The Long Riders' Guild
2016 - News!
Long Rider Routes
The Guild now archives the details of
a growing collection of Long Rider Routes.
This unique repository contains historical details and maps for more than
fifty equestrian journeys, which took place between 1414 and 2015.
The first of these routes was “Misty’s Long Ride.” It title was bestowed by
American Long Rider Howard Wooldridge, who rode his Pinto mare “ocean to
ocean” across the United States in 2002. In keeping with that tradition,
whenever possible, other routes also bear the name of the Road Horse who
accomplished the journey.
It’s About Respect
Ian Robinson (right), who rode solo across Mongolia, Tibet and the Wakhan
Corridor, was one of a group of Long Riders interviewed by Andy Wright. The
article, which appears in
Atlas Obscura, explains, "Members shouldn't expect to be awarded a
silver trophy, a blue ribbon or a shiny big belt buckle from the Guild.
Respect is the prize."
2015 - News
Australia’s Little Long Rider sets a Record
The year was 1932. Despite the onset of the Great Depression, Australia
was preparing to celebrate the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Lennie Gwyther was a nine-year-old farmer’s son who lived 1000
kilometres away. Undaunted by the distance, Lennie mapped out a route
and then set off on his pony, Ginger Mick. As news of the small boy’s
journey spread, the Australian public became keenly interested. After
travelling for four months, Lennie was given a hero’s welcome by
Sydney’s mayor (right). Then he turned around and rode home.
Though younger children made journeys, Lennie is the youngest known
person to make a solo equestrian expedition. This has earned him a
special place in the Guild’s Records.
article recounts Lennie’s story. Another report explains how the
equestrian journey inspired a
children’s musical. And a
book has been published about the ride.
Australian Carries LRG Flag Along Historic BNT Trail
who has set off to ride the length of the
Bicentennial National Trail, will be the first person to carry
the Guild’s flag
across the Australian continent.
In addition to raising support for
Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Kimberley’s hopes to honour the
legacy of Historic Long Rider Lennie Gwyther, who rode across Australia
at the age of nine.
The young equestrian traveller was mentored by Australian Long Riders
Bridgeman, both of whom previously rode the BNT. Kimberley’s
pack horse is equipped with an
adjustable pack saddle from Custom Pack Rigging, which has
provided valuable assistance to equestrian explorers around the world.
The Guild Welcomes New Members
Donna and Nic Cuthbert rode from Sagsay soum, Bayan-Ulgii aymag, Western
Mongolia to Baganuur, Tov aymag, Eastern Mongolia. The Long Riders
discussed the challenging journey on the Mongolian television programme,
“Talk With Me.”
“Let the Tears Flow”
An emotionally powerful “Story From The
Road,” written by Australian Long Rider Donna Cuthbert, reveals the
hidden heartbreak which lies like an undetected threat at the end of
many equestrian journeys.
Story of Historical Long Rider Recovered
The account of Belinda Fane’s journey from Gosford, New South Wales to
Perth in Western Australia has been received by the Guild. Originally
from England, Belinda made her 1500 kilometre ride in 1963. An article,
written by Belinda, provided vital details of the trip. The story is now
available in the LRG News Archive.
Lithuanians pioneer equestrian route around their country
In 2011 Vaidotas Digaitis was one of a group of Long Riders who re-rode
a historic trail from the Baltic Sea in
Lithuania to the Black Sea in Ukraine. Vaidotas then set out
alone to make a journey around
the Baltic Sea
to the Arctic Circle and back. The dedicated Long Rider has now
led a group of equestrian travellers who have pioneered a route around
republic of Lithuania. All of the journeys have been made using
Zemaitukai horses, the historical breed of Lithuania.
The Guild Welcomes New Member
Marc Noonan rode across Colombia, through Ecuador and on to the border
New Testimonial from Friend of the Guild, Pablo Lapasset (right) of
A few days
ago I read my seven-year- old son, Ignacio (left), the story of how
Lennie Gwyther rode 1,000 kilometres across
Australia in 1932. The night before, I myself had read the incredible
story of the Cossack Long Rider,
Alexandra Kudasheva, who rode alone across Siberia twice. I was
shocked by her leadership as an active officer during the First World
War. These two stories are just part of the knowledge that the Long
Riders’ Guild offers to people like me, who share an interest in horses,
history, nature, horseback travelling and all its common areas.
At the same
time I have just finished reading “The
Victorian Horse World” and almost every night I read Ignacio a
chapter of “Gato
y Mancha,” I learned about these books thanks to the Long
Riders’ Guild, and because they are not available in Argentine
bookshops, purchased them via an international bookshop.
technology, it is amazing how you can become informed if you search in
the correct place. Knowledge acquired on-line, and via traditional
printed books, came into my world thanks to the Long Riders’ Guild. It
is because of their efforts that we are able to obtain this information
here at home in the pampas of Argentina. But someone has to undertake
the hard work of compiling all this wisdom and it is the LRG that does
very important task the Guild accomplishes is the collection and
about our equestrian past. These tales are saved from vanishing and are
transmitted to a younger generation of riders and dreamers. This
important work is a link between the past and future and will be
appreciated by our sons and grandchildren.
These various types of equestrian knowledge represent an element of
recreation and education for my children and me. By becoming informed
current Long Riders and historic rides from the past, we dream
about our own expedition in the future. For all I have tried to explain
I say “Thank You!” Your hard work is really valuable to us and I hope at
least some of your aims are covered in knowing we appreciate all your
Hoofprints Across Patagonia
Capucine Lelièvre, Charlotte Simsar and
began their journey across Patagonia. Riding 2,000 kilometres from
Bariloche to El Calafate, will require them to spend six months in the
Yet they have expressed a desire to protect the welfare their horses and
to interact with the Argentine people. “The objective of this adventure
is not to rush and lock in as many kilometres as possible but to tune in
with the environment and people we meet.”
Prior to their departure, the team was mentored by
Rider Peter van der Gugten and the French Long Riders
Stéphane and Véronique Bigo, who have
ridden on many continents and across several
countries, including Turkey, China, Ethiopia, Brazil, Guatemala and the
United States. The team are using one of the Canadian adjustable
pack saddles which were donated to the Long Riders’ Guild and are
undergoing an unprecedented
Red’s Ride from Columbia to Peru
Thanks to English Long Rider Marc Noonan, a modern
route across Colombia and
Ecuador has been carefully documented.
Luján Museum Reveals Historic Image of
Mancha and Gato
Ride” is rightfully considered to be the most influential
equestrian travel book written during the 20th century. When
the classic adventure tale was re-published in 1952, the author included
Postscript, wherein Aimé
movingly about the deaths of Mancha and Gato, the horses that
accompanied him on the famous journey from Buenos Aires to New York.
deaths the remarkable Criollo geldings were preserved and given a place
of honour at the Luján Museum in Argentina. In response to a request
from Basha O’Reilly, the Executor of the Tschiffely Literary Estate,
Senor Andres Mage, the museum’s curator, along with Mariana Luchetti,
the librarian and Gladys Scarato, who oversees conservation and
restoration, have begun reviewing the museum’s collection of Tschiffely
artifacts, photographs and images. Their research has already revealed
many exciting discoveries.
This image, which has not been viewed by the public for many decades, is
believed to be the first photograph taken of Mancha and Gato as the
museum prepared to place the famous road horses on display.
Tschiffely’s Silver Dagger
Argentine association of Criollo horse’s breeders issues an annual
magazine. The 1928 edition carried a
special article about
Tschiffely’s journey from Buenos Aires to New York. That commentary
contains images not presented in any other publication. Included in the
story are the first known photographs of the special
(dagger) presented to the Tschiffely at the conclusion of the celebrated
ride, a detailed map of the Long Rider’s route across the Americas, and
an image showing the Long Rider being welcomed into the United States by
American cavalry officers.
Basha O’Reilly, the Executor of the
Tschiffely Literary Estate,
would like to thank the Luján Museum in Argentina for preserving and
sharing this historically important document.
Theft of Tschiffely Images Results in Reporter Losing Job
Thanks to a sharp-eyed Long Rider, the Guild was alerted to an internet
news story which contained four historically important images that had
been taken without permission from the official
Among the photographs was the one showing the famous Swiss Long Rider
being greeted by the mayor of New York city.
The TLE website clearly states, “All information and images on this
website copyright (c) 2008-2015 The Aimé Tschiffely Literary Estate,
Basha O'Reilly, Executor. The use of any of the copyrighted images is
prohibited without prior written permission. Any violation will be
strictly and immediately enforced.”
When informed of the violation, the Indiana-based publication responded
within eight hours. As a result of an internal investigation, the
offending article was immediately removed, an apology was issued, the
staff received training about the importance of copyright protection and
the reporter in question resigned.
