Coast2Coast for Cancer: Meet the equine team who’ll make the journey

On Friday, Tracy Delp’s five horses and one mule meandered the pasture, going about their business as usual, eating, maintaining pecking order within the herd, pooping, and enjoying some last-minute primping and hoof care. They seemed unaware that Sunday, Mother’s Day, they were to embark on a 5,000-mile trek across the United States, to help raise awareness of cancer (see today’s story in the Kitsap Sun).

But Delp and Dan Shanafelt, who will accompany her on the road, say the animals knew something big was afoot. Delp, who owns a business as an animal interpreter, says she can communicate on a deep level with horses, dogs, cats and other species. From animals, she gets mental images, emotions and even phrases in her mind. So while members of the team may not have gotten every detail, the horses and Rosie the mule were all in on the excitement of starting the journey, Delp and Shanafelt said.

They are eager for adventure and all of them — chosen for this reason — enjoy a day of work.

The horses will walk 20 to 25 miles a day, rotating in and out, three at a time. The resting horses will be trailered forward by a team of family and friends, who also will re-supply the group along the way. Like any athletic team, the horses each bring special talents and attitudes to the game.

See a gallery and learn more about the horses (and Rosie the mule) by clicking here.

Learn about the team’s long ride and follow their progress on the Coast2Coast for Cancer blog.

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