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Long Rider Doc Mishler visits Solvang

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013

By: David Retz (Expired article)

Solvang, CA -

"You do web pages; I ride horses. Do what you're gifted at, then God gives you what you need." Doc Mishler is a "long rider" who travels across the country on horseback. These were his parting words a year ago to this author, who last spotted him on Highway 90, about 40 miles east of Buffalo, Wyoming. This and the area to the east (South Dakota) were used in the filming of the movie "Dances with Wolves" and could be described as "the middle of nowhere." Yesterday he was spotted in front of the Solvang Conference and Visitors Bureau office.

His real mission, however, is to raise money for homeless children through sponsorship of his rides. In a bout with cancer about ten years ago, he decided that he would do what he could do for God, since he considered the rest of his life was a gift.

After surviving cancer, Doc completed a journey on horseback from Choteau, MT to Washington D.C. by way of California, where he brought a message to Congress. "I cannot thrive on earth without continually bringing to the word table of hungry children the gift that God has given me - Therefore, we ride and write for Jesus by the grace of and for the glory of God. Each day is a God-given miracle!"

His arms are outspread as a sign of his faith - one of the signs used by the early Christians, according to Doc.

More information on Doc's latest west-coast ventures can be found at:

A copy of his letter "Can All Children be Fed?" can be downloaded HERE

Here are pictures of Doc's horses: Chief Free Spirit (Daddy); Charity (16 years old on March 20, 2013 - the day of this posting!); and Justice.

Some questions to ask:

What do you do about water "on the road"? There's water in streams or I can fetch water in gallons when we stop. The worst problem is in Florida when it's hot and humid.

Do you have a cellphone? No, I pray. God doesn't have a cellphone and doesn't need one.

What about hay/food for the horses? Many people offer to fetch hay, but the horses are happy with the natural feed at the side of the road. It's grass, oats, hay ... naturally provided. Once someone went and fetched a bale of hale, and horse had some, then continued eating the grass by the side of the road. It's not really a problem except when you get to high altitudes (e.g., Colorado) where you're above the level of vegetation. Then, we have to tote food for the horses.

How fast do you go? Typically 7 mph or slightly more.

Do the police harass you? No, not at all. They are to protect and to serve. They have been really cooperative, even at the onramps to freeways.

Where do you live? I'm a vagabond, and I live wherever we stay for that night. Ever now and then, we get a Motel to clean up. I have friends that let us stay on their property, and sometimes stay in state parks.

Who shoes the horses? I do. I use the Amish-style of shoes.

Here's a picture of Doc having lunch at Taco Loco in Buellton:

Here's a picture of Doc in downtown Solvang:

Here's a picture of Doc and his letter of commitment:

Here's a picture of Doc heading for the next stop, Lompoc (Cebada Canyon):

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