Adventure to be recounted in new book
In 1999 Benjamin Reynal set off with his two Criollo geldings, Pampa and
Federal on a 5,000 kilometre
journey through 15 provinces of Argentina. At the conclusion of the
ride, the annual edition of the Criollo breeder’s magazine published an
article about this pilgrimage across the pampas. Editorial
Planeta, the world’s largest Spanish language publisher, has just
announced plans to release Benjamin’s book about this important
Long Rider Author Passes Away
Diana Pullein-Thompson, one of a trio of horse-mad sisters who became
synonymous with children’s equestrian books, has passed away at the age
Josephine, Christine and Diana were the daughters of
Joanna Cannan, a prolific novelist who is credited with inventing pony
stories for children, beginning with “A Pony for Jean” (1936). Diana was
nine when her story, “The Life of a Carthorse”, appeared in a magazine.
She wrote her first book, “I Wanted a Pony”, at the age of 14. Between
them, the Pullein-Thompson sisters wrote more than 150 books that were
populated by unforgettable equine characters and the children who loved
and rode them.
A founder member of the Children’s Writers Group of Great Britain’s
Society of Authors, Diana’s 30 equestrian novels rejected the prevailing
concept that horses were reserved for the rich. In 1996 the fearless
rider, who broke and schooled horses, based her last book, “The Long
Ride Home” (right) on the journey she made with her grey mare, Favorita,
from John O’Groats, Scotland to Land’s End, Cornwall in 1956.
Documentary Describes Equestrian Journey from Patagonia to Alaska
Russian Long Rider
Vladimir Fissenko and American Long Rider Louis Brunke (right)
had no idea what awaited them when they made plans to ride from the
southern tip of Argentina to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The journey lasted
five years (1988-1993), required them to cross the treacherous Darien
Gap jungle and ultimately took them across fourteen countries. Along the
way Vladimir was savagely attacked and nearly killed in the Andes
Mountains. Despite all the challenges, the Russian film maker shot
thousands of feet of film. The story of this remarkable journey has now
been released in a
Rare Film Recounts Ride from Turkmenistan to Moscow
In 1986 Geldy Kyarizov recognized a desperate need to save
Turkmenistan’s endangered Akhal Teke horses. To attract the attention of
officials in the Soviet Union, Geldy organized a 4,300 kilometre
equestrian journey from Ashgabat to Moscow. The ride, which took him
across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, required him to ride 360 kilometres
across a waterless desert.
Upon his arrival at the Russian capital,
Geldy successfully petitioned Soviet Union government officials to
intercede on behalf of Turkmenistan’s horses. His induction into the
Guild marked Geldy as
Rider in the history of modern equestrian travel.
film showing Geldy making the historic journey has been found
and is now publicly available.
Missing in Action Long Rider Rupert
Equestrian journeys have inspired Long Rider authors such as Somerset
Maugham, Jonathan Swift and Graham Greene. One ride also encouraged the
making of a well-known Hollywood western film.
Four young people set off on horseback in the summer of 1953. Their
mission? To ride 2,300 miles from Austin, Texas to Bearsville, New York.
Nini Galpin, a 23-year-old university student organized the journey. Her
friends, 17-year-old Cayla Hitzig and 16-year-old Bruce Whitley came
along. The youngest member of the group was 14-year-old Rupert Hitzig.
After spending 109 days in the saddle, the quartet of Long Riders
arrived at their destination. Along their way they had their share of
adventures, including nearly being arrested in Wellston, Ohio because
police believed they were “gypsies.”
(right) went on to work in Hollywood, where he produced the western
Annie and Little Britches,” starring Burt Lancaster. In an
interview, Rupert said, “I always wanted to do a western because
when I was 14 I rode across the United States on a horse. A hundred and
nine days in the saddle. They wrote about it in the
New Yorker magazine.”
Astonishing Discovery – Lady Long Rider Crosses Siberia alone – TWICE!
“Queen of the Cossacks”
recounts the amazing adventures of Alexandra Kudasheva, the courageous
Russian Long Rider who rode through China, Manchuria, Siberia and
Europe, then went on to lead 600 Cossacks into battle during the First
The celebrated Long Rider, who was befriended by Czar Nicholas II, met a
tragic end and her incredible story was lost for nearly a century. The
Guild would like to thank Australian Long Rider
who informed us of Kudasheva’s important equestrian exploits.
The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes its newest Members
(left) and Osvaldo Lopez (right)
rode from the Pacific Ocean at Miramar, Argentina across the Andes
Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean at Pichilemu, Chile on a special journey
known as the “Peace Ride.”
Historian Dares Hollywood to Defend Hopkins
In 2004 the History Channel requested help from the Long Riders’ Guild
in determining the accuracy of tales told by a charlatan named
Frank Hopkins. The Guild discovered and documented the “Hopkins
Hoax,” the most extensive equestrian fraud in American history. When
the Walt Disney Studio released a movie based on Hopkins’ “true
stories,” more than
80 academic experts joined the Guild in denouncing the film
as a blatant fabrication and a violation of the public’s trust.
over-whelming evidence to the contrary, Viggo Mortensen, who
starred as Hopkins,
said at the time, “What makes the story unique and makes Hidalgo
unique is the fact that it is true.”
That wasn’t the first time Mortensen expressed such wishful thinking. In
an effort to enhance Hopkins’ shattered reputation, Mortensen
told the press that he
several native Lakota
not speak English.
actor claimed these Native Americans
verified Frank Hopkins’ assorted absurd claims, including that he was
In a fiery public rebuke, legendary Lakota
scholar Dr. Vine DeLoria Jr. described Hopkins as “the world’s greatest
produce his Lakota witnesses. The Hollywood celebrity declined to
respond. It’s just as well Mortensen kept quiet because a new discovery
confirms that Hopkins was an Indian Impostor. A DNA test voluntarily
undertaken by one of Hopkins’ grandchildren revealed “not a drop of
Native American blood” could be detected in the family!
historical expert has now issued a new public challenge to Mortensen.
Cunningham has spent decades documenting the activities of Buffalo Bill
Cody and the Wild West Show. The respected author of books and articles
about Cody, Cunningham has an encyclopaedic knowledge about the
movements and history of the Wild West Show in Scotland, Great Britain
warned the public that Hopkins’ original writings are “a
ludicrous manuscript that contains myriad
eccentricities all of its own,” then went on to say, “The
film is only loosely based on Frank T. Hopkins’s tedious and error-laden
What Cunningham concluded was that screen-writer John Fusco had added a
new level of toxic deception to Hopkins’ original dishonesty. The result
was a cinematic fraud deliberately mislabelled as a “true story.”
In an effort to draw Mortensen and Fusco out of hiding, Cunningham
published the following
“Anyone able to identify a single shred of independent evidence in
support of either Frank Hopkins’s memoirs or the movie which it
inspired, particularly with regard to the three decades which he claims
to have spent as a star performer with Buffalo Bill, is cordially
invited to share their findings!”
Long Distance Riders in the 21st Century
Will equestrian travel continue in an increasingly motorized age?
Cristiano Pereira, a reporter for Portugal’s leading newspaper, interviewed half a dozen equestrian explorers
from five countries to find out. This excellent in-depth investigation
received an overwhelming positive public response in Portugal and
revealed why the lure of Long Riding will endure. Click on picture
(right) to read this article.
The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes
a new Member
Dalibor Balut has completed the first modern ride to all corners of his
native Czech Republic.
Riding in the Hoofprints of a Hero
Long Rider Dalibor Balut has prepared
a plan of his route, which includes daily distances and the names of
places where he stayed along the borders of Poland, Germany, Austria and
Slovakia. Part of his journey took him along the route previously ridden
(right), a national hero to the Czech people. Considered to be among the
greatest military leaders of all time,
is one of the few commanders in history who never lost a battle.
Chronology of Guild Activities -
During the course of its existence, the Long Riders’ Guild has completed
many commendable achievements including creating a unique honour
society, launching the world’s largest equestrian travel website,
publishing hundreds of books, rescuing precious knowledge from
extinction, hosting international meetings, supporting equestrian
explorers around the world and protecting horses from exploitation.
Along the way the Guild has defended Her Majesty, the Queen and found
favour with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. It has also been necessary to
help liberate Long Riders who were unjustly imprisoned, to combat cyber
crime, to defend literary liberty and to expose the practices of corrupt
corporations. A Chronology
containing more than 30 years of Guild activities provides more detail.
New Testimonial from the Long Rider who Defied a Tyrant
Earlier this year the Guild reported
Geldy Kyarizov rode 4,300 kilometres from Ashgabat to Moscow to save the
Akhal Teke breed. The dictatorship of Turkmenistan showed its gratitude
by making it a crime for him to touch a
While Turkmenistan punished the
equestrian champion, others rallied to his defence. Various human rights
organisations fought to free Geldy and his family from relentless
persecution. The Long Riders’ Guild led an effort to instate Geldy as the
first Turkmen Long Rider in the history of modern equestrian travel and
the first Turkmen Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
After enduring thirteen years of
political torment, Geldy and his family were freed thanks in part to a
campaign waged by the Guild.
