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The Socorro Fairgrounds and Onward Ho to Awesome Arizona

Last week, I described our less-than-stellar first day on the road back to our home in Arizona. We had deer hitting the trailer, keys breaking off in locks, and worries about trailering my wounded gelding. Nevertheless, we did make it to the end of Day One. By Day Two, we managed to arrive at the Socorro Fairgrounds in New Mexico without further challenges.

When I was researching places to stay in New Mexico, I utilized the incredible collective wisdom found on the Road Apple Gang Facebook group. I asked for suggestions around Socorro, and someone suggested the fairgrounds in that very city! Alan and I need to get in the habit of checking fairgrounds options first, as we have thoroughly enjoyed the fairgrounds facilities we have used in the past.

The Socorro fairgrounds facilities

Alan reached out in advance to Steven Mathieu, the man in charge of the Socorro fairgrounds. He assigned us a spot. However, a few days before our arrival, he called to ask if we minded if he moved our location. We didn’t mind… we just wanted a safe place to overnight. When we arrived, we were one of three campers in the entire place! Additionally, the other two were not horse campers, so our equines had the stall area to themselves.

Unlike Day One, we arrived well before sunset. The feature photo shows the Socorro fairgrounds at sundown the night we arrived, and sun up the next morning. It really is a beautiful place.

Not only does this facility offer full hook-ups, but the price is awesome as well. Stalls were $15 per horse. Each site offers sewer, water, and electricity, either 30 or 50 amps, for $20/night. The stalls were sturdy, well maintained, and roomy, at least 16 feet square. At the end of each stall building was a wash rack with many faucets.

It wasn’t hard to imagine what this facility looks like during a horse show or rodeo event. I could easily imagine a dozen horses tied to the rails in the wash rack, getting beautified! It made me fondly remember my days of horse showing when I was a child.

socorro fairgrounds

Alan pointed out that he could see the interstate from our campsite, about 200 yards away. The only thing between us and Interstate 25 was the frontage road. Everything about this facility was awesome. We will definitely be back here again. We liked this route between our two places.

Dinner at a local steakhouse

Because we arrived by late afternoon, we had plenty of time to get the horses settled and go out for a nice dinner. I had lots of food in the trailer, but after the challenges of the previous day, we were ready for some pampering. We decided to head to the Jackson Ranch Steakhouse. Their website bills this restaurant as, “A celebration of the Great American West and The Cowboys who tamed it.”

My grilled shrimp and two glasses of wine went a long way toward improving my mood after a couple of long days. Alan thoroughly enjoyed his steak and loaded baked potato. Definitely check out this place if you stay in Socorro!

On Day three, we finally get home

We were successful in breaking up our trip into three days of 300 miles each. That meant that we had another 300 miles to go on that last day. We never set any records for getting an early start, but we were on the road before 9 AM.

I have driven thousands of miles over the years by myself. In my past life, I used to haul the horses between Kansas and Colorado in one day… 660 miles. I’d be sitting in a truck, versus my trusty Honda. I don’t remember getting stiff and sore. The last time I did that was in 2014, so not decades ago. Have I aged considerably in a mere 8 years?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that my neck and shoulders were killing me by the time we got home to Arizona. Perhaps I was more tightly wound and worried about transporting Kadeen than I thought I was. What I do know is that I was very, very glad to be back in Arizona.

When we arrived, the weather was typical for early December. Not long after our arrival, a cold front came through and we actually had snow! Never before had we seen snow on the Dragoon or Chiricahua Mountains.

The Dragoon Mountains, about 6 miles from our home.
Ousting the mice, getting the horses settled in

I am certain that there were several mouse families sorry to see us return. I hate mice. The presence of four dogs has curtailed their activity.

Sadie is happy to have her 2.5 acres to run around in, but Kadeen has no such privileges. He remains on stall rest at least until our next set of films the end of January. His stall is twice the square footage that he had in Colorado. Their winter coats that were actively stimulated by our cold couple of months in Colorado served them well when the temperature dipped here in Cochise.

No riding for months, so what to do?

We really, really miss riding. For the first couple of months of Kadeen’s confinement, I was reluctant to even ride Sadie, as Kadeen winds up if he can’t see her. I didn’t want him pacing in his little stall in Colorado. Now that we are in Arizona, and some healing has occurred, I am able to work Sadie in an area that he can still see her. She’s not a horse that can sit for months and do well, so… She’s on the docket for the next couple of months.

One of her previous owners had used Clinton Anderson training methods on her. I have his DVDs. I plan to review them and start doing some ground work with her. She’s got an attitude problem about getting soft in the bit. I am hoping that starting with some basic groundwork will help us work together to resolve her resistance issues. Since I will not be reporting on any trail riding for a while, I will try and document my work with Sadie. However, I’d like it to warm up just a bit before I get started! Brrrrr!

The dogs and I have been happy to resume our 4-mile walks in the desert. We skipped the really cold days, opting instead to drive to Tucson and get a Christmas tree. We have a new deck/patio that is nearing completion. It has provided a wonderful place to put our Christmas tree. When it warms up, the window will morph into a sliding glass door… but that will have to wait until spring.

Next week’s post will address when is it time to call your veterinarian? It will post the day after my birthday! My parents bought a freezer with the tax deduction money they recouped when I made my appearance before the end of the year. The freezer lasted 25 years. If only appliances lasted half that long these days…

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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