One woman. One horse. 48 states for Domestic Violence Awareness

Check back often for the latest updates and stories from Meredith and Apollo as they journey 10,000 miles on a four year ride around the USA.

Break the Silence, End the Violence

One in three women, and almost as many men, will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. Whether it’s from a spouse, a family member, or someone else in their life; whether it’s physical, emotional, financial, or other kinds of abuse; whether they are a child, a teen, or an adult.

Even more people - statistically, probably everyone - knows someone who has been a victim.  A friend, a family member, a neighbor, the person who bagged your groceries or sold you a car.  If you don’t know that you know someone who has been in an abusive relationship, it’s because of the silence.

The silence about abuse is a big problem.  It is only natural to not want to talk about what happened to us, as survivors.  There is a huge stigma in our society attached to the word “victim.” Plus, the very essence of abuse is to make the victim feel like it’s their fault, and to not talk about it because of the shame.  There is also a very real risk to victims who speak out, and also to many survivors, that talking about it will cause their abusers to hurt them in retaliation.  All of this aside, it’s a very uncomfortable thing to talk about, and something we survivors would rather just forget.

However, forgetting about it is not possible.  Not talking about it might feel good for ourselves, but it is a disservice to our fellow victims and survivors.  The world needs to know that it is still a problem, to hear about what really happens behind closed doors to break some of the myths about DV.  Women (and men) who are at risk of becoming victims may learn something from our stories that could prevent them going through that.  Women (and men) who are already in an abusive relationship could use our stories to see that there are options, that they are not alone, that there is hope.  

I have shared my story (click here, or select the tag for “domestic violence” on the right hand sidebar).  Nicole has recently shared her stepdaughter Breanna’s tragic story (click here).  

Today I would like to invite you to tell your story, too.  It can be anonymous, with or without a photo, about yourself or someone you’ve lost to violence, a paragraph or a long story.  Whatever you are comfortable sharing, you may share it here.

Talk about whatever aspect of DV you feel is most important.  For example: Why did you stay? How did you leave? What do you wish you’d known, or what would advice would you give someone else who is in an abusive relationship? What advice would you give a young person who is just starting to date? What advice would you give to someone whose family member or friend is in an abusive relationship? What did you learn about yourself, or about relationships in general? What stereotypes or myths about abuse would you like people to know the truth about? Or anything else you think people should know!

Your story matters.  Let’s break the silence! 

To share your story in a guest blog post, please email me at msmeredithcherry (at) 

Breana’s story: the dangers of teen dating violence

Thank you to Nicole for being my guest blogger today! 
Would you like to share your story? Contact me! We all need to make our voices heard.

My name is Nicole Rouhselang, and my step daughter Breana was killed in December by a classmate who got her pregnant. I am now a advocate for domestic violence/ teen domestic violence because of what happened to her.

Teen domestic violence is a hidden crime no one talks about. With our teens, there are so many ways a heathy normal dating relationship can turn into abuse. It can begin with something as simple as a demand that they post their relationship status on social media, or stop doing what they would normally do. 

Parents and friends: look for signs your teen is dressing differently, acting differently, not wanting to spend time with family or friends, or grades failing. The person that is hurting your teen could be someone who is known to be the quiet or weird kid. Even you are not sure it’s something serious, if you see anything unusual call an organization that deals with domestic violence.  If you don’t know of one, call your local police station. 

But whatever you do, speak out! Don’t let Breana’s story become yours!

For great information on teen dating violence, and what you can do about it, visit

Breana with her dad, Dave

Breana and Nicole 

Nicole and Breana 

A Milestone in Michigan!

Yesterday we made it to Michigan - our 24th state.  That means that we’re half way through the states! (More than half way in terms of mileage, months, and hoof boots).

Although we only spent about 24 hours in Michigan, I’m told it is a very nice state. Certainly the tiny bit of it that Apollo and I experienced was very friendly.  I’ll have to come back some day and visit more of it.  I hear the “shore-to-shore ride” is a lot of fun!

On the road again

After a busy winter break (for me) and a restful winter break (for Apollo), we have resumed our ride from where we left off last fall in Indiana.  The first “week” (our week is only four days, typically, before taking a break) on the road was very nice - hopefully the sign of how this whole year will be!

Since I hadn’t sat in a saddle, and Apollo hadn’t done anything except eat and play, since last November, we took the first week slow and easy.  The longest day was 9 miles, and the shortest 6.  Apollo is practically bursting with energy, but even he thought that a 9 mile day was plenty for now.

 I sure missed this view!

Walking along a state highway in northwestern Indiana

The Marshall County Horse Association gave me the warmest of welcomes! Thanks guys 

Apollo enjoys a rest after a nice ride 

Our 2019 route plans

Everyone wants to know... what is the 2019 Centauride route? Well, here is the map.