This photo (right) shows Geldy defying the laws of the Turkmen tyrant by
petting an Akhal Teke horse in Moscow. Having escaped persecution, Geldy
shared this Testimonial regarding
the equestrian campaign which CuChullaine O’Reilly and the Guild carried
"If Allah saved my life and the lives of my family and gave me freedom,
it is because not only in action but also in thoughts I have never
betrayed the ancient culture of my people. All my life I fought for the
spiritual and material heritage of the ancient Parthians that the
Turkmens received as a gift from their ancestors.
I along with my friends managed to stop the slaughter of the Akhal-Teke
horses at the time of the Soviet Union and as a minister I managed to
clean the breed from crossbreeding. But I was put in prison, and the
cross-breeding has adopted a new and more threatening scale, which not
only breeders, but the main usurper of power and impostor in horse
breeding - the current President Berdymukhamedov are mired in.
The Turkmens have a proverb: ‘He who has never galloped a horse will
pound the horse to death; the one who has never worn a new robe will
shake the robe to holes, displaying it in public.’
This is the weak point of our tyrant. This is the weak point of every
coward. They pose as heroes. Therefore it's the pathos and boasting -
the main defining features of their essence, their natures.
I think your phrase, CuChullaine, that the Guild will present a legal
case to the International Court of Justice was less scary than what you
said after that. Specifically, your threat of organizing a boycott of
the annual conferences in Turkmenistan for the day of the Akhal Teke and
your declaration that the Akhal Teke will be denounced as a symbol of
I have known this tyrant from his youth. He recently learned to ride a
horse, and in the family, he is the only boy among five sisters who grew
up, as a spoiled brat. And now by the will of fate, him being the nephew
of the previous tyrant Niyazov, inheriting the throne and learning to
ride a horse he is forcing all the guests - breeders from around the
world to applaud him. Despite all of that, you scared him, CuChullaine!
The boy got afraid that his favourite toy would be taken away.
I applaud you, CuChullaine, as a psychologist. You hit the top ten with
the first shot. What you said couldn't have been said by any
international human rights organization.”
Long Riders in the Jungle
Horses and jungles don’t mix.
Regardless of where the jungle is located, it represents an alien
environment to the horse. As Long Riders have learned to their horror,
trying to cross a jungle on horseback doesn’t match the Hollywood
fantasy. Temperatures soar to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.
Insects suck your blood and drive you mad. Leeches lurk in the swamps
you must wade through, waiting to feast on your water-soaked flesh.
Vampire bats gorge on your horses at night, leaving them too weak to
travel in the morning. There is a shocking lack of food for you and the
horses. The undergrowth is so dense you can’t move. The humidity makes
it difficult to breathe.
Despite the hazards, two renowned
American Long Riders ventured into the Central American jungle and made
John Lloyd Stephens (top) rode into the jungle on the Yucatan
Peninsula in 1838. When he emerged Stephens astonished the world by
proclaiming that he had discovered the “lost” city of Copán.
Doug Preston (bottom) went into the jungle
177 years later but he too has returned with an amazing tale of locating
another forgotten metropolis. In an article for
National Geographic magazine, Doug recounts how he went into the
Honduran rainforest in search of Ciudad Blanca and subsequently found
“the Lost City of the Monkey God.”
Time marches on but the terrors of the jungle environment remain
constant. Stephens was the first Long Rider to write about encountering
one of the most savage scourges of the jungle, the notorious,
garrapatas. Generations of Long Riders have since written about their
pain-filled encounters with these insects, which are so tiny that they
resemble dots of red sand. But size doesn’t matter. When they covered
German Long Rider Günter Wamser,
he wrote about how they bit and devoured him to the point of madness. “I
thought I would tear my skin off,” he later wrote. Doug’s journey was
also affected by “swarms of noxious insects, poisonous
snakes, jaguars and torrential rainfall.”
Long Rider Family Reunited
Thirteen years of political torment
have come to an end for a Long Rider and his family thanks to a campaign
waged by the Guild. Earlier this year the Guild honoured
Geldy Kyarizov (left) by naming him as the first modern Long Rider from
Turkmenistan. Additionally, the Guild sponsored the equestrian explorer
to be instated as the first Turkmen Fellow of the Royal Geographical
An editorial entitled “Divine
Horses and Political Injustice” described how Geldy and his
family had suffered years of persecution at the hands of the dictator
who rule his homeland.
The article concluded by
stating that the Guild was going to seek the arrest of the Turkmen
president on charges of kidnapping and organize an international
equestrian boycott against the country.
Following the publication of the LRG’s protest on September 7th,
Geldy was permitted to leave the country one week later. But his
daughter, Sofia (centre), and sister-in-law, Elena (right), were kept as
prisoners by the Turkmen tyrant. After the Guild lodged a second protest
with the government, threatening to launch the equestrian boycott, etc.,
Sofia and Elena were allowed to leave the country four days later.
“When I saw my daughter and sister-in-law as they got off the plane, I
was overjoyed,” Kyarizov said. “Seeing them reminded me that the road is
long, but if we keep on fighting and keep on walking, we will overcome
The reunited family (right), including Geldy’s wife, Julia, is seen in
Moscow. They are standing with one of the Akhal Teke horses which Geldy
is famed for breeding. Articles about the family’s escape appeared in
Horse Talk and
An Equestrian Pilgrimage from England to Spain
The lure of a long-distance ride leads Mefo Phillips to team up with her
sister Susie and their spotted Appaloosa horses Leo, a flirt with a
passion for Mars Bars, and affectionate Apollo, for a journey along the
medieval Way of St. James, an ancient trail leading from Canterbury
Cathedral to Santiago Cathedral. Slowed by thunderstorms, vertigo,
worn-out horseshoes and a variety of eccentric farmers, it's boiling
midsummer by the time they reach the Castilian plains after a meander
across lush springtime France. With 1,700 miles, four mountain ranges,
and encounters with galloping goats, nude pilgrims and a fountain of red
wine behind them, victory seems within sight for the English Long
Riders, when they encounter an unexpected obstacle. Mefo’s delightful “Story
from the Road” is an extract from her
Iceland Restricts Horse Travel?
The Scandinavian sagas provide ample evidence of how deeply revered the
Vikings held the horse. Odin (right) rode the magical eight-footed
horse, Sleipnir. So long as a Viking was healthy enough to ride a horse
his property could not be divided. After landing in a foreign country,
Vikings were quick to take to the saddle and raid inland. They also
exported horses to their colony of Iceland.
The horses of Iceland are famous for their smooth gait and the country
has long attracted equestrian travellers. However information sent to
the Guild indicates that Long Riders may no longer be welcome in the
island nation. According to a message sent by an experienced Long Rider,
Iceland is believed to have enacted two laws which appear to make
equestrian travel effectively illegal. One law is purported to state
that horses cannot be ridden for more than 20 kilometres (12.5 miles)
per day. A second law is believed to state that horses may not be ridden
for more than ten days. The Guild is seeking confirmation of this
draconian legislation but travellers should be warned that the days of
riding in freedom like the Vikings of old seem to have been outlawed in
The Death of Napoleon’s Horses
General William Carter served with the
United States Calvary and was considered one of that country’s foremost
equestrian experts. His book,
Saddles and Bridles, which is published by the LRG Press, covers
a wide range of topics including training of the horse. Additionally,
Carter provides studies of cavalry campaigns, detailing for example how
Napoleon (right) lost so many horses in his ill-fated Russian campaign.
“During the Russian campaign the French crossed the Niemen River in
June, 1812 with cavalry, artillery and train horses to the extent of
187,121; about 60,000 of these pertained to the cavalry. Up to this time
it had been very hot; an unprecedented rainfall commenced and in a few
days the roads became almost impassable, and there was little or no food
for the horses. Ten thousand horses were left dead between the Niemen
and Wilna Rivers. The only food to be had for the large number of
animals with the army consisted of young, growing crops of wheat, rye
and barley. Such food is calculated to produce weakness and intestinal
troubles of a grave nature, and this was without doubt the cause of most
of the loss. General Murat states that half the cavalry perished around
Moscow in their search for supplies. It was not the horrors of the icy
retreat which used up the animals, for Napoleon caused General Berthier
to write to General Victor on November 6, that the cavalry was unhorsed;
in all 92,000 horses had succumbed before the fall of the first snow. On
December 13, the remnant of the invading army re-crossed the Niemen
River with 1600 cavalry. In six months the horses had all disappeared,
and there is ample evidence that this was not the result of cold, but of
starvation, aggravated, perhaps, by cold towards the end of the
Legendary Long Rider Dog passes away
She never won any beauty awards and her early years were unhappy, but a
down-on-her-luck dog named Claire (right) made history when she was
befriended by North American Long Rider Bernice Ende. In the subsequent
ten years of their friendship, Claire happily rode atop the pack saddle
as she accompanied Bernice more than 17,000 miles during their many
journeys in the United States and Canada. Because of her advancing age,
Claire did not accompany Bernice when she set out in 2014 on the first
attempt to ride “ocean
to ocean” in both directions on the same trip. Claire the trusty
traveller passed away at the age of 16, while faithfully awaiting the
return of her Long Rider friend.
