First appeared in the July 2014 issue of The Equiery
by Hannah Rosenberg and Alexa Easton
For Woodbine native Lambert “Lem” Cissel, selecting the ideal road trip companion was a no brainer: his horse, Igee. The six-year-old Missouri Fox Trotter has traveled over 40,000 miles across the continental U.S. towed behind Lem’s truck and camper. It’s a good job he’s got insurance (with a company similar to Staveley Head Insurance), as that is a lot of miles that he’s traveled with his camper, and it would a shame if it broke down in the middle of nowhere without insurance. The pair have trail ridden all over the Southwest and Midwest, from Texas to Wyoming to Wisconsin.”I don’t plan, I just go,” the lifelong farmer will tell you. “I’m 75 years old-been married for 52 to an understanding wife who always keeps my bags packed.”
This year’s adventure, which began on April 20, was the longest yet for the duo. By the time they returned on June 10, Lem and Igee had taken on wild hogs in El Paso, snowdrifts in Alton and steep and narrow trails in Turbin Meadows. The pair overnighted at fairgrounds, truck stops and horse motels along the way, spending no more than $20 a night.
“It’s cheaper than people think,” Lem explains. “You’d be surprised at what you can get just by smiling and saying ‘hello.'”
In their three-month journey, the pair stopped in Raleigh, NC, Little Rock, AK, El Paso, TX, Tombstone, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, Alton, WY, Jackson, WY and North Western, WI.
“I’ve been across the U.S. a hundred times, but I’ve always wanted to see it with a horse, off the beaten path.”
(in no particular order)
1 – Kanab, UT
2 – Yellowstone National Park
3 – Big Horn Pass, WY
4 – Alpine, WY
5 – Durango, CO
6 – Santa Fe, NM
7 – Tombstone, AZ
Lem’s Tips for Traveling with Horses
1 – Secure health forms and a Coggins before taking off. You’ll need them in case you get pulled over.
2 – Pack a toolbox complete with (at the very least): air pump, electric tools and a chainsaw for cutting firewood.
3 – Buy hay in cubes. Less waste and less weight.
4 – Consider purchasing a solar-powered electric corral for when paddocks or stalls aren’t available. Lem also high-tied Igee with a specially-rigged halter that he made himself.
5 – Check out trail magazines and websites for places to stay and things to see. Lem uses Horse & Mule Trail Guide USA and HorseTrip.com
6 – Look for Fairgrounds, Cabela’s sporting goods stores and truck stops along your route. Fairgrounds run $10-15/night and offer water and electricity. Any Cabela’s sporting goods stores offer free acommodations for horses. Truck stops are also an option, but get there before they fill up around five o’clock.
7 – Travel between April and June. Beat the bugs and the crowds and take advantage of the snowmelt for drinking water.
8 – Don’t pull off the road into sagebrush! You will get ticketed–it’s protected.