We Just Keep Ridin'
By Jared Hicks • July 15, 2014
Jeremiah Brinkley, the man I met a few days ago in parking lot who has traveled all over 30,000 miles on one horse to fulfill his dream of swimming in the ocean and living life as being a "simple man"
As I sit here tonight I'm trying to find all the right words. I don't claim to be a writer or anywhere near close to that. I'm just a girl with a camera that happened to meet an amazing man a few days ago, and at the time little did I know all of the lessons a stranger at the time could teach me. I was lucky enough to be able to turn those few moments in that parking lot, into a second opportunity to get to know this man yesterday. I had so many questions that even at one point he grinned and said "Sis, are you writing a book?" we both kinda giggled, and I simply told him "No sir, I could never do all your stories justice" I told him about how his story on this page has been viewed many times, and that even Stacy Westfall had personally called me to ask if it was ok to share his story. His response was "Oh really?, Well I hope you said yes" I even told him how people far away from New Zealand, Brazil & Australia have commented or has viewed his story, and his response was "Sis, I don't do this for fame, I'm just a simple man who likes to ride my horse"
We talked about everything yesterday, he told me how it felt when he first finally got to the ocean, and that his Anna Marie was little timid from the size & noise at first be she adjusted, he told me about riding down big interstates and that Anna Marie was usually more calm around those then he was, and he told me that things weren't always this simple.
He use to live a normal life, he worked 18-19 hours a day, owned a house, vehicles, horses, cattle, and farm equipment but then one day, he decided he wasn't happy. He was working long hours to pay for bills when he was never home. He was exhausted.He sold his farm, and everything he owned, and he gave away 15 head of horses to his neighbors that also had 15 children that he had helped train & teach them to ride, and kept one horse. They've been to the mountains, swam in the ocean, rode through the desert, seen the prettiest sunsets/sunrises you can imagine, and found the good in most of mankind. "For the most part everyone I've met, has been kind"
He told me about riding through a big city, he was lost and trying to find his way out.. Can you imagine being horseback in a large city? He said he was so tired that evening but since he was lost he kept traveling, and finally he had arrived to a small grove of trees in that downtown city, and as he looked around he saw prostitution on every corner, gun shots were being fired, and he witnessed several drug deals right in front of his eyes. He was scared. Really scared, but since he was lost and they couldn't go any further that evening he simply prayed right there in that little grove of trees and asked the Lord to keep him and horse safe that night. He said he slept like a baby, and not one person bothered them. He woke up the next morning saddled his horse, put a smile on his face, and said "thank you Lord, I knew that was you" His faith is amazing.He even keeps a little bible with him, and a small piece of paper tucked away in there that says "If anything should ever happen to me, please bury me with rocks & take care of my horse"
I feel the western lifestyle we are blessed to lead is a true example of kindness, respect, faith, and determination. Here is a man that has left it all,lives off the land and the kindness of others. He works odd jobs across the United States for little pay to get to his next destination to see a "Canvas you can not paint" from the back of his horse. "I've had hundreds of dollars in my pocket" he said but " I just wanted it to be simpler & to have fun, and I like riding my horse"
Jeremiah called me for one last time this evening from a borrowed cell phone, and we laughed and giggled about our day yesterday. He said "These boots are really nice, and everything fits Anna Marie perfect" He said he was still in shock as he's never owned that nice of a pair of boots, or equipment and his horse is now ready for the trip to head to the "Other ocean"
As my life begins to start my workweek off and I return back to a normal Monday morning tomorrow I just hope that others will remember to slow down and take the time to get to know the guy in the cowboy hat in the parking lot, to always follow your heart or dreams no matter what others think and simple act of kindness goes a lot further than you think. "Sis, I'll never forget you,I'll be praying for you, and I'll be in touch when I get back into town"
This is a song I wrote for Jeremiah. Even though I wrote it for him, I feel we can all relate to it. We're all just "ridin" to find our way through life.
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