The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes its
Upon reaching the town of Zunmod, English Long Rider Jack Toulson
completed a thousand-mile journey in Mongolia. The equestrian trip is
featured on a new website created to celebrate Sir Richard Burton and
Tschiffely book published in Spanish
Most modern readers won’t recognize
the name “Lucas Bridges.” But ask anyone from Patagonia about Bridges
and you will quickly hear stories regarding “the man from Woodpecker
Bridges was a human transition, not
only between centuries but also between cultures. His father was an
Anglican missionary sent to minister to the indigenous people in a
remote region of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. When Lucas Bridges was
born in 1874, the minister’s son was officially recognized as "the third
white native of Ushuaia." As a result of his unique childhood, Bridges
grew up learning the culture and languages of the Yahgan and Ona
By the late 1930s Bridges was a living legend in Patagonia, when Aime
Tschiffely met him. The renowned Swiss Long Rider and author was
fascinated by the life-story of the man who had been an explorer,
pioneer, soldier, ethnologist and farmer. In 1953 Tschiffely published
an acclaimed biography of Bridges entitled “The Man from Woodpecker
Creek.” Because the book has remained a perennial favourite in
Tschiffely Literary Estate has authorized a Spanish translation,
which is now available in Argentina.
Historical Long Riders Recalled
Equestrian travellers are often inspired to undertake a journey due to
the strong influence of those who rode before.
Richard St Barbe Baker (right) was one person who rode in the
hoofprints of such an Historical Long Rider. In 1958 he set off to
re-trace the ride made by
William Cobbett in 1820. Mounted on a grey horse called “The
Ghost,” St Barbe Baker followed Cobbett’s trail across England. Cobbett
wrote a famous book about his journey. Entitled “Rural
Rides,” the classic equestrian travel tale is available via the
Long Riders’ Guild Press. A
recent article in the English press recalls St Barbe Baker’s
ride and explains how that Long Rider founded a
movement with chapters in more than 100 countries that planted
26 trillion trees internationally.
Long Riders Liberate Political Prisoner
Turkmen Long Rider Geldy Kyarizov
(right) flashes the “V for Victory” sign after surviving years of
political injustice. He was freed following months of intense
campaigning by the Long Riders’ Guild.
In April the Long Riders’ Guild was
contacted by Gill Suttle, an Akhal Teke breeder who provided evidence
proving Kyarizov had made a 4300 kilometre equestrian journey. Suttle
also informed the LRG that Kyarizov was the victim of a vicious
political persecution campaign carried out by the government of
The Guild named Kyarizov as the first
modern Turkmen Long Rider in June; ensured that he was instated as a
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and invited him to attend a
forthcoming Long Rider meeting in Switzerland.
Kyarizov and his family were attacked
in July and denied permission to leave the country. In response on
September 7th 2015 the Guild published an article entitled
Horses and Political Injustice.”
The study documented how Kyarizov helped preserve Akhal Teke horses. The
Guild's study concluded with the following warning. "If Turkmenistan
continues to ignore its own laws and violate the rules of humanity, the
Long Riders’ Guild will urge the International Criminal Court in The
Hague to investigate President Berdymukhamedov on charges of kidnapping,
illegal confinement and violations of human rights. It will place
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in the Guild’s Hall of Shame. It
will urge the international Akhal Teke community to boycott Turkmenistan
and refuse to attend the nation’s annual equestrian celebration."
In addition CuChullaine O’Reilly sent
an email on behalf of the Guild to Yazgeldy Annaev, the director of
Turkmenistan’s national Akhal Teke breeding association. That letter
stated, “As the Guild study proves, there is no equestrian evidence
which justifies holding Geldy Kyarizov and his family in an illegal and
unethical manner. It is my sincere hope that as Director of Turkmen
Atlary you can help the Long Riders' Guild bring about a peaceful
resolution to this long-running problem. However, if no word or action
is soon seen from Ashgabat, then the Guild will begin to formulate an
international equestrian blockade against the Akhal Atlary; the Guild
will declare Turkmenistan's horses to be symbols of political slavery;
and the Guild will seek the arrest of President Berdymukhamedov.”
Geldy Kyarizov was freed one week
later, on September 14th, and flew to Moscow for
urgently-needed medical treatment. Daud, Geldy’s son, wrote, “Our family
couldn’t be happier than we are right now. It is safe to say this
wouldn’t have been even possible without your help and the help of
people who have been fighting on our behalf. I believe your last letter
addressed to the minister of horses definitely had an effect and the
government finally gave in. You can truly call yourself a human rights
News of Geldy’s release was immediately shared with the international
equestrian community via an article entitled “Freedom
for Long Rider” published by the Horse Talk news service. The
international exploration community was informed by the Explorers’ Web
news service, who published the article “Long
Riders Liberate Horseman.”
Long Rider held as Political Prisoner – His Family Attacked
Earlier this year the Guild announced
that Geldy Kyarizov (right) had been welcomed as the first Turkmen Long
Rider and instated as the first Turkmen Fellow of the Royal Geographical
Kyarizov is one of
the world's leading experts on Akhal Teke horses. He is also being held
as a political pawn by a Central Asian tyrant.
his safety, the Guild was reluctant to reveal the tale of tragedy and
tears behind Geldy Kyarizov’s story. Yet soon after the Guild
Explorers’ Web published details of how Kyarizov had been falsely
arrested, imprisoned in the notorious
Ovadan Depe gulag and deprived of medical care. Then
Human Rights Watch released the news that Kyarizov’s
14-year-old daughter narrowly escaped death and his sister-in-law was
severely wounded after they were targetted by assassins.
Turkmenistan, which has been described
as “one of the world’s most repressive countries,” is now the focus of
intense international scrutiny.
petition, which is circulating among the international equestrian
community, urges the Turkmen president
to release the Long Rider and his family; Amnesty International is
continuing its campaign to defend the family; Great Britain’s Ambassador
to Turkmenistan said he plans to discuss the Kyarizov case with
Turkmenistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and a leading Central Asian
news agency is conducting an intensive investigation.
Guild welcomes these efforts, our focus remains on equestrian issues and
horses lie at the heart of the Kyarizov affair. What has been largely
forgotten is that Turkmenistan’s Akhal Teke horses were once used as
weapons of war (right) to enslave thousands of Persians and Russians.
Time marches on but mankind’s ruthlessness endures. It is ironic that
Long Rider Geldy Kyarizov’s legendary Akhal Teke stallion, Yanardag,
appears on the national emblem of Turkmenistan (right). Yet a special
“Word from the Founder” entitled “Divine Horses and
Political Injustice” explains how the Akhal Teke horse is once again
in danger of becoming a symbol of shame and an icon of political
“Tschiffely’s Ride” the most famous Long
released in Polish
Swiss Long Rider
Aimé Tschiffely wrote the most influential equestrian travel book of the
20th century. Entitled “Tschiffely’s Ride,” the book recounts
the exciting story of how the young equestrian explorer rode from Buenos
Aires, Argentina to New York, USA. The
Tschiffely Literary Estate has authorized editions of the
classic Long Rider book in Argentina, France, Germany, Great Britain,
Italy and the USA. A new Polish edition of the book is now available.
- relacja z konnej podróży, którą autor w towarzystwie dwóch
wierzchowców odbył w latach dwudziestych XX wieku przez oba amerykańskie
kontynenty - od Buenos Aires do Waszyngtonu DC - od ponad 70 lat
zaliczana jest do żelaznej klasyki podróżniczej. Niezwykły wyczyn
Tschiffely'ego nawet dziś zostałby uznany za imponujący i od kilku dekad
inspiruje kolejne pokolenia podróżników, próbujących dokonać czegoś
Signature Book Proves a Success
Long Riders past and present have
recognized the need to document the accuracy of their journeys. These
travellers carried a special “Signature Book” which contained the names
of the people they met, along with that person’s signature, date and a
Argentine Long Rider Benjamin Reynal
had the inspired idea of also collecting the signatures of all the
policemen he met along the way. He explained, “The reason for this is
very important and I would recommend it to future travellers. If you get
one policeman to sign your book and stamp it, as I did fifty times, then
the next policeman you find will also want to sign, to be part of your
trip, to have his picture taken with you.”
Benjamin’s Signature Book idea is now being used in the Czech Republic
where Dalibor Balut (right) is making a thousand-mile ride. Dalibor
emailed the Guild to report that his journey is progressing well and
that he is collecting signatures along the way.
