The Long Riders' Guild

2020 - News

1250 Pages of Equestrian Wisdom now available

When the Guild Website was created in 2001, its goal was to demonstrate that you and your horse can undertake a life-changing equestrian journey of your own. That is why this massive website has always been a commercial-free, open source of information designed for global distribution. It is a gift to the world from the equestrian Argonauts who are Members of The Long Riders' Guild. With the publication of this News update the Guild website has become the largest repository of equestrian travel knowledge in history!

2019 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary since the formation of the Long Riders’ Guild  in 1994. READ MORE…

Virus crisis affects Long Riders world wide

Equestrian travel is one of the victims of the current global epidemic. International border crossings were closed and even internal horse travel was banned. As a result Long Riders have found themselves under house arrest, deported back to their country of origin, or marooned overseas with their horses. This photo shows the stewardess on an Air Uzbek plane that returned two equestrian travelers to France after their ride across Central Asia was cancelled. However previous plagues such as the Antonine Plague of 165, the Justinian Plague in 541, the Bubonic Plague in 1347 and the Third Plague in 1855 failed to stifle humanity’s wanderlust. Long Riders are resilient, patient and determined to swing into the saddle. So though the first part of 2020 has rendered life unrecognizable, history proves that there is a bright dawn coming.

Robin’s Recovery

After 49 days in hospital, during which time he was given a 5% chance of survival, Robin Hanbury-Tenison overcame the Covid 19 virus which had nearly killed him. Part of Robin’s near-miraculous recovery was due to the healing effects of a “secret garden” that had been built on the hospital grounds. To demonstrate his faith in the power of Nature to help heal, Robin decided to raise funds to build another hospital garden. To do so, Robin vowed he would climb Cornwall’s highest peak. The only problem was that Robin was so weak when he left hospital, he couldn’t walk. This article tells the story of a man who wouldn’t be defeated, the woman whose love helped him recover, and their battle to overcome the toughest challenge in their long adventurous life together. READ MORE

Robin Hanbury-Tenison raises the flag on the summit of Cornwall’s highest peak.  Photo courtesy of Cat Vinton @catvinton

Robin’s Rescue

Robin and Louella Hanbury-Tenison are among the original Founding Members of the Long Riders’ Guild. On March 16th 2020 Robin became critically ill due to the coronavirus. He was rushed from the family home in Cornwall, to a hospital in Plymouth, where he was in a coma for a month, was put on a ventilator and, because his kidneys began to fail, had to be put on a dialysis machine. Robin’s condition became so grave that he “spent seven weeks flickering between life and death.” In emails sent to the Guild and family friends, Louella provided a moving account that explains how a team of dedicated doctors and nurses battled to save her husband’s life and thereby brought about a medical miracle. READ MORE...

Indian Travels on Horse to cope with virus

Meghalaya, meaning "abode of clouds," is a state in northeastern India. With an average annual rainfall as high as 470 inches, it is the wettest place on earth. The spread of the Covid 19 virus has added to the troubles of local people. But Westar Tongwah decided the answer to present problems was to revive a traditional mode of transportation. Tongwah, who learned to ride as a child, used to travel extensively from one place to another on his horse; but eventually he stopped riding and adapted to modern transport. The onset of the Covid virus caused him to reassess the reliability and cost of equestrian transport. “Due to a shortage of vehicles in my village and due to huge transportation costs, I decided to use my Koh-mut  (Horse) for travelling to far off places,” he said. “In these hard times, I prefer to ride my horse since I need only grass to feed him, not like cars that cost petrol and other charges.”

Romanian Rides Despite Virus Restrictions

A Romanian man traveled 40 kilometres by horse to attend the birth of his son after public transport was halted in the north-eastern city of Iasi because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sergiu Ion Ciobotariu caught the attention of the police as he rode through the city on horseback. To escape a possible 15-year jail term for breaching travel restrictions, he produced a self-certified form explaining that his journey was essential because his wife had gone into labor. Police accepted his justification but nevertheless gave him a warning for riding a horse within city limits. Ciobotariu explained that there was no other way to reach his wife and newborn baby in the quarantined city as all public transport had come to a halt during lockdown. "I wanted to take the tram but couldn't because of coronavirus restrictions. Then I wanted to go by bike but they wouldn't allow me to cross the bridge to get to the city, so then I took my horse," he said.


Running Like Wildfire – The Equine Virus that Devastated America

This isn’t the first time a deadly virus has threatened the existence of the United States. Imagine an equestrian health disaster that crippled all of America, halted the government in Washington DC, stopped the ships in New York, burned Boston to the ground and forced the cavalry to fight the Apaches on foot.  It was an equine tragedy so deadly that one wave of the infection swept south like a Biblical plague from its origin in Toronto, Canada, down the Atlantic Seaboard to Havana, Cuba, leaving everything in its path in ruins in weeks, while another branch simultaneously raced west to the Pacific. A special LRGAF Study documents how within 90 days the equine health disaster of 1872 affected everything Americans took for granted, everything that ensured their safety, every city, town and village where they lived and left everything in its path under siege. By 1870 there were an estimated 600,000 horses in New York State alone.  Yet when the Epizootic incapacitated 99% of them,  men had to harness themselves to wagons instead.



