horse Mouse while her pack horse Tanto waits in the stalls of Country Acres. Donna was riding Mouse to check if he would be a good replacement for Jay, a horse she recently lost in Texas. (Alli Godinez)of Arcadia, Florida with $100 and two horses named Jay and Tanto. Since leaving, Byrne has ridden roughly 1700 miles.
“ I left because I lost my job and my house. Any help anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated and most of what I get goes to my horses,” said Byrne.
While riding Donna has had help from the general public. One man bought her horses new shoes. Another woman grabbed a trailer and gave Byrne and her horses a 200 mile ride to save her from riding though a hot, dry desert. A few have donated money and places for her to stay for the night to keep her from sleeping outside. Johnny Bucznski and the Sunspots even wrote a song, “A Cowgirls Journey”. about Donna and her journey from Arcadia to Amarillo, Texas with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to her.
Byrne's plan as of lately is to ride out west on Highway 50. She eventually wants to end up in Yellowstone in Montana where she has a job waiting for her on a ranch. With no other way to get there, she only has one option and that is to ride her two horses the whole way there. Byrne explains that she couldn't bear to get rid of them and she just wanted to work on a ranch.
Donna says she will be on the road as long as it takes her, but she can't wait to reach the mountains.
“One of my dreams is to ride and get up into the mountains. I'll have to find me a place to camp and my trip might take longer because when I get there I'll be playing and looking around,” said Byrne.
Riding 15-20 miles a day on hot summer roads has taught Donna Byrne a few things. She's gained a sense of respect for old time cowboys and what they had to go through. The trip for her is not easy. She's learned that some places are easy and some are extremely difficult, but with the help of the communities she's passed through, she's able to keep riding.
And for the record, she thought Lamar was pretty and a genuinely good town.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
' I have no contact for Donna anymore and I have doubts as to whether she ever recieved money from the listed PO Box and I am not the trustee for her bank account. The person who is was the trustee for the account no longer wants to be involved since Donna does not seem to be riding to get a job.'
This was written wrong and read wrong. I'm tired of apologizing. For the record or as long as it stands, I was NOT saying that Donna didn't get the money that was sent to the PO box. I was saying that little to no money was ever sent to the PO Box.
As far as saying why the trustee did not want to be involved with Donna, I never said the trustee disliked Donna, I said, what I said which is stated in quotes above.
I just can't seem to please anyone and please don't read emotion into the words on the screen of your computers. This is ridiculous and I'm really so disappointed in the people who have been so mean spirited towards me. You'd think I was the damn Queen or President or something. I'm just a retired old lady with an obscure blog that no one is probably even reading.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
By LINDSAY PETERSON The Tampa Tribune
Published: June 30, 2009
Follow her journey
Photos of the trip
Previous: How the story started
Cowgirl Donna Byrne packed up her two horses, Tonto and Jay, in Arcadia five months ago and took to the road, hoping to make it to Amarillo, Texas, and a new ranch job.
She's less than 80 miles from her destination, but she'll arrive exhausted, beaten down by the long trip and heartsick.
Jay, the horse she was riding, died last week.
Byrne thinks it was the result of eating a poison plant in the town she was passing through, Childress.
"I saw her chewing on something and I jerked her away," she said. Soon after that she began to bleed from the nose, then her tongue swelled up. Byrne called a veterinarian who came out to check on Jay. He gave her medication but couldn't save her.
Byrne later became ill and went to the local hospital emergency room. She thought she was having a heart attack, but the doctor said she was in shock. He medicated her, she said, and when she got out, all she wanted to do was get back on the road.
She bought a new horse, which she knew seemed cold, so soon after Jay's death, but "I had to do something," she said. "I wanted to get out of that town. I just wanted to get the heck away from there."
No one performed a necropsy to figure out what killed Jay, but it could well have been a poison plant, said Terri Gammage, president and founder of a horse rescue operation in Amarillo, Safe Hayven.
"She could have died from eating toxic weeds. We have them here, they're everywhere. She could have died from heat stroke. I do not know. And it's too late to find out now," she said.