Expedition News - Solo Journey from Germany to Spain Completed
In 2014 Sabine Keller (right) and Dagmar Blöß rode from Cologne, Germany
to Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Camargue region of France. After
completing her ride to the Mediterranean, Sabine set off on a solo
journey this year. In the company of her pack horse, Marenga and her
road horse, Isis, Sabine travelled from “the west of Germany to
Luxembourg, Belgium and across France to the Atlantic Ocean near
Mugging in Mongolia – Another Horse Theft on the Steppes
The Long Riders’ Guild routinely receives messages from people who are
anxious to make an equestrian journey. While most of these queries are
sent after careful consideration, some demonstrate how naïve people can
be. For example a Frenchman recently wrote to ask advice on how he could
a) buy an Appaloosa in America’s “Old West, b) ride through Wyoming with
cowboys c) cross the Rocky Mountains d) spend time on a Native American
reservation and e) sell the horse to a good home – all in six weeks! As
this case demonstrates, experienced Long Rides know that reality must
always take precedence over equestrian romance.
Searching for traces of the Old West appeals to a few people; but it is
Mongolia that attracts the largest number of ill-informed would-be
equestrian travellers. Every year the Guild receives messages from
people in many countries, all of whom harbour a number of serious
misconceptions about Mongolia. There is certainly no denying that
Mongolia has an impressive equestrian culture that spans centuries. Plus
the country has millions of horses and a vast steppe to ride across.
What is often misunderstood is that the nomads who reside and ride on
the steppe may take advantage of travellers.
David Grant, the Scottish wagon traveller who journeyed around the
world, was crossing Mongolia with his family when they were attacked by
drunken locals. When David protected his children he narrowly escaped being put into prison. It may be
argued that the Grant family’s experiences were exceptional. Yet what
cannot be denied is that modern Mongolia has a well-deserved reputation
for being the worst country in the world for horse theft. Five Long
Riders have had their horses stolen since 2004.
Things have now taken a turn for the worse on the steppe. No lady Long
Rider has been attacked and robbed since French Long Rider Laura
Bougault was assaulted by Zulu bandits in 2003. Sadly, the Guild has
been informed that Australian Long Rider Donna Cuthbert was forcibly
robbed by Mongols. A few days later the pack horse used by her and Nic,
Donna’s husband, was stolen.
There are several things which make these two criminal acts of
importance. Nic and Donna are highly experienced
international travellers with thousands of miles under their belts.
But these seasoned journeyers were taken by surprise by two Mongol
thieves. The men drove up to the Australians' camp on a motorcycle in
broad daylight. One man dismounted and walked towards Donna. Nic, who
was a short distance away, did not have time to react when the Mongol
grabbed Donna, pulled the backpack containing all of her valuables off
her back, dashed back to the motorcycle and escaped across the steppe. A
few days later the Cuthbert’s pack horse Choco was stolen.
The photo of Donna making the campfire (top) shows the romantic ideal
which continues to surround Mongolia. The photo (bottom) shows Choco,
who was never recovered. Have Mongol thieves become so financially
desperate that they are now involved in what would be termed a "mugging"
if we were talking about New York's Central Park? While the Guild cannot
answer that, what we can do is pass on the news that the Canadian
embassy has issued an update which urges travellers to “Exercise a high
degree of caution due to increasing crime.”
In other news, climate change is threatening the nomadic lifestyle
in Mongolia, with 90% of the landscape degrading into desert.
Honesty, Humility, Courage and Compassion
English Long Rider Grant Nicolle rode his horse, Marv, along the
historic trail that stretches from John O’Groats in Scotland, across
England, to Land’s End in Cornwall. A new book entitled “Long
Trot” invites the reader to travel with Grant and Marv. Along the
way you experience the warmth of Grant’s supportive family, the
companionship of dear friends and the generosity of curious strangers.
You venture into picturesque villages with names like Puddington, Black
Dog and Trispen. You visit secluded farms where you sit down to a dinner
of venison casserole, homemade cider and rhubarb crumble. You slow down
and see Scotland and England like they did, at three miles an hour.
Plus, in a special “Story from the Road,”
Grant recounts the first week of his journey, which ranged from being
nervous about setting off to rescuing his horse from quicksand. Finally,
Grant has prepared a plan of his route,
which includes daily distances and the names of places where he stayed.
Thus the book, story and route serve as an open invitation for would-be
Long Riders to saddle up and follow in their hoofprints.
New York Times Interviews Australian Long Rider
Tim Cope set off in 2004 to ride from Mongolia to Hungary. The 6,000
mile journey, which took him more than three years to complete, inspired
Tim to write “On the Trail of Genghis Khan.” The
New York Times interviewed Tim, asking him to discuss his journey
and to provide details about the new paperback edition of his remarkable
book. The image (right) shows Tim at Khokh Nuur (Blue Lake) in western
D'Artagnan horse trail follows path of famed Musketeer
Long Riders will soon be able to
follow the trail of France's most famous Musketeer, d’Artagnan, under a
project launched in the town where he was born 400 years ago.
Charles de Batz-Castelmore,
count of d'Artagnan, was a real-life figure who served King Louis XIV as
captain of the Musketeers of the Guard. His sword-wielding adventures
were fictionalised in "The
Three Musketeers" by 19th-century novelist Alexandre Dumas.
Due to open in 2017, the 4,000-kilometre (2,500-mile) "D'Artagnan
European Route" will stretch from his home town of Lupiac in
south-western France to Maastrich in the Netherlands, where he died
during a siege in 1673. Annotated with moments from d'Artagnan's life,
the trail will take riders through six countries visited by the
Musketeer -- France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes new Member.
Australian Long Rider Nick Johnston has completed a thousand mile journey
in eastern Mongolia.
Preserving the Freedom to Ride “Wherever the Heck I Want”
American Long Rider Hetty Dutra grew
up on her father’s 10,000 acre ranch. “There was never a time when I
didn’t know how to ride,” Hetty explained in a special on-line
Later in life, when a series of
personal problems caused her trouble, Hetty set out on an equestrian
journey that would “put my heart, soul and body back together again.”
That journey took Hetty along the Nez
Perce Trail in 1994. Twenty years later she re-traced her original
journey, making Hetty the only Long Rider to have ridden the famous
Native American trail twice.
However in the video Hetty voiced her fears that an increasingly
urbanized environment is threatening her right to ride. “What I find
most galling about contemporary life is the inability to get on my horse
and go wherever the heck I want!”
Celebrated Road Horse Passes Away
Anyone familiar with modern equestrian
travel will know the story of an unlikely pair of heroes – Howard and
Howard Wooldridge had spent many years
in law enforcement but lacked any knowledge of how to ride “ocean to
ocean” across America. Misty the Pinto mare had lost her right eye. That
didn’t stop them from setting off in 2002. The photo (right) shows them
at their final destination, the Pacific Ocean.
What makes their story so unique is
what happened afterwards.
Howard and Misty became highly visible
advocates against the “war on drugs.” Representing LEAP, Law Enforcement
Against Prohibition, the Long Rider and his horse made a second crossing
of the United States in 2005. During the subsequent years Misty was seen
by countless thousands as she and Howard campaigned in various states.
In addition to her political life, Misty was also an equine author. “Misty's
Long Ride” recounts the story of her first journey across North
America with her Long Rider. Misty; road horse, political campaigner,
author and friend passed away at the age of 21.
Friend of the Guild Wayne P. McCrory is the co-author of a
DNA study which revealed how the wild horses protected
by the Xeni Gwet'in and Yunetesi'in Native Americans
remote Brittany Triangle of British Columbia
have a genetic link to Siberia’s Yakut horses.
Knowing the extensive network of First Nations horse trade and travels
once horses arrived in British Columbia in about 1750, I was aware of
the extremely long journeys throughout the grasslands which they made on
It was delightful to learn that the Long Riders Guild Academic
Foundation exists to celebrate horsemen world wide, both in the distant
past and to this day and that it promotes all kinds of open discussion
about horses and their history.
I very much appreciate the publicity the LRGAF has given our findings
regarding Canadian and Yakut horse ancestry; and the follow-up
information the Guild provided from their research on the predator-prey
relationship between horses and wolves.
Hats off to the fine Guild and all of you Long Riders and the horses of
the universe that bear you on your travels.
Image of Historical Long Rider Discovered.
The Old West was populated by a host of colourful characters including
gunfighters, cowboys, buffalo hunters, sod busters, and at least one
cavalry officer with the eye of an eagle and a penchant for fine
Colonel James Meline
was an educated New York journalist, turned pony soldier, who had fought
for the Union during the recent Civil War. With the country lulled into
an uncomfortable peace, the fifty-four year old Meline decided to
partake of one last mounted adventure before he hung up his spurs.
Lucky for the history of equestrian travel that he did. The resultant
Two Thousand Miles on Horseback
is a beautifully written, eye witness account of a United States that is
no more. Meline was no fool. He sensed that the great American
wilderness was about to be tamed. Setting out from Fort Leavenworth in
the summer of 1866, Meline observed a nation on the move. In his first
week in the saddle Meline counted 680 wagons heading west. Moreover, he
warned, “the iron rail will soon clamp East and West, leaving no room
for adventure or personal freedom.” Meline faithfully recorded the
details of prairie life seen during his ride to Santa Fe. Once he
reached fabled New Mexico the saddle-borne scribe fell in with Kit
Carson. What followed was a three day marathon interview wherein the
legendary frontiersman regaled the cavalry journalist with tales of
fighting the Navajo, hunting gigantic grizzly bears, and eluding capture
by Indians. Then, with his notebooks full, Meline headed home,
experiencing a storm on the way that was so cold that “even my memory
froze.” Though the frontier they inhabited is a thing of the past,
Meline and his cast of mounted characters still jump off the pages and
dare you to ride down the road of adventure with them.
