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The Long Riders' Guild

In Regards to “Records” 

Genghis Khan (above) said "Let no man violate his word, for if they do, I will bring remorse to the tongues of liars." 

Because The Long Riders’ Guild has now grown to encompass equestrian travellers on six continents, there has occasionally arisen the question of which one of us rode the fastest or the furthest in some country or another.

A glance at The Equestrian Travel Timeline should reveal more than enough “firsts” to satisfy anyone. The names inscribed there cannot speak of all the perils they witnessed, the dangers they survived, and the sacrifices they and their horses made for each other. Yes, a host of clues exist in The Timeline which outline the names of humans and horses who first bonded, then travelled together over great portions of our planet.

Sadly, that is not enough for some people.

They mistake Equestrian Travel for Endurance Racing. They wish to exchange a search for saddle-won wisdom for an obsession with mileage and record breaking.

That is not the case, nor the cause, of The Long Riders’ Guild.

We are about the deceleration of our souls, not the idle boasting of a lightning-flash crossing of a continent. So, though our members have set an assortment of world records during the course of their equestrian travels, we do not encourage anyone to brag about a needless quest for kilometres as a justification for their existence.

We encourage our members instead to undertake a life-changing equestrian journey that explores not only the unknown portions of the world, but their own souls as well.  Equestrian Travel is by definition a denunciation of haste. It cannot be rushed and still be done well.

Further, though we acknowledge the inherent bodily perils involved in equestrian travel to both horse and rider, we in no way condone or sponsor any expedition that knowingly subjects its mounts to needless suffering.  We believe there is a mystic covenant between human and equine which ennobles both species.

Yet with that covenant comes a silent trust placed upon us by our equine companions – if they make us more noble – then we must in turn accord them the love, mercy and forbearance which they cannot ask for themselves.

In the late nineteenth century many people took terrible advantage of horses by undertaking “journeys” of such magnitude that they seem impossible today. One such villain placed a $1,000 bet that he could ride eight hundred miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Independence, Missouri –– in less than eight days. He made it by riding three horses and two mules to death to satisfy his own ego.

The Long Riders’ Guild thus recognizes the following Equestrian Journeys not only for their historical significance, but because they are still inspiring other equestrian travellers to follow in their hoof prints.  And in all these cases, the horses’ welfare was paramount.

wpe19745.gif (51412 bytes) Dmitri Peshkov - Rode 5,500 miles from Albanzinski, Siberia, to St. Petersburg in 1889.
Pocock-3.JPG (459659 bytes) Roger Pocock - Rode 3,600 miles alone from Fort MacLeod, Canada, to Mexico City, along the Outlaw Trail in 1899.  This feat has never been equalled.

"Two-Gun" Nan Aspinwall - was the first woman to ride solo across the United States.  She set off in September 1910, mounted on her thoroughbred, Lady Ellen, and they arrived in New York on July 13th, 1911.

Bud+Temple.JPG (159241 bytes) Bud and Temple Abernathy - Rode 4,500 miles from New York to San Francisco in 62 days in 1911.  They were aged 11 and 7 and travelled without adult supervision. 
George Beck  Square.jpg (1912965 bytes) The Overland Westerners - Rode a total of 20,352 continuous miles in North America, from 1912 to 1915, making this the longest documented ride in the twentieth century.
Aimé Tschiffely - Rode 10,000 miles from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Washington, DC, starting in 1925.
Roberts.jpg (155229 bytes) Sharon Muir Watson and Ken Roberts - Were the first to ride the entire length of the Bicentennial National Trail, a 4,225 mile journey from Cooktown, Queensland, to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, starting in 1990.
David Grant - made the first circumnavigation of the world in a horse-drawn caravan, starting in 1990.
louis&vladimir.jpg (155037 bytes) Louis Brunhke and Vladimir Fissenko - Rode 19,000 miles from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, starting in 1993.
Otto Schwarz rode 48,000 kilometres (30,000 miles) on five continents!
Tim Cope made the first modern journey from Mongolia to Hungary, in the hoof-prints of Genghis Khan, starting in 2004.

If you have conclusive evidence of longer journeys than the ones listed above, then please contact The Long Riders' Guild.  We do not, however, encourage anyone to make or break any "records" of any kind.

"A man of kindness, to his beast is kind,
But brutal actions show a brutal mind:
Remember, He, who made thee, made the brute,
Who gave thee speech and reason, formed him mute;
He can't complain, but God's omniscient eye
Beholds thy cruelty - He hears his cry!
He was designed thy servant, not thy drudge,
But know - that his Creator is thy judge."

- Author unknown.  From The Ladies' Equestrian Guide, 1857.

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