Thoughts on being a Long Rider

Some children aspire to be doctors, solicitors or politicians when they become adults. Not Cathleen Leonard! Growing up in England, Cathleen harboured a secret dream to explore the planet on horseback. But her desire became rooted in reality when she discovered the Long Riders’ Guild website. “Everything changed when I discovered the Long Riders’ Guild. I was about 14-years-old and was trawling some obscure corner of the internet, looking for evidence that horseback travel was still possible in the 21st century, when I stumbled across the Guild’s website. It was like opening a door to another world! Here were the people who were living my dreams, travelling the world on horseback, proving that it could still be done. I spent years gathering information and reading about their adventures. If it weren't for reading so many of the articles on the Guild in my youth, and being given a tantalising taste of the freedoms of the open road, I can say without the shadow of a doubt that I would never have set off on any of my journeys, and my life would certainly not be what it is today.” An extensive interview reveals details of Cathleen’s journeys, explains how she became a leading equestrian author, and provides valuable advice for anyone aspiring to swing into the saddle and follow her example. READ MORE

Long Rider Artist Tours USA

American Long Rider Katie Cooper is following in the hoof prints of other travelling equestrian artists who painted as their explored the world. READ MORE

Embrace the Change

Because of her many contributions and achievements, in 2019 Lucy Leaf was designated a Living Treasure by the Long Riders’ Guild. In a special message to younger Long Riders, Lucy wrote, We can get lost in dismay, or we can embrace the change.” The American Long Rider’s message is mirrored by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, who said "Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it. READ MORE


The Guild joins Sir Tim Berners-Lee campaign to save the web





Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the English computer scientist best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, has launched a global plan to save the web from political manipulation, fake news, privacy violations and other malign forces that threaten to plunge the world into a “digital dystopia”. The Contract for the Web requires endorsing governments, companies and individuals to make concrete commitments to protect the web from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity. It outlines nine central principles to safeguard the web, including creating rich and relevant content and a commitment to keep the web open to everyone, everywhere. The document has the backing of more than 150 organisations, including the Long Riders’ Guild. The Guild website is one of the oldest websites on the internet and is the repository of the world’s largest collection of equestrian travel information.  It is a "working" website, designed to be educational, not entertaining. Its design is kept deliberately simple to allow readers to easily find specific information. Its use of language is intentionally concise because many of the site's visitors do not read or speak English as their original language. The Guild does not endorse elitism, narcissism, nationalism, competition and commercialism. The website has always been a commercial-free academic source of equestrian travel information. It provides valuable information for free and prohibits advertisements. The website was founded on the belief expressed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, that the World Wide Web was launched as a trusted service designed to benefit humanity.

Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation

Documenting the Neanderthal Horse


The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in France is a cave that contains what is believed to be the world's oldest known representational art. The images are estimated to be between 27,000 and 32,000 years old.

For years the Long Riders’ Guild has been attempting to determine if anyone in Russia studied and documented the history of the Yakut horse. This elusive equestrian evidence has at last been found!

Yakut Horses in Siberia subject of extraordinary new study

The Sakha region of Siberia is home to a breed of horse that may be a direct descendant of the equines that grazed alongside the woolly mammoth. That is only one of the exciting discoveries described in A Study of the Sakha (Yakut) Breed of Horses, written by noted academic Professor Ivanov Revory Vasilievich.
Thanks to the combination of its remote location and severe weather, Yakutia’s horses and equestrian culture are unique. The Yakut believe that animals are another kind of people wearing a different shirt. They treat the animal as their brother, believing that they have ancestors in common. Photos, such as this one by
Egor Makarov, demonstrate how Yakut horses thrive in minus sixty degree weather. What was not previously known to the Western world is that five
distinctive types of Yakut horses have been identified in different geographic locations throughout Siberia and Sakha. Having spent years locating, inspecting and photographing the various types of Yakut horse, Professor Vasilievich has shared his exceptional findings with the world via the Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation, which previously documented Yakut horses in 2004 and 2016.



Yakut Horses Could be Direct Descendants of Ice Age Horse 
Professor Ivanov Revoriy Vasilievich, of the Yakut National Institute of Agriculture, has published a report which states that evidence indicates that the modern Yakut horse is identical in all its skeletal and exterior features to the late Pleistocene horse. Based on a wide range of evidence, Russian academics believe that the Ice Age horse did not become extinct like the mammoth, woolly rhino and other mammals, but became part of the modern fauna of Yakutia cand continues to exist in the form of the modern Yakut horse.