But after getting calls from people who have been following Byrne's story, she tracked her down on Monday. She wanted to check on Tonto and the horse that Byrne bought to replace Jay. Byrne is calling the new horse Bitch, because she has a surly attitude.
Gammage found both of them in good shape, she said. "As a cruelty investigator, I would never dream of trying to make a case against her," Gammage said. The horses seemed comfortable. They weren't blowing "or dancing around like they were hurting."
Tonto is lean, but it's what you would expect from a horse that had travelled 1,500 miles.
Byrne, 44, set out from Arcadia in February, riding her horse Jay and using Tonto to carry a tent, clothes and almost everything else she owned.
She had lost her job on a small ranch and decided to head to Texas, hoping to find steady work in Amarillo. Ultimately, she said, she wanted to get to Montana, where she worked several years ago.
Along the way, people began giving her money and places to stay and feeding and putting new shoes on her horses.
Many offered to drive her and her horses to her destination, but she said no. She wanted to keep riding, to prove she had the guts to finish what she started.
Byrne wound up in a hospital in Tallahassee and later in Pineville, La., with a leg infection. After several days on intravenous antibiotics in Pineville, she finally got the infection under control. Then she decided to ride a bull in a rodeo down the road from Pineville; she used to be a professional bull rider. She flew off after 7 seconds and bruised her back.
But none of what she's been through on the road compares with losing Jay, she said on Monday. "People think I killed her. I didn't kill her. I would have killed myself before I killed that horse," she said.
Some bloggers on a Web site set up to follow Byrne's progress have been condemning her for subjecting her horses to such a long trip. But after seeing Byrne's horses and meeting her, Gammage defends her.
"What she is doing is not any way worse than what a lot of people on competitive trail riding and endurance riding do. They do it every day. She's not doing it nearly as hard as competitive riders do," she said.
"Donna has a choice in what she's doing. The horses don't. But as far as I can see right now, the horses are not in danger."
But Byrne is spent. "I'm worn down," she said. "I know cowgirls don't cry, ride, baby, ride. But with Jay's death, it really took a toll on me. I'm just tired."
Reporter Lindsay Peterson can be reached at (813) 259-7834.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Saddled up for travel
Woman is crossing U.S. on horseback
By Hanaba Welch
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
A cowboy’s not really down and out until he sells his saddle.
If the same standard applies to cowgirls, Donna Byrne is doing OK. The Florida cowgirl is homeless and jobless, but she still has her two horses — one to ride and the other to carry her possessions.
Byrne is a phenomenon of the downturn in the American economy — the last domino in the line but knocked down just the same.
“The lady I was working for, she lost her ranch and all her cows,” Byrne said. “I done paid her the rent, but she said I had to get out because the bank was foreclosing.”
With the economy going south, Byrne decided to say goodbye to Arcadia, Fla., and head west.
At first, her destination was just somewhere far beyond the Mississippi where she could find ranch work and a home for herself and her horses. Now it’s Yellowstone or bust.
“I found out I’ve got a job up there,” she said Tuesday as she sat and rested under the canopy at Ole Towne Cotton Gin RV Park at Goodlett while her horses grazed nearby. “They want me to be a cook up there.”
Will she get to keep her horses?
“I ain’t gettin’ rid of ’em,” she said.
So far, both animals are making the long trek just fine. Not that they have any reason to complain — at least not Tonto, a blaze-faced gelding who [Note] that [/NOTE] owes his very life to Byrne. “Tonto was starvin’ to death when I got him,” she said. “The vet did want to put him down. I said let’s give him a chance.”
Now he’s sleek and frisky.
“When he gets an urge, he’ll spin around and start buckin’,” Byrne said.
That’s why he’s the packhorse and Jay, her $100 paint mare, is her ride.
The two horses are cheap transportation across the U.S. But both are getting by nicely on free roadside grass and the kindness of strangers who give them free grazing and hay and sweet feed.
The whole odyssey has put Byrne in the limelight, thanks to news stories and a blog maintained by a friend. Byrne doesn’t mind the attention — not surprising for an ex-rodeo bull rider. In fact, despite doctor’s orders, she entered the bullriding competition at the rodeo in Winnfield, La., a memorable point on her cross-country itinerary.