New Documentary proves “Dreams Do Come True”
The Long Riders’ Guild received an
email in August, 2011. The message was sent by a young man named Filipe
Leite (right). He wrote to say that his father had read “Tschiffely’s
Ride” to him at a young age. The tale of how Swiss Long Rider
had ridden from Buenos Aires to New York had inspired Filipe to make his
own equestrian journey.
Filipe’s plan was to ride 16,000
kilometres from Canada to Brazil. The problem was that he had no horse,
no saddle, no money and no equestrian travel experience.
The Guild informed Filipe that dreams
have no expiration date and that a lack of experience need not deter his
plans. The LRG then set about providing Filipe with an unprecedented
amount of support, including providing him with an adjustable Canadian
pack saddle. After having received equestrian travel training from
Canadian Long Rider Stan Walchuk, Filipe set off in July 2012.
During the subsequent two years Filipe
endured hardships, survived dangers and met many wonderful people on his
way across the Americas. Filipe was joined by his father, Luis, during
the Mexican portion of the ride. Finally, after having taken his horses
through 12 countries Filipe entered Brazil to a storm of publicity in
This remarkable journey was documented by
Outwild TV and a
preview entitled “The Long Ride Home” has just been released.
The feature length film will soon be available.
Equestrian Historian releases book and film about legendary horsemen
Irakli Makharadze has spent years documenting the unique equestrian
history of his nation of Georgia, which is located in the Caucasus
region of Eurasia. In a special article published by the Long Riders’
Guild Academic Foundation, Irakli explains how the
Daredevils became the star attraction in Buffalo Bill Cody’s
Wild West Show.
One Last Ride
Charles Kitchen is riding from Texas to Montana for a special reason. He
plans to spread his father’s ashes in the Yellowstone River. A
news report provides details of how the Long Rider is accompanying
his father on “one last ride.”
Long Riders Charged with “Environmental Crimes”
In past centuries equestrian
travellers were forced to avoid attacks by savage animals and murderous
natives. Modern Long Riders are required to overcome challenges from a
new type of enemy – hostile national governments and aggressive local
The Guild has received reports that
Long Riders in various countries are being charged with "environmental
crimes" That is a new way of saying that you will be arrested if you are
discovered riding in a national park or if you are found sleeping
alongside a road.
A terrible example of the latter
recently happened in California. An elderly man was travelling through a
small town with his mules. Local police stopped the traveller. When they
realized that he had not actually broken any laws, the authorities
seized the traveller and took him to a local mental hospital for
On another occasion this traveller was
issued with a ticket (seen right) costing $485 because he was discovered
camped alongside a California road.
Another alarming example of government
antagonism has been recorded by
is riding from Columbia to Peru. Marc wrote to say that soon after he
rode into Ecuador’s
Cotopaxi National Park he was stopped by four park rangers.
“They demanded to see my documents and asked what I was doing. It would
appear that pets are not allowed in the National Parks and my horse Red
was classed as a pet. This thought had never entered my head. Travel
companion, yes. But I never think of Red as a pet. The conversation got
heated when the rangers threatened to take Red and impose fines on me.”
Marc avoided being arrested but he “was forced to leave the park, fined
These incidents are an important indication of how modern motorized
society is increasingly antagonistic against horse travellers.
The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes its
In the late 1980s Geldy Kyarizov
desperate need to save Turkmenistan’s endangered Akhal Teke horses.
To accomplish this noble purpose, Geldy rode 4,300 kilometres from
Ashgabat to Moscow.
The journey, which took him across
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, required him to ride 360 kilometres across a
Upon his arrival at the Russian capital, Geldy successfully petitioned
Soviet Union government officials to intercede on behalf of
His induction into the Guild marks Geldy as
the first Turkmen Long Rider in the history of modern equestrian travel.
In the following years after his ride, Geldy made valuable contributions
as an historian and breeder of Akhal Teke horses.
Geldy’s most renowned success was
an astonishing Akhal Teke stallion named Yanardag. The president of
Turkmenistan chose Geldy’s horse as the national symbol (right) of the
Because of Geldy’s contributions to equestrian exploration and science,
he has been named as the first Turkmen to be made a Fellow of the Royal
New study uncovers
equine DNA link between Canada and Siberia
The first DNA study of wild horses in the remote Chilcotin area of
British Columbia has revealed a surprising discovery. The Canadian
horses share DNA traits with the Yakut horses of Siberia. In their
report, Dr. Gus Cothran of Texas A & M University and Wayne P. McCrory
RPBio wrote, “This raises the possibility that horses from Russia may
have contributed to the feral herds at some time in the past, which is
not outside the range of possibilities.”
interaction, the study hypothesised, may have occurred when “the Yakut
horse bloodlines arrived in the remote Brittany Triangle of British
Columbia from Russian fur traders along the adjacent Pacific Coast.” A
special illustrated report
published by the Long Riders' Guild Academic Foundation explains how the
wild horses protected by the Xeni Gwet'in and Yunetesi'in Native
Americans may reveal a previously undetected link between North America
Longest 20th Century Horse Journey Honoured
In 1912, four riders embarked on a 20,000 mile trip to all 48 American
state capitals. The idealistic young men dreamed that their gruelling
three-year odyssey through deserts, mountains and swamps would make them
famous. Instead, they rode into oblivion. Known as the Overland
Westerners, their tragic tale became a Long Rider legend. Thankfully a
brilliant investigative article by noted Washington journalist Tristan
Baurick has brought this neglected story out of the shadows. Complete
with photographs taken during the journey and enriched by explanatory
videos, the article entitled “The
Longest Ride” is the finest example of equestrian travel
reporting seen in many years.
Rare Film Footage of Tschiffely’s Ride
In 1925 Swiss Long Rider Aimé
Tschiffely set out on an epic ride with two Criollo horses, Mancha and
Gato. The explorer's goal was to travel ten thousand miles from Buenos
Aires to Washington, DC. The mounted odyssey lasted two and a half
years, forcing horses and rider to survive near-impossible conditions,
including crossing an infamous swinging bridge in the Andes Mountains.
The Lujan Museum near Buenos Aires, which protects many important
Tschiffely artefacts, has released
a special film which shows Tschiffely, his horses, and the ticker
tape parade they received upon their entry into New York city.
Argentine Long Rider Benjamin Reynal has kindly shared the short film
with the Guild.
Land’s End Long Riders
Traditionally travellers who wished to
journey from one end of Great Britain to the other made their way from
Land’s End in western Cornwall to John O’Groats in the extreme north of
Today the celebrated route is
traversed by pedestrians, runners, cyclists, even skate boarders. Yet
Long Riders have been travelling the 970 kilometres (603 miles) since
1892, when Evelyn Burnaby made the journey and wrote about his
equestrian adventures in “The Country Gentleman” magazine.
Subsequently other Long Riders went
across the nation, including Arthur Elliott who rode Goldflake in 1955.
In 2006 the mother and daughter team of Vyv and Elsie Wood-Gee made the
trip. And in 2007 Grant Nicolle (right) continued the tradition by
travelling from John O'Groats to Land's End with his horse, Marv.
Despite the historical connection between equestrian travel and the
celebrated route, no entry for Long Riders existed on the Wikipedia
page. Grant Nicolle has rectified that problem and created a
special entry which now lists Long Riders who have made this
Historical Long Rider Honoured in Switzerland
Even though Switzerland is not a large country in terms of geography, it
can take pride in being the home of some of the most extraordinary Long
Riders in history. For example, Aimé Tschiffely rode from Argentina to
the United States and Otto Schwarz rode 48,000 kilometres on five
continents. Predating them was
Henri de Büren. In 1853 this Swiss Long
Rider made a gruelling ride across the Andes Mountains in Peru. Henri’s
de Büren has written an excellent book about his ancestor’s journey
through North and South America. The book, entitled “The
Journey of Henri de Büren” was recently honoured at a reception
held at Le Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel in Switzerland.
New Testimonial -
North American Long Rider Debra Bumpus-Brown rode through the American West.
“I salute Basha and CuChullaine O’Reilly, and all those who have made the
LRG such an outstanding, completely unique, responsible, informative and
honourable organization. I don't know what your dream was when you first
ventured into the complexities of organizing the Guild, but I imagine
neither of you had any idea how far this would go! I stand amazed and
extremely appreciative of your countless hours and expense (mental,
emotional, time, as well as monetary). You have given birth to something
that will last through the generations.”