Long Riders Honoured as “Living Treasures”

Long Rider Literary Legend Verne Albright (right) has been designated a Living Treasure by the Long Riders’ Guild. 

Canadian Long Rider Legend Honoured – Bonnie Folkins (right) has been designated a Living Treasure by the Long Riders’ Guild.

The Guild welcomes its New Members

Mouhamad-Ajmal Abdoulvahab and Angela Milli, along with their children Ingis and Iyan, rode across Argentina.
Anna Beck rode from Perth to Esperance, Australia.

Karen Considine rode across Spain, on a route pioneered in 1961 by Historical Long Rider Penelope Chetwode.

Elise and Léopoldine Desprez rode from Tash-Rabat in southern Kyrgyzstan to Tapalovka in eastern Kazakhstan.
Richard Eastwood completed journeys in Wales and across the American Southwest.

Sam Faulkner rode across Argentina.
Stef Gebbie rode solo across the Australian continent, starting at the mouth of the Snowy River on the east coast of Victoria and finished at the Margaret River on the west coast of Western Australia.

Paola Giacomini completed a solo journey through Mongolia, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Italy.

Louis Hall rode across Scotland and England, via John O’Groats to Land’s End.


Linny Kenney rode ocean to ocean across the United States, from California to New Hampshire.
Solveig Schmidt made numerous journeys through the Andes Mountains in Argentina.
Petra Uhlmann rode from the Baltic Sea to the Bavarian Alps.

The Guild welcomes Wagon Master Angela Wood, who completed a 4,500 mile journey through twelve American states.

Welcome to a new ‘Friend of the Guild’

Egor Petrovich Makarov (Егор Петрович Макаров) is a Siberian author, photographer and documentary film maker who has shared his extensive knowledge of Sakha (Yakut) horses with many Long Riders.



Journey Across the Americas Concludes

An eight-year ride that crossed North, Central and South America has been successfully completed. In 2012 Filipe Leite rode 10,000 miles from Canada to Brazil. In 2017 Filipe rode from Brazil to Tierra del Fuego. The third portion of the journey began in Fairbanks, Alaska and concluded in July at Calgary, Canada, where Filipe had begun his journey eight years before. Though he had crossed all the nations from the Arctic Circle to the End of the World, Filipe remarked, “There is no competition. The horse unites us all.”

Long Rider Crosses Germany

Despite the global lockdown, Sabine Keller was able to complete a journey across her nation. Between 2014 and 2017 Sabine made three journeys through Germany, France, Luxemburg, Netherlands and Belgium. Each of those rides was more than one thousand miles. Accompanying Sabine once again were her two trusty Mangalarga Marchador mares, Isis, who has travelled 17,000 kilometres (10,000 miles) and her younger sister, Marenga, who has travelled 13,000 kilometres (8,000 miles).

Living Treasure Carries Guild flag across Brazil

Pedro Luis de Aguiar (right), who at 87 is the oldest Long Rider in the saddle, has departed on a journey that will see him and his companion carry the Guild flag across their country to the Atlantic Ocean. READ MORE

Journey Across All of Argentina

Marcos Villamil has departed on a historic ride that will take him into every province in his native Argentina. Prior to his departure, Marcos was mentored by Long Riders Benjamin Reynal, Agustin Mayer, Stevie Anna Plummer and Filipe Leite, all of whom contributed valuable information about their own journeys in that nation. In a message to the Guild Benjamin wrote, “As you see, the local branch of the Guild is strong and dynamic. Almost none of these relations could have existed without the LRG. I find that to be a very rich part of this worldwide organization.”


From Central Asia to the Scottish Highlands

Pete Breidahl and Luisa Mayr began the journey of a lifetime when they swung into the saddle in August, 2019 and began a trans-continental equestrian journey. They have ridden in Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Georgia. Because of government restrictions they have ridden different horses as they continue to journey westward. Despite visa problems, giant wolves, and the lurking menace of the Covid virus, the duo has pressed on. They are currently in Turkey and hope to enter Europe via Bulgaria early next year.

70 Year Anniversary of Ana Beker’s Journey from Argentina to Canada

A special article recalls the remarkable 25,000 kilometer ride that crossed Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Canadian Long Rider makes Solo Gallop across Gobi Desert

Julie Veloo is the founder of the world’s longest annual charity endurance ride. Despite the global lockdown the determined Long Rider completed a 700 kilometre solo journey across Mongolia so as to raise funds to feed, care for and educate hundreds of the most seriously disadvantaged Mongolian children, and provide training, employment and opportunities for in excess of 110 community members and displaced herdsmen. READ MORE

Long Rider becomes Long Walker on Spiritual Pilgrimage

New Zealand Long Rider Ian Robinson had already made solo journeys across Mongolia, Tibet, Afghanistan and Siberia. When the global pandemic halted any further equestrian travel, Ian decided to make the most of the situation and embark on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. The route, which is one of the few circular shaped pilgrimages in the world, led Ian to 88 Buddhist Temples. Starting in early October, Ian walked 1300 kilometres in eight weeks. Prior to his departure, Ian wrote to the Guild to express his thoughts on the benefits of making such a journey. “My ride across Tibet, which was supposed to be a spiritual journey, taught me one thing; pilgrimages don't bring you enlightenment! But for me that was a valuable lesson to learn. The way to tell if your spiritual development is happening is to check your thoughts. If they are becoming happier and more positive then it is working!”

