No-nonsense wisdom — surely the most valuable book a would be equestrian traveller will ever read
I came to read this book as an almost lifelong rider with many years of horse training experience and two long rides completed together with my horse, two ponies and dog. Yet, I have found, there is still so much more knowledge I did not have. My own long rides have been in Europe, one from Germany through France to Spain and another from Wales to Scotland and back — beautiful, almost problem-free rides but with very few of the additional challenges faced by riders travelling through truly wild areas far from human habitation. I may know how to deal with my horses, traffic, and the people in Western Europe but I would really need this book before attempting a ride in unknown territory! Until now, I had mostly ruled out the possibility of a long ride in another part of the world but I am finding myself dreaming and filled with a new sense of wonder and adventure that may well make me set off again as soon as life permits.
Reading The Horse Travel Handbook, I have received answers to questions I would never have even thought of: nobody likes to contemplate the subject but what do you actually do if your horse breaks a leg in the middle of the Andes with no help available? What are the best strategies for dealing with corrupt officials? How do you get horses and luggage across borders? Quicksand? What about other serious dangers? How can you avoid most trouble along the way? What is actually the best type of animal to take you on your journey? Which characters — human or equine — should you avoid? The list seems endless and the answers provided are excellent, free from nonsense and put the animals' welfare before all else.
This is another noteworthy theme throughout the book: Your horse is what the ride depends on. Treat it badly and you will fail. Neglect its food and you will fail. Your horse is your partner whose life and wellbeing you are entrusted with. It does all the hardest work and needs to be treated accordingly.
A beautiful book and an invaluable tool for any future long rider — now I can't wait to get my hands on the three volumes of the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Travel.
English Long Rider Elizabeth Hill Davies made two lengthy trips, the first being from Germany to Spain, then completed a thousand mile journey across Great Britain.