Byrne didn’t make it till the buzzer, but she did last for 6.7 seconds — not bad, she figures, for someone with not much grip in her holding-on hand.
“I cut this tendon, I cut that tendon, so I’m only holding on with one finger,” she said. Byrne landed flat in the dirt on her once-broken back, but she managed to get up and doff her hat to the stands.
“The whole crowd just stood up,” she said. “It just felt good to get on. I got rid of my frustration.”
Cattle truck driver is also on her resume. She’s seeing places she’s been before, but she’s enjoying the slow pace of her trek. If anybody wants to give her and Jay and Tonto a ride to Yellowstone, it will be harder for her to accept than a bag of feed.
“I’d rather ride it,” she said.
To learn more about Byrne or to help her on her journey, see www.donnabyrnecowgirl.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Here's a short excerpt from the original lyrics .....
A Cowgirls Journey by "Johnny B" Buczynski copyright February 22, 2009
This here's a story it's sad but it's true
It happened to Donna, it could happen to you.
As she's on her journey I'm not going along
But I gave her a gift and that gift is this song
And her story goes like this.
I'm an unemployed cowgirl, my names Donna Byrne
I was going through life, when life took a turn
In the second great depression I lost my Home
Except for two horses, I?m left all alone ......
Let's all support Johnny B and purchase a copy of the Cowgirl's Journey!! The lyrics can also be read from this link.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Sincerely, Jan Mock
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
We've now put together a good network of safe havens for Donna up through most of what's left of her journey out of Florida and several contacts are coming in for Alabama. The farther out we get safe haven contacts the better. She worries about Tonto and Miss Jay being able to relax after their rides everyday. The part of the journey they are now is very rural with lots of farmland so complicated traffic and sidewalks are now behind them. The shoulder of the road they are on is very wide and the riding will be, well, for them easy. Soft sand, lots of shade and they'll be able to track at least 50 to 100 feet parallel to the road easily.
She had amassed quite the crowd passing by HITS at Post Time Show Grounds. Many well wishers came out to meet her and several gave her donations to keep things going. She was shocked and very appreciative! I was so happy that Gail Shrine of Dixie Plantation was able to get a contact in Chiefland who is handling the contacts up through that portion of the trip.
Now I can concentrate on getting this stinkin' DVD edited to publish for ya'll to see. I have lots of video of the horses!
Tonya & Clint Halversrod in Plant City ç==Great blacksmith!
Jan & Dan Mock Ocala
Ellen Powers Padgett , Florida
Jeannie Dickson, Florida
Carl E Langley - Michigan
Tractor Supply of Belleview Rt 484 Belleview Fl
Florida Classic Horse Sales Ocala Fl
Cory Bailey- Blacksmith Ocala Fl
Rick’s Performance Hay & Supply Ocala Fl
Bonnie and Joel Calhoun of Thonotsassa
Frog’s Barbeque Restaurant of Williston Florida
Dale and Dennis Corcoran of Ocala
If I've left someone off it's not intentional and feel free to ad your name in a post or drop a line! Thanx! A million times thanx! Donna is appreciative of everything she recieves. She never asks for anything except yesterday. She requested I bring her a lead rope. LOL!
Monday, February 23, 2009
There is a contact in Dade City managing the deposits. If you send a check (and thank you to all who have) make it payable to Donna Byrne and if you wish you may even endorse the back with FOR DEPOSIT ONLY
Prayers are always welcome at any time!
Debbie & Craig Lentz of Florida
Tonya & ? of Florida
Jan & Dan Mock Ocala - Tailwinds Farm
Ellen Powers Padgett Florida
Jeannie Dickson Florida
Carl E Langley Michigan
Tractor Supply of Belleview Rt 484 Belleview Fl
Florida Classic Horse Sales Ocala Fl
Cory ? Blacksmith Ocala Fl
Rick’s Performance Hay & Supply Ocala Fl
Gail Shrine - Dixie Plantation Horse Shows
I have lots more pictures and videos. Please keep checking in. I have to edit some of the video and I'm not a real good computer geek! I have some great video of Tonto and Miss Jay galavanting in my paddock at liberty! They are doing great!
News Channel 8 photo by PAUL LAMISON