From Russia’s Pacific to England’s Atlantic - Nikita Gretsi is preparing to make the first “ocean to ocean” equestrian journey across Siberia, Russia and Europe. READ MORE…..

A Ride for Peace Crosses Two Continents

Equestrian travellers set off on journeys for a variety of reasons, including wanderlust, to promote a worthy cause or just to enjoy exploring the world on horseback. Italian Long Rider Paola Giacomini was different. She made a record-making ride to heal an ancient wound that had festered for 777 years between Mongolia and Poland. READ MORE…

Diplomatic journey from Syria to Russia Completed 
Long Rider
Adnan Azzam is no stranger to making equestrian travel history. His previous journeys include rides in North America, North Africa and a trip to Mecca. Yet Adnan’s most recent expedition was a perilous ride that took him 6,000 kilometres (3,700 miles) from Damascus, Syria to Moscow, Russia. He departed with two pure-bred Arabian horses, which he intended to present as gifts to President Putin. But even such an experienced Long Rider had to overcome incredible challenges. Border formalities at Jordan created a delay. Travel through Iraq not only required Adnan to interact with various military officials, his horses had to traverse long dangerous tunnels. Disaster struck in Iran when a large lorry (truck) running at high speed hit the three travellers from the rear. The pack horse was brutally killed but Adnan refused to stop. After reaching Chechnya, Adnan was robbed but rode on. Finally, after ten months in the saddle, Adnan reached Tula, Russia where he presented his stallion, Nayazek El-Sham, to the president of Russia in recognition for that nation's military assistance in the Syrian war. When asked by a reporter why he had undertaken the gruelling journey, Adnan explained, “I have been working for 40 years to develop popular diplomacy in parallel to official diplomacy. We as people, journalists, writers, musicians, farmers and workers have to learn more about each other, develop good relations and stay engaged.”


Observations about America  Long Rider Bernie Harbert’s is a mule man with a mission. First he rode his mule Polly from South Carolina to California. Then he completed an extraordinary journey with a mule-drawn wagon from Canada to Mexico. More recently Bernie completed a mule journey which terminated in Idaho. A keen observer of American life, Bernie told a reporter, “I wish people could see what I saw. The country’s actually incredibly functional on a human-to-human basis. I look at TV news now and I say, ‘Is this the country I just rode through?’ Because, I didn’t see any of what’s being reported!”

How to Ride Articles

How to Ride East to West Across Australia  In 2019 Stef Gebbie rode 4,485 kilometres (2786 miles) across the Australian continent. The solo journey began at the mouth of the Snowy River on the east coast of Victoria and finished at the Margaret River on the west coast of Western Australia. Accompanied by her Arabian, Mr Richard, and her stock horse Micky, the trio travelled for more than seven months (235 days). Upon completing this special report, Stef said, “I hope the information helps to answer all the questions I had prior to setting out, and hopefully inspires others to undertake a bold and audacious long distance horse trek.” Stef’s historic article appears in the Guild’s “How to Ride” collection.

How to Ride in Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan -
French Long Riders Elise and Léopoldine Desprez rode from the Tash-Rabat caravanserai in Kyrgyzstan to Tapalovka in Kazakhstan. At the conclusion of their journey they created an extensive, heavily illustrated “How to Ride” article which contains a treasure trove of valuable information. In the message which accompanied this special report, they wrote, “The achievements made by the various Long Riders are positively tremendous and so inspiring in various ways: their view of the world and the respect they all share towards its people and the animals that accompany them in their journeys; their vision of what it means to be travelling with horses and to be crossing lands at a slow and respectful pace, and so on. We would feel privileged and honored to be part of the Long Riders’ Guild. It would be our pleasure if we can ourselves contribute to the Guild by helping other horse travelers.”

Historical Long Riders

Monument to English Long Rider Inaugurated in London

Thanks to a remarkable act of international diplomacy, financial generosity and emotional loyalty, the people of Sakha (Siberia) provided the funds needed to create a special headstone to mark the previously unmarked grave of Kate Marsden, one of the most celebrated 19th century Long Riders. READ MORE


Long Rider Legend Honoured in Argentina

In the company of his two horses, Mancha and Gato, Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely set off from Argentina in 1924. The purpose of the 10,000 mile journey was to ride from Buenos Aires to Washington DC. What Tschiffely did not suspect was that ahead of him lay a host of adventures, including rope bridges, vampire bats, sand storms, treacherous mountains, quicksand and hostile natives. Tschiffely’s legacy continues today. The Argentinean Congress passed a law in 1999 declaring September 20th of each year as ‘Día Nacional Del Caballo' (National Day of the Horse), as this was the date Aimé arrived in New York in 1928. Every year on this date thousands of Argentine men and women take to the saddle and make rides to local cathedrals so as to remember the Long Rider and his horses. Argentine horseman Pablo Lapasset sent this photo which took place at last year's equestrian celebration.

Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration extensively reviewed

A Profound Contribution to Horses and Humanity - Volume 1, is just the first of the three volumes subtitled A Study of the Geographic and Spiritual Equestrian Journey, based upon the Philosophy of Harmonious Horsemanship.  At 563 pages, small print, its size and scope matches the breadth of its title. As might be expected, this is not for the casual reader. It is massive in size because there is simply nothing like it out there, anytime, anywhere. READ MORE…


Captivating, High Adventure on the Trail- All True - Volume 2, the lengthiest of the set, is pure adventure related to travel on horseback. It describes the challenges Long Riders have faced around the globe. This is where horse and rider meet five-foot long electric eels, attack condors, the stalking lion or a pack of screaming hyenas. This is where you think you’ve heard it all, and the next page brings yet another hair-raising story.  And - it’s all true. READ MORE


Final Volume is the Journey- the Change – Volume 3, this is the wind-down from the high adventure and challenges of Volume 2. It is the thought-provoking part of the journey, the part that feeds the soul. It is not merely a “how-to” volume. The author would say it is, more importantly, a “why to” book. Once again, you fall under the spell of a master story-teller who is also an investigative journalist. The stories and information he has unearthed are astounding. READ MORE






Follow Your Dreams

"The things I could say about this book! The Horse Travel Handbook itself is a journey, from the excitement of planning, dangers of travel, rejoice in overcoming challenges, and overall acknowledgement of mortality. The book doesn't just inform those that wish to practice the ancient art of equestrian travel on the dangers and joys of travel. It has provided myself, and as I can assume others, with motivation to see their plans through. In a fast paced world this book shows that Long Riders, world and century wide, still plan to slow down to find themselves and their trusty mount. Thanks to this book, my journey has already begun". 
Jon Vickers is preparing to undertake an ‘ocean to ocean’ equestrian journey across the USA.

A glimpse into a lost and forgotten world

Khyber Knights is beautifully written and tells a tale so gripping that you will not be able to put the book down. It is filled with information that reveals the lost world where this marvelous story took place. The book is not just gripping but truly inspiring. It is filled with adventure, courage, bravery, romance, history and culture. Nothing short of astonishing and inspiring, I found myself itching to read the next page and as I was getting closer to the end I could feel a sense of sadness. Having read this book it inspired me to find my own adventures and if they come close to the story told in Khyber Knights, I know I will have succeeded.

Nikita Gretsi is preparing to ride from Russia’s Pacific to England’s Atlantic

An Equestrian Travel Classic

Many Long Riders aspire to be authors. Few succeed. And only a handful have written a book that has endured for more than 50 years and influenced three generations to follow in the author’s hoof prints! Filled with the adventures which Verne Albright survived during his historic ride from Peru to California, the new fourth edition is a gripping read that is richly illustrated. READ MORE

A Beautiful Book recalls a Historic Journey

On May 25, 1991, three men departed from São Paulo on an ambitious mission. They were determined to ride the length and breadth of Brazil. Their route would take them down to the southern tip of the country, then up to the northern edge and finally back to where they began the ride. For 775 days the author, Pedro Luis de Aguiar, his brother, Jorge Dias de Aguiar , and their friend José Reis, rode their Manga Larga Marchador stallions through every type of challenge Brazil could throw at them. Based on Pedro’s diaries, Marcha Brazil 14 Mil contains a treasure trove of stunning colour photographs, brightly coloured illustrations of Brazil’s fauna and flora, and engaging maps depicting the route. The result is the most visually beautiful Long Rider book ever created.

Long Ride to the End of the World

After riding 16,000 kilometers from Canada through ten countries to his home in Brazil, the Long Rider, Filipe Masetti Leite’s life fell apart. So, what does he do? Saddle up and ride on, of course. In this second volume in his Journey America trilogy, Filipe shares his fifteen-month adventure riding six horses from Barretos, Brazil, across three more countries, through windswept deserts, frozen mountains, and a scorched Patagonian landscape to Tierra del Fuego, the Land of Fire.

