Friday, December 21, 2012 | By: Lynny Prince

Dakota 38 +2 Ride 2012

Today we stared early, with breakfast at city hall. The Dakota Oyate here have really been taking good care of us and feeding us so well!

 The thermometer read zero, so we bundled up for what would be a really cold ride!
After breakfast, we went to round up the horses. There are about 50 horses here right now, and the group, as well as the people joining the ride, are growing everyday. I remember last year, there were many horses and riders that rode into Mankato on the 26th. I can't believe I am here for it early!

Today we only rode 10 miles, and I rode the last 5. My husband Matt has two favorite horses here, Socks and War Dancer, both owned by Chief Arvol Looking Horse. Matt rode Socks the first 5 miles, and then jumped on someone else's horse and gave me Socks. Socks is a big boy, part Percheron, and sitting on him is like sitting on a couch. So comfy! We trotted most of the 5 miles, and there were times when I rode beside the Chief. I was in my own world, however, singing a prayer song with tears streaming down my face the whole way. What an honor it was to be there, riding for the 38 +2 who have come to mean so much to me.

The ride ended much too soon, and we circled up and sang a prayer song before we trailered the horses back to the farm they are staying at.

Tomorrow is an off day, so we will be back out on Sunday. I really am looking forward to riding again. The time that I rode Socks was magical for me. And as I rode beside the Chief and among the people, I had an overwhelming sense of belonging like I have never felt before. This is a ride for healing and reconciliation, and I really felt a healing pass through me as Socks and I trotted through the streets of Redwood Falls. So blessed! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012 | By: Lynny Prince

A December to Remember!

Wow! So much is happening, it is hard to keep up! As promised, here is the run down on the rest of the fall tour:

After West Point, we ventured off to Mankato, Minnesota. In my book, this town is called Mocassin Flats, but whatever it's called, it is the place where the Dakota 38 were hanged 150 years ago. I was honored to be invited to the wacipi (powwow) up there, so we set off north a week after Westpoint.

I was welcomed by Jim and Cindy Engel, and many others who had heard of the book. I was so excited to meet some of the descendants of the 38 while there, along with towns people who had never even heard of the Great Sioux Uprising. I was happy to tell them what I knew, and through that, most of them bought books!

Matt was asked to speak while there, so he led songs and told
stories to the college kids, who also had no clue what the
Dakota went through all those years ago. It is important to know
where we've been, so we can navigate where we are going.

 October promised lots of other cool moments, too.

We soon headed to Texas for Thundering Hooves, and
met some really great people there, too. Neta and Darryl Rhyne are two of the most incredible people I have ever known. Their passion for saving slaughter bound horses is boundless.
 We met horses that were saved from slaughter
and also some great musicians, Micki Free for one, who asked me up on stage to sing with him. I found him to be a great personality, who was as professional as he was personable.

Next was Richmond, KY powwow, where I met lots of amazing people and also surprised Matt with new wedding bands!

We also had a chance to hang out with Arvel Bird, the great Celtic musician who wowed the crowd and helped out with a Happy Birthday song for Matt.

December 1, we were guests at Light the sky with Animals' Angels. It was hosted by Toyahvale, TX. and Neta and Darryl Rhyne, those two incredible people from Thundering Hooves. Again, we were so humbled and honored to take part in that event. Light the Sky is the yearly honoring of all the animals who have suffered and gone over the rainbow bridge to the spirit world.

 We lit thousands of candles to "Light the Sky" of the highway that slaughter bound horses travel everyday on their way to Presidio, TX. Our hope is that the horses will feel the message of love for them as they pass by this place - the last leg of their journey to death. It was a sobering time, and yet so incredible to be a part of it.

We again ran into our friend Micki Free, and had a great visit with many of our other new friends that we met at Thundering Hooves. I am happy to share that I will be part of a tour in the future that raises awareness to the slaughter bound equine and the horrific conditions the horses are subjected to. I have written a song for Animals' Angels that will be released on iTunes soon. More on that later.

This has been an incredible journey, and its not done. To close out 2012, I will be riding in the Dakota 38 ride for healing and reconciliation this year. It's so incredible to be a part of this ride – it's like Scattered Leaves: The Legend of Ghostkiller and the spirits that helped me write it have brought me full circle. I'll begin in Redwood Falls and end in Mankato (Moccasin Flats,) which is the opposite direction that Nina went while looking for Kyle in the book. Just like the book, I will be looking for Matt who is already on the ride – if we go through the portal, don't bother looking for us! Just know we went back in time to change history! 

For more information about the Dakota 38 ride, you can watch the Dakota 38 documentary for free, online. It's an incredible journey of one man's vision to bring unity and healing to the Dakota people.

Stay tuned for pictures and I'll be blogging about the Dakota 38 ride as it happens, right here starting December 20, 2012.

Til next time, I wish you love, peace and frybread grease and a big 'ol Merry Christmas!

Lynny Prince