Expedition News –
British Long Rider
is riding from Columbia to Peru. His journey across Columbia has required
Marc to exercise extreme caution. “We have
been in a delicate area, lined one side by a heavy presence of Colombian
military and the other by guerillas; so night time can be a gamble. Over the
last two months I have been carefully selecting my routes. Sadly Colombia is
second in the world for land mine victims, only behind Afghanistan. The
majority of the mines are close to areas inhabited by the indigenous people
of Colombia.” The photo sent by Marc
shows a Columbian military check point.
New Testimonial -
North American Long Rider Orion Kraus rode from Mexico to Costa Rica.
“When I heard back from the Long
Riders’ Guild I was breathless. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It
was exactly what I was looking for. Not a crutch, but encouragement from
someone who had done what I am doing….I want to thank you for providing a
website like the Guild. It is an all-in-one package for people like me, and
it has added fuel to an already roaring
fire inside of me.”
Expedition News –
American Long Rider
is making the first known journey “ocean to ocean” in both directions during
the same ride. Bernice had an unexpected encounter with Long Rider history
while riding across Ontario. “As
I neared the
end of my ride in Ontario I rode westward along a dirt road with long
shadows attached to our tails. A pickup coming out of the setting sun drove
up and stopped. The driver rolled down his window and the woman passenger
leaned over to get a better look. The elderly gentleman asked if I had heard
of the book called ‘Saddlebags
I said, of course I had. It tells the story of the legendary ride made
across Canada in 1939 by British Long Rider Mary Bosanquet. Well, he told
me, Mary came down this road and she wintered here in Dayton, YOU are in
Dayton he said. There were no buildings remaining and he was not sure who
the family was that she stayed with but it didn’t matter to me. My jaw was
hanging in disbelief as he drove off. WOW I mean, I had just been told I was
on the same route that Mary rode in 1939.”
New Testimonial -
North American Long Rider Linda Losey rode “ocean to ocean” across the
“Basha and CuChullaine, your help
during my life-changing journey was truly life-saving. Thank you from the
bottom of my heart for founding The Long Riders’ Guild.”
Ride in the Alps. Celebrate the Legend.
The most famous equestrian journey of
all time was accomplished by an unlikely hero. There was nothing in
Aimé Tschiffely’s background that would have caused
anyone to think that the young Swiss school teacher would undertake a daring 10,000 mile ride from Buenos Aires to
New York. Despite being ridiculed as a “mad man” by the Argentine press,
Tschiffely obtained two Criollo geldings and in 1925 departed on a Herculean
The top photo shows Aimé dressed in the fashionable English
riding clothes which he wore on the day he rode out of the Argentine
capital. But the gruelling two year journey required Tschiffely and his
horses, Mancha and Gato, to make their way across the infamous Horse Killer
Desert and over the Andes Mountains. The bottom photo shows the three
hardened travellers in the jungles of Central America.
To mark the 90 year anniversary of
Tschiffely’s departure, Swiss Long Riders Peter van der Gugten
and Alfons Cotti have organized a special three-day
equestrian journey through the beautiful Swiss Alps.
The journey begins on July 3rd in
Glarus, winds it way over the mountain pass to Wäggital and culminates on
July 5th at Klöntal.
A special invitation is extended to
Long Riders from around the world to join the Swiss equestrians who will be
making the journey. Horses are available for hire during the ride and a
special Argentine asado (barbecue) is planned celebrate the culmination of
this historic event.
Travel details and prices are available via the
For further information contact:
Riding to the
Top of the World - A Rare Interview
with Vladimir Fissenko
Many people travel
on horseback. They have ridden on every continent including Antarctica. But one
journey stands alone because of its incredible historical significance; the ride
that took Russian Long Rider Vladimir Fissenko from the bottom of the world,
Patagonia, to the top of the world, Alaska.
The journey began
in Ushuaia, Argentina and concluded in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, covered 30,000
kilometres (19,000 miles) and took five years to complete. It is not only the
mileage which makes Vladimir’s trip unique. In addition to all of his other
adventures, including nearly being killed by Indians, Vladimir rode through the
terrible Darien Gap jungle that separates Columbia from Panama. This jungle is
considered so dangerous that the Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely avoided it in
1926 and the French Long Rider Jean Francois Ballereau also went around it in
Two more articles by Basha
O'Reilly for Randonner à Cheval.
Ferrer votre cheval
La tradition de
garder les sabots des chevaux n'a pas simultanément provenu parallèlement à
l’équitation. En fait des protecteurs des sabots ne sont pas devenus
indispensables jusqu'au temps que pistes asphaltées et routes dur ont
provoquaient fréquemment l’endommagement des sabots des animaux. Ainsi, il a
été l'avènement de terrain artificiel, tels que pavés et de gravier, qui ont
aidé à stimuler au début l'homme rechercher les premières tentatives de
ferrer les chevaux, mais ils n'étaient pas pratiquées depuis de nombreux
siècles qu'après le cheval lui-même était en utilisation générale.
Lire la suite....
est un étudiant vétérinaire de 23 ans qui est monté en selle le 30 Aout
2014. Son but est de voyager 3.000 km. entre Wakkanai au nord jusqu’à l’Ile
d’Okonawa au plein sud. Lire la suite....
Kohei Yamakawa, a 23-year-old veterinarian student, swung into the saddle on
August 30th, 2014. His goal is to ride 3,000 kilometres from
Wakkanai in the northern end of the country to Okinawa Island in the far
south. Read more....
Riding to the top of the world
Many people travel on horseback. They
have ridden on every continent including Antarctica. But one journey stands
alone because of its incredible historical significance; the ride that took
Russian Long Rider Vladimir Fissenko from the bottom of the world,
Patagonia, to the top of the world, Alaska.
Voyage au Sommet
de gens voyagent à cheval. Ils ont voyagé sur tous les continents y compris
l'Antarctique. Mais un voyage est unique en raison de son incroyable
importance historique; le trajet qu'a pris Long Rider russe Vladimir
Fissenko du bas du monde, en Patagonie, au sommet du monde, en Alaska.
a commencé à Ushuaia, Argentine et a conclu à la baie Prudhoe, en Alaska, a
couvert 30.000 kilomètres (19 000 miles) et a pris cinq ans à terminer. Il
n'est pas seulement le kilométrage qui rend le voyage de Vladimir unique. En
plus de tous ses autres aventures, y compris presque être tué par les
Indiens, Vladimir voyageait à travers la terrible Darien Gap jungle qui
sépare la Colombie et le Panama. Cette jungle est considéré comme tellement
dangereuse que le Long Rider Suisse Aimé Tschiffely à évité de le faire en
1926 et le Français Long Rider Jean François Ballereau allait également
autour d'elle en 1987.
has just completed an equestrian journey between Moscow and Romania.
Michael lived in
Moscow for six years as a lawyer. When he returned to England in June 2014,
since his work life in Russia had been very intense, he wanted to make the
most of the occasion by making a relaxing journey, without hurrying and to
see the countries over which he had flown many times to understand how the
people there lived and what secrets were hidden in the fields.
Michael Pugh vient de terminer un voyage à cheval entre Moscou et la
vécu a Moscou pendant six ans comme conseilleur juridique. Quand il
retournait en Angleterre en juin 2014, puisque sa vie de travail était très
chargé en Russie, il voulait profiter de l’occasion de faire un périple
détendu, sans se presser et de voir les terres sur lesquels il avait voyagé
par avion plusieurs fois pour comprendre comme vivaient les gens là bas et
quels secrets se cachaient dans les champs.
Gauchos Gather to Honour Long Rider
Twenty gauchos rode their Criollo horses across the pampas of Argentina to
mark the 90 year anniversary of Swiss Long Rider
10,000 mile ride from Buenos Aires to New York. The
riders are members of the "Asociación de Escritores Tradicionalistas," a
group dedicated to preserving the traditions, history and practices of
The journey concluded at Estancia El Cardal, the ranch where Tschiffely
obtained his Criollo horses Mancha and Gato. Oscar Solanet, whose
grandfather provided the horses to Tschiffely, greeted the gauchos. After
the gauchos placed a commemorative bronze plaque at the Long Rider’s final
resting place, a traditional gaucho asado (barbecue) was held for 600
The journey concluded at Plaza Colon in nearby Ayacucho, when the gauchos
visited the monument dedicated to Tschiffely and his horses.
Rare Photos Discovered of Legendary Long Rider
Aimé Tschiffely is usually remembered
for the remarkable ride he made from Buenos Aires to Washington DC in 1925.
That journey served as the inspiration for his book, Tschiffely’s Ride,
the most influential equestrian travel book of the 20th century.
What is often forgotten is that soon afterwards the Swiss Long Rider made a
second ride and wrote another equestrian travel tale entitled Bridle
An important discovery has been made
about Tschiffely’s 1935 ride across Britain. While attending a charity sale in
Australia, Jo Stewart discovered an inscribed copy of Bridle Paths.
She was initially excited to discover that it was inscribed by the Long
Rider author to the lady who loaned him Violet, the mare he rode from the
south of England to Scotland.