Riding in the Hoof Prints of History

In 1961 the intrepid Penelope Chetwode borrowed a mare and set off on an adventure into the remote backlands of Spain. Her subsequent book Two Middle-Aged Ladies in Andalusia was given to Karen Considine for her 15th Birthday. For 52 years Karen held onto the dream of retracing Penelope’s hoof prints. In 2019 Karen rallied her courage, saddled her horse, swung into the saddle and set off in search of her Long Rider heroine. Penelope’s Route is an account of Karen’s journey across the same trails, mountains, plains and villages some sixty years later. In essence it’s an account of adventure on horseback; but it also examines the historical evolution of Spain’s rural communities. On her travels Karen met some of the same people as Penelope, who remembered the British lady’s unique character and unusual expedition, but had no idea Penelope had immortalised them in writing.

Marco Polo would have endorsed this book

And the Venetian would have understood what motivated Karla (Edmunds) Christenson to set off in 1973 on an equestrian journey into the unknown. Marco was seventeen years old when he departed from his home in Venice in 1271. Karla wasn’t much older when she swung into the saddle 702 years later. Though separated by centuries, the Italian and American Long Riders had much in common. Though inspired to explore the world on horseback, sceptical stay-at-homes warned Marco and Karla that they would be slain by murderous Mongols or American criminals. They weren’t. Karla’s book explains how a young woman from Maine followed the compass in her heart and rode towards the distant horizon of Montana.

An Uplifting Book in a time of Anxiety

Back in 1982, before cell phones and GPS, 23-year-old Missy Priblo rode ocean to ocean across the United States. Her mounted journey from New York to California made her a curiosity to people and the press.  Now 38 years later Melissa “Missy” Priblo Chapman has written a memoir of her 2,000-mile ride telling of the months on the road and the people she encountered along the way.

Rare Words of Wisdom

At the first international meeting of Long Riders, DC Vision, who had ridden 14,000 miles across the United States, famously said, “They either get it in the first ten miles or they never get it at all.” The “IT” DC was referring to was the deep spiritual awakening which a handful of Long Riders achieve during their journey. It has nothing to do with mileage, as proved by the clueless braggarts who are obsessed with proving their validity by the number of miles rolling over on the odometer placed in the pommel of their saddle horns. It has nothing to do with enduring the dangers, delays and hardships that have always made equestrian travel extremely hazardous. No, what DC was referring to was the phenomenon described in the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration as “the long quiet,” that rare state of emotional grace which has been described as the Holy Grail of equestrian travel. In search of neither praise nor profit, Lisa Stewart’s beautifully written book recounts how her horse, Chief, took the Long Rider across a country and deep into her own soul.

Time marches on but the challenges remain the same

It was November, 2013 when Jesse McNeil rode his horse, Pepper, up to the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. The duo had started at the Pacific Ocean in Oregon and then travelled for eight months through 14 states.  Written with honesty, grit, and grace, On the Hoof captures an arduous voyage that broke a man down and built him back up, with the help of one special horse.

Fiddler on the Hoof is an engaging book written by one of the finest new equestrian travel authors. In the summer of 2018 fiddle player and Long Rider Cathleen Leonard embarked on her second equestrian journey. This time Cathleen was accompanied by Romanian Long Rider Vlad Coman. They set off from Cornwall, travelled through the South West of England and across South Wales, then crossed the sea to Ireland where they rode the length of that country. Cathleen’s book details the realities of horseback travel in a hectic modern world no longer sympathetic to this historic mode of transport. Relying on the help of hospitable strangers, this heart-warming tale provides an honest and reassuring account of the better side of human nature, highlights the beautiful bonds developed over hundreds of miles between horses and humans, and is interwoven with the music, folklore, myths, and history of Ireland. Cathleen and Vlad are now in Portugal with all their equines preparing to begin another long journey when travel restrictions are lifted. This time they will be riding 3,000 miles across nine European countries to Romania.

An Overdue and Accurate Guide

Author Bill Tate has done the public a special service by compiling a badly-needed guidebook for one of Great Britain’s most popular places to travel on horseback. Though many bridleways shown on the map may appear appealing, the reality can be a steep rocky gully, a treacherous bog or a locked gate. The author spent years researching and recording the bridleways in this beautiful part of the UK. The result is a handy sized reference guide that will fit into a saddlebag and provide confidence to riders who wish to explore the famous dales and moors of Yorkshire.

The Enchanting Tale of a Duke and a Dog that changed Lithuania’s History

Written by Gintaras Kaltenis, the country’s most renowned Long Rider author, this charming book tells the tale of the Duke Alšis and the extraordinary dog who helped reignite a nation‘s equestrian heritage. Once Lithuania’s independence from the Soviet Union had been assured, the country’s riders began to revive their ancient equestrian culture. Not only were traditions rejuvenated, a series of remarkable journeys were taken on the country’s famous Žemaitukai horses. In 2011 a team of Lithuanians decided to launch the country’s Riding Renaissance by making a 2,000 kilometre equestrian journey from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The ride was dedicated to the memory of Lithuania’s national hero, King Vytautas the Great. Accompanying them was Alšis, the lovable but homeless canine vagabond whose endearing journey took him from Belarus to the Lithuanian Prime Minister‘s chair. This book is an extraordinary adventure about the true-life values of friendship, devotion, perseverance and possibly even reincarnation.