Apollo and I will be starting in northwest Indiana, and heading towards the east coast. We will first see the Atlantic Ocean in Maine. Then we’ll go south along the coast until the end of October; we may not do this whole map but I sure hope we do!

Keep in mind that this is a very very rough drawing, and even the best map will change as we travel. I may go more or less north, south, east, or west in a state, or detour this way or that.

Do you live along, or in the general region of, our route or know someone who does? Learn how you can help us with a place to stay for a night by clicking here

Living (with it)

Tonight I’m feeling broken. I would say fragile but to be honest broken in more accurate, being past the point of fragility. Or to put it even more accurately, I am feeling my brokenness, as the broken state of me happened many years ago.  Somewhere in the years between the first time I kowtowed to my abuser just to prevent an argument and the first time I blacked out from the severity of the violence, something in me broke.

I didn’t realize that at the time. It would be years before I did.  In fact, it was not until I began my ‘Ride that I was able to more fully understand the extent of my brokenness. “Oh, but this ride must be so therapeutic! Such a healing process!” I have often heard. Perhaps in some ways. A person cannot truly heal from mental and emotional damage unless they understand their own need, or so it seems to me. That, more than anything, is what I have so far gained in terms of healing: understanding. Of myself, what happened to me, what effects it has had.

Yet the fact remains that I still feel broken. Some days more than others, to be sure. I’m not sure that will ever “go away.” I have learned to live with it, to meditate, to pray, to connect to the divine and feel the great universal love. That doesn’t make the pain in my heart go away, but it does allow me some peace and gratitude to provide a counterbalance to the pain.

I am not writing this for pity, comfort, compassion. I don’t really know why I’m writing this post, to be honest, but I do hope that it helps some other survivor realize a few things: it’s okay to feel your feelings. It’s okay to ask for emotional help and support. It’s not necessarily going to get better, but with time and healthy coping practices it can get easier.

Living with that kind of pain is hard, but every time it gets bad I can still remember to be thankful that yes, I am living with it, because I am grateful to be alive. 

Three New Centauride Books Now Available!

Have Horse Will Travel:

A Collection of Short Stories 
from Apollo and Meredith's
Adventures Across America

On a rainy New Year’s Day, I embarked on an adventure unlike any other.  With just the belongings that fit behind my saddle, I mounted my horse Apollo and rode away from everything I knew and loved to explore America by horseback.  

The next four years would bring me to over 10,000 miles of roads and towns that I had never visited before and where I knew nobody.  I would ride through all kinds of weather, in the mountains and across the plains, day after day after day.  I would only reach my goal of riding to all 48 contiguous states by the tenacity to keep going, the kindness of strangers, and a whole lot of luck.

These collections of short stories and regional recipes tells but a small part of the many adventures Apollo and I experienced on our journey.  The following collections are currently available in both paperback and e-book formats by clicking on their respective "buy now" links (doing so will redirect you to Amazon):

The First Part: Pacific

Buy Now

The Second Part: Mountains

Buy Now

The Third Part: Heartland

Buy Now

You’re invited to an online Tupperware party fundraiser!

The Centauride is half way over, but that means that Apollo and I still have thousands of miles - not to mention two years - remaining in our 48 state mission for domestic violence awareness ... and all the travel expenses that go with this undertaking! For the next few weeks, you are invited to help make this possible - and get some nifty Tupperware at the same time!

I am hosting an online Tupperware party through April 28, where 40% of all purchases will go towards the Centauride.  Get yourself some awesome stuff, and forward this to your friends and family so they can shop too! Just follow the link below to be directed to my fundraiser store.  Apollo and I travel cheaply, but our journey is not free! Your purchases will help us with horse and human food, vet and farrier costs, replacing Apollo’s boots and other worn gear, expenses for me to get back to Indiana to resume the ride in May, and other necessary and unavoidable costs.  

Click here to start shopping for a good cause! 

Questions or problems? Email me at msmeredithcherry (at) 

Thank you!

Meredith and Apollo

Apollo’s Alphabet - read Apollo’s first book!

Apollo and I are excited to announce our first collaborative book! Apollo tells his story, and I translate for him (as well as handling the illustrations) in the just released children’s book “Apollo’s Alphabet.”    

It’s available for $14.99 plus shipping on Amazon

For a short time, you can order an autographed copy (signed by me, not by Apollo) $16.99 plus shipping. I am also offering a limited quantity of Apollo finger puppets (hand knitted by me!) with an autographed copy for $24.99 plus shipping. Contact me to order a personalized copy with, or without, a finger puppet!

(Please do not attempt to order a copy by commenting below. I will likely not see it soon or maybe at all.)

Watch my new YouTube channel!

I am excited to announce the launch of my newest social media project - a YouTube channel devoted entirely to the food I try during my travels (and also some good stuff around home during winter break).  The channel is called “Detour for Donuts” - search for it in YouTube or follow this link to see my first video about the exciting breakfast food called a Wamelet.