|“This doesn’t seem impossible, it doesn’t seem crazy, it just seems normal” to Cera Davidson, who plans to ride over 2,200 miles on horseback to fulfill the dream, inspire others, and raise funds for charities.|
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Arizona - Since childhood, Cera Davidson has had a dream: She's wanted to ride a horse across the country.
Now, at 25, she is about to it. Next month, Davidson will begin her "Ride of Passage," over 2,200 miles, from Arizona to Wisconsin.
But it isn't just an adventure for her. She's made the ride part of a larger cause.
"I just wanted to do the ride, to accomplish my childhood dream," she said. "As I started planning it, I thought, 'Well, that would be kind of selfish, to do it by myself...I can incorporate other organizations and raise awareness for their cause and get some funds for them.'"
With that in mind, what Davidson is calling the first annual Ride of Passage will benefit two charities: the Make a Wish Foundation of Arizona and Chino Valley's TAILS Horse Rescue. Her slogan: Make this life count.
Davidson will take three horses on the ride: Indigo, a horse she's had for 14 years; another originally from the BLM's wild mustang program; and a young adoptee from the TAILS program. She will rotate them, riding one, packing her gear on another and allowing one to walk without a load.
The ride comes with "too many challenges to think about," she said with a laugh.
Horses "are so unpredictable," and she also worries about having enough food and water along in case there's a problem getting to a planned checkpoint. Proper saddling and packing will be vitally important, as will caring for the horses' feet. Davidson plans to have her mounts wear boots, not standard horseshoes.
The route, which is still being firmed up, is not a major hurdle. "It's not too complicated," she said. "Avoiding highways is the main thing."
Logistics are paramount in a ride like this, and Davidson made a practice run of about 160 miles in Wisconsin with no real planning. She was pleased that it went well and it gave her ideas about how to do a longer ride.
Davidson won't be alone. There will be people riding various segments of the journey with her. "They'll join in as I go through the states," she said, noting that riders are signing up now.
As for sleeping, she will stay wherever she can, sometimes camping, other times staying in campers or homes. No matter where she stays, it will always be with an eye on her horses. "If somebody has a stall or a barn, I'll probably stay in the barn with my horses," she said.
This is a long, leisurely trip, one that will take Davidson from April 1 until August or September. "I'll ride a few days, take a break for a few days, ride again - it's just going to be however long it takes," she said.
There are two area events set for the Ride of Passage.
The first is the official kick-off party at Matt's Saloon, 117 S. Montezuma, Wednesday, March 5 at 6 p.m.
The bigger event is a two-day fundraiser at the Yavapai Fairgrounds Event Center, March 8 and 9. Saturday will include a raffle and tack swap, dinner provided by Puerto Vallarta restaurant and music by South of Winslow, an Eagles tribute band. Sunday, there will be a horse-themed silent auction, clinics, and mounted soccer game. Vendor booths are also available.
Call Cera Davidson at 920-277-3838 for more details or, for complete information on the ride, check her website at www.rideofpassage.com.