Have Donkey, Will Travel

Some things never change! When Eve Brackenbury announced in 1923 that she planned to travel across Scotland and England in the company of her donkey, Hotep, sceptics howled that the young woman would be murdered or die on the moors. But as Eve’s granddaughter, author Gill Brackenbury, describes, the “post-WWI Bohemian” overcame every challenge with courage and curiosity. The book describes how the intrepid Eve and the protective Hotep endured atrocious weather, crossed the dangerous moors and fended off unnerving attention when a group of men suddenly put Eve at risk.


Long Rider Saddle now available Worldwide

The Guild regrets to report that Aimé Mohammad, the renowned French saddle maker whose saddles were used by Long Riders for decades, has retired due to ill health. However the spirit of Aimé Mohammad’s famous Randonee saddle lives on thanks to a French company. Decathlon is offering the Escape saddle, which is made of tough buffalo hide, has a padded seat for comfort, is equipped with nickel plated D rings which allow saddle and pommel bags to be securely fastened and has special safety stirrups which prevent the rider from being dragged. The saddle, which weighs 11 kilos (25 pounds), sells for an affordable 400€ ($450). With 1647 stores in 69 countries, this special saddle can be obtained worldwide.

Shadows and Ears

The Guild’s unique collection of equestrian travel images now spans more than 100 years of Long Rider history – from the equine’s point of view. This photo shows Stef Gebbie’s horse, Micky, during their 4,485 kilometres (2,786 miles) ride east to west across the Australian Continent.

Lost Heroes

It saddens us to report the loss of two of the Guild’s mounted heroes

Long Rider Charity Champion Passes Away

The Guild regrets to report the death of Jakki Cunningham, who founded the renowned Caravan of Hope, which travelled with Camargue horses from France to England. Like many Long Riders who rode before her, Jakki Cunningham swung into the saddle to champion a noble cause. She was the Founder of the Sète-Lorient-London, a unique equestrian charity which used two horse drawn wagons as support vehicles, while Jakki led a team of young people who were mounted on Camargue horses. At the end of a journey from the south of France to London, which involved countless overnight stops, the horses were donated to Riding for the Disabled centres. One example of the organisations helped by SLL is the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre in West London, run by Sister Mary Joy Langdon. Jakki’s slogan, “Horses and people unite for the cause of children with disabilities” became famous on both sides of the English Channel. Three of her young companions, Luke Tucker, Bethany Jameson and Chris Bradbury, became Members of the Guild. An illustrated biography recounts Jakki’s remarkable career as an equestrian ambassador. Wise, generous and friendly, one friend described Jakki as, “An amazing lady, who had a dream and made it happen. Jakki adored the horses, enriched the lives of many young people and was an inspiration to all.”


Adventures in Afghanistan -

The Long Riders' Guild is sorry to report the death of Sean Jones (right). The Guild website was created so as to connect the world's equestrian travellers with the traditions of their past. It also preserves the fragile “Stories from the Road” that Long Riders often risk their lives to ride and retrieve. The publication of two such remarkable stories marked a special moment in modern equestrian travel history. In 1973 Sean Jones, Kevin Rigby and Raffaele Favero rode across Afghanistan. That remarkable adventure was recounted in Sean’s article The Company of Horses. What occurred next was unprecedented. The three Long Riders set off to ride from Afghanistan, over the Khyber Hills into Pakistan’s Tribal areas. Their plans went astray when they were Captured by Afghan Bandits. The Guild welcomed Sean as a Member in 2018 and honoured the memory of Kevin and Raffaele in the Historic Long Riders Collection.


Death of Heroic Long Rider Horse

In 2012 Filipe Leite set off to ride from Calgary, Canada to his family’s ranch at Espírito Santo do Pinhal, Brazil. Accompanying him were three faithful friends, Frenchy, Bruiser and Dude. This photo shows the team when they reached Bolivia in 2014. After the completion of the difficult journey, the horses were retired to a pasture at the Leite family ranch. Sadly Dude (right), who was bitten by a vampire bat infected with rabies, died in 2017. The Guild is sad to report that Bruiser (centre), the rock-steady leader of the team, was slain by colic in late 2020.


Equestrian News

Warning issued regarding US Government Planting Cyanide Bombs in Countryside

Long Riders and hikers travelling in the USA should be aware that a secretive government agency known as Wildlife Services is responsible for exterminating predators and invasive animals. In 2018 the agency killed nearly 1.5 million animals. Sometimes its agents shoot wolves or coyotes from helicopters. Sometimes they employ leg traps and snares. And sometimes they place poison devices on public and private land. M-44s, also known as “cyanide bombs”, are baited and spring-loaded tubes that spray an orange plume of cyanide powder when triggered. Aimed at coyotes that attack livestock, they killed 6,500 animals in 2018 alone.  But after one of the bombs exploded and nearly killed a 14-year-old boy playing close to his home in Idaho, citizens are demanding answers and accountability. READ MORE


Toxic Plant in Argentina kills Long Rider Horse

Mal del Huecú is a poisonous plant that grows in parts of Patagonia. Records prove that since 1914 this plant has caused great loss of life among the herds and flocks of the Patagonian region. Outbreaks especially occur when animals brought from other areas graze in fields where this grass grows. Unfortunately the deadly Mal del Huecú killed Contramano, one of the horses travelling with Angela Milli and Mouhamad-Ajmal Abdoulvahab. Angela sent this warning to other Long Riders who may travel through this area. "A warning to all Long Riders! We were told about three groups of horseback travelers who suffered the same fate as us but all three had lost one or all of their horses to this plant. The local vaccine, as told to us by an old native lady, is to burn the plant and rub the branches on the nose of the horses. This light dose will make the horses alert and not want to eat the plant. Be careful if you plan to pass through with your horses.

Iron Age equine snow shoe discovered in Norway -

The high mountain pass over Lendbreen in Breheimen, Norway has emerged from melting snow and ice, revealing a treasure trove of artifacts left by travellers who used the route from AD 300 and ending in medieval times around AD 1500. Among the 800 artefacts discovered were horse bones, dung, horseshoes and a “hestetruger”, a snowshoe for horses (top). These effective equine snow shoes, which were highly regarded by generations of horsemen in the Arctic Circle and Canada, played a critical role in Antarctic exploration. Polar Ponies describes how Captain Robert Falcon Scott arrived in Antarctica in 1910. Among his crew were 19 Siberian horses intended to haul the sledges of the Terra Nova Expedition. Scott’s decision to employ horses was based upon the fact that Sir Ernest Shackleton had previously nearly reached the South Pole with the aid of hardy Siberian horses.

Having visited Norway prior to his departure on the Polar journey, Scott saw how hestetrugers had the potential to allow a horse to travel across snow, a fact which would increase his team’s daily mileage. After arriving in Antarctica, on the occasions when the snow shoes had been fitted to his horses, Scott pronounced them a “triumph” and said they were “worth their weight in gold.”

Yet they were not used. This colossal, fatal mishap resulted mainly from the prejudicial decision of the man hired as the horse expert and trainer for the expedition, Captain Lawrence Oates. Ironically, Captain Scott and his four companions might not have died eleven miles from safety on their return trip from the South Pole.  At their disposal was the equine key that would probably have enabled them to make it to the Pole and back in 1912 in safety and lived to tell the tale.

When the expedition’s abandoned hestetrugers (bottom) were re-discovered in Scott’s Antarctic headquarters, English archaeologists initially no longer recognized what they were or understood the importance of this ancient equine travel tool.






Endangered Mustangs and Long Riders

Modern equestrian travel history includes ample evidence of how American’s wild horses have proved to be excellent travelling companions for Long Riders. The overwhelming example is German Long Rider Gunter Wamser, who used four BLM mustangs in 2013 to complete his 16,000 mile journey from Patagonia to Alaska.

More recently, in 2016 American Long Rider Samantha Szesciorka made two journeys through the harsh Nevada desert. Like Gunter, Samantha was also mounted on a tough BLM mustang. And in 2019 the Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation published an important Ecological Evaluation of Wild Horse Herds, written by Craig Downer.

Downer’s report, which documented how America’s wild horses were increasingly in danger, has proved to be prophetic. The LRGAF has previously published a report which documents the 1925 equinocide of America’s wild horse herds. New evidence indicates that a similar event is underway.

The Wild Horse Campaign has reported that a surge in funding — $21 million of additional taxpayer dollars for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Management Program — will be used for the removal of 20,000-30,000 wild horses and burros from federal lands this year and each year for many years to come, and the painful mass surgical sterilization of thousands of wild mares, according to a report issued to Congress this week by the BLM. The funding — and the consequent use of the money for roundups and surgical sterilization rather than humane fertility control such as the PZP vaccine — is the direct result of a backroom deal cut between the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Society Legislative Fund, ASPCA, American Mustang Foundation, Return to Freedom, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other western ranching interests. The report, which BLM was required to provide to Congress for a 60-day review prior to utilizing any new funding, outlines a plan to cull wild horse and burro populations by 70 percent through inhumane helicopter roundups, brutal surgical sterilization procedures, and doubling the number of captured wild horses warehoused in holding pens at a staggering cost to American taxpayers. Under the plan, 20,000-30,000 horses would be rounded up yearly for up to 18 years. BLM estimates a cost of $65.5 million in FY 2020, rising to $360 million yearly.

Polling released in October shows a strong bipartisan majority and nearly three out of four Americans, oppose the new plan to round up mass numbers of federally protected wild horses and burros from America’s Western public lands.










For information on earlier news stories, please visit the Archives pages.