While the discovery of Tschiffely's
inscription would have been of interest, that was not the most important
revelation. When Ms. Stewart opened the book, she was stunned to find that
Tschiffely had carefully taped 14 small photographs onto the relevant page
of the book! Inside were excellent photos of Violet the mare. But even more
exciting was the discovery of images showing Tschiffely preparing to start
the ride (right) and
Don Roberto Cunninghame Graham
sitting on Violet at the conclusion of the journey!
The back of each photo has Aimé's hand-written notes about the image.
Luckily Ms. Stewart recognized the importance of this rare book and
immediately made arrangements for it to be transferred to the Long Riders’
Guild. The complete
photographs can be viewed on the Tschiffely Literary Estate website.
LRGAF Publishes Historic Study on Pack Saddles
Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation is proud to publish the first extensive
study done regarding the use of equine pack transportation during the
American Revolutionary War, 1776 to 1781. This ground breaking research was
undertaken by the scholar John U. Rees, who spent years uncovering a
treasure trove of facts and images about this overlooked part of equestrian
history. John’s detailed report, which contains extensive footnotes and a
long list of primary sources, is the first detailed investigation into how
equestrian travel influenced the outcome of the Revolutionary War. The image
(right) depicts the pack saddle used by General George Washington during the
conflict with Great Britain.
The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes its newest Members:
Having completed many equestrian journeys in various parts of Europe, Pat
Bohnert and Peter van der Gugten were both listed among the Associate
Members of the Guild. After finishing a lengthy ride through Argentina, via
the Andes Mountains, Pat and Peter have now been placed among the Members.
Long Rider and Champion of Women’s Rights
Isabella Bird (1831-1904) was a renowned Lady Long Rider who defied the
rules. The daughter of a clergyman, she was a sickly child who suffered with
terrible back pain. In 1871 her doctor suggested that Isabella should travel
to improve her health. She sailed for Australia and then journeyed on to
Hawaii. It was in that island kingdom that Isabella learned to ride astride.
At a time when polite society was forcing women to
ride in a sidesaddle, Isabella defied convention and rode astride
during her equestrian journeys in the Rocky Mountains, Japan, Persia, China
and Tibet. Isabella went on to write many best-selling travel books, which
have been republished by the Long Riders’ Guild Press in a
special collection. After the London Times described her as “the
boldest of travellers,” Isabella became the first woman to be named as a
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Having taken up photography at the
age of 60, Isabella took hundreds of photos during her extensive travels in
China. Those historic images have been recovered and re-published in a
Riders’ Guild welcomes new Members: Sabine Keller and Dagmar Blöß
rode from Germany, across France and on to Spain.
Journey Recounted in
(right) was only ten years old when she made equestrian travel history.
Along with her parents and siblings, Bernadette set off in 1969 to ride the
length of the newly-created Pacific Crest Trail. The journey brought its
share of hardships including runaway horses, dangerous trails, hostile
ranchers, raging rivers and quicksand. But along the way Bernadette
discovered that her family had grown to include the horses who “would carry
you like an egg that might break” through a host of hazards. To commemorate
the Murray family’s historic journey, Bernadette was invited to address the
Pacific Crest Trail Annual Meeting. The Long Rider’s talk, which includes
dozens of beautiful images, was filled with wisdom.
New Member of LRG completes historic journey across Japan.
The Guild would like to welcome its newest Member, Kohei Yamakawa, who set
off in June, 2014 to make the first modern equestrian journey across Japan.
Because of the historical importance of the journey, Kohei was granted the
honour of carrying the LRG flag.
Hideyo Tsutsumi, the first Japanese Member of the Long Riders’ Guild, acted
as Kohei’s mentor. Custom Pack Rigging of Canada donated the adjustable pack
saddle which Kohei used. Senior Long Riders from around the world helped by
raising funds to cover the shipping of the equipment to Japan.
After riding more than 3,000 kilometres from Cape Soya in the north (top
photo), on 3rd March Kohei reached the historic stone which marks
the other end of Japan (bottom photo).
Kohei chose two hardy Hokkaido geldings,
Michi Yuki (Road
Snow) and Michi Yanagi (Road Willow),
to accompany him on the journey.
To learn more about Kohei’s ride, visit his page or
blog which has hundreds of fascinating photos.
In the Hoofprints of Genghis Khan.
Australian Long Rider Tim Cope made an extraordinary 6,000 mile ride from
Mongolia to Hungary. Renowned explorer and adventure journalist Alastair
Humphreys has done
a remarkable interview with Tim, wherein the equestrian traveller
recounts how he made the challenging journey. Illustrated with many powerful
images, the interview will be part of Alastair’s
new book about exploration.
The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes new Member.
From January 1976 to October 1977 William Waterway
undertook a historic equestrian journey in the United States. Beginning
in San Diego, California the young man ended his journey in Calais, Maine,
after riding 7,500 miles. William’s mission was to promote what he called
“The Ride for Nature.” He went on to champion environmental issues.
New testimonial from documentary film maker.
Leon McCarron is a renowned international traveller who contacted the Guild
in search of advice regarding an equestrian journey in Patagonia. Leon’s
goal was to ride in the hoofprints of the famous Historical Long Rider
Though he is known today as "the father of evolution," English biologist
Charles Darwin was also an avid equestrian traveller. During the five years
in which he made his scientific journey around the world, Darwin took every
opportunity to explore the continents of South America, Australia and Africa
on horseback. With the help of Argentine Long Rider
José Argento, Leon completed the equestrian journey along the Santa
Cruz River and is now preparing a
documentary film. He shared the following Testimonial.
“When I began planning my first equestrian journey in Autumn 2014, I had no
experience whatsoever of travelling with horses. Some friends suggested I
contact the Long Riders Guild as a starting point, and I am eternally
grateful that I did! CuChullaine O’Reilly listened patiently to my plans to
ride across Argentina, and was hugely generous with his time and experience.
He made insightful suggestions regarding the concept of my expedition and
within a short amount of time he had connected me with a Long Rider in the
region who subsequently agreed to join me on the journey and has become a
very good friend. In short - my journey could not have happened without the
assistance of the LRG and CuChullaine. It is a unique and wonderful
organisation, and one that I consider myself lucky to have found.
Rare Long Rider Film released to the public
was Sweden’s most famous explorer and Long Rider. Starting in 1894, when he
rode in Persia, Hedin went on to lead three daring expeditions across Tibet
and Central Asia. By 1908 he had discovered the source of the Indus River,
explored the Pamir Mountains and found the remains of lost cities in the Lop
Nur Desert. In 1927, at the age of 70, Hedin set off on his fourth major
journey, a gruelling expedition through the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and
Turkestan. In addition to scientists from six countries, Hedin was joined by
the Danish Long Rider
Henning Haslund-Christensen. Mounted on local horses, and
accompanied by a caravan of 300 Bactrian camels, Hedin led one of the most
remarkable expeditions of the age. A silent documentary film, nearly two
hours in length, recorded amazing images of Hedin’s journey; including
scenes of the camels in a snow storm in the Gobi Desert, remote walled
cities and Chinese warlords. The film can be viewed for free
The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes new Member
Sharon Bridgeman rode 3,500 kilometres (2,100 miles) along Australia’s
Bicentennial National Trail. The journey took Sharon from Cooktown in the
far north of Queensland to Wallerawang in New South Wales.
Ride Across Japan passes 2,000 kilometres
Despite the onset of winter, Kohei Yamakawa has continued his historic ride
across the length of Japan. He recently spoke about his journey in a
Growing up on the Pacific Crest Trail
In 1969 Barry Murray, his wife and three young children set off on a journey
that was to become a Long Rider legend. The Murrays were determined to be
the first family to ride the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, a gruelling
4,286 kilometres (2,663 miles) long route that leads from Mexico to Canada.
A special new “Story from the Road” tells the inspiring story of how
husband, wife, children and horses rode into history.
Historical Thriller recounts adventures of France’s greatest Long Rider
In 1889 Tibet was known as the “Hermit Kingdom,” because of its reputation
for excluding outsiders. Lhasa, the nation’s capital, was considered the
most difficult city on earth for a foreigner to enter. Sophie Schiller’s new
to Tibet,” tells the story of Gabriel Bonvalot, France's most famous
Long Rider, and his companion, Prince Henri d'Orléans, who join forces to
reach Lhasa, the mysterious capital.
During their equestrian journey, the explorers are besieged by freezing
temperatures, volatile winds, mountain sickness, hostile Tibetans,
duplicitous Chinese Mandarins, and a beguiling Tibetan Buddhist princess
with a deadly secret.
The World’s Most Wanted Long Rider
While the Long Riders' Guild has been successful in finding the majority of
living equestrian travellers, there is one in particular for whom we have
long sought. He is a Chinese equestrian traveller named Li Jing, who made a
remarkable 9,000 kilometre (5,592 miles) ride from Votkinsk, Russia to
Beijing, China in 2009. Li Jing currently heads the list of “Missing
in Action” Long Riders. There was a great deal of interest in the
Chinese press when Li Jing arrived in Beijing. If you have any
knowledge on how Li Jing can be located, please contact the Guild.
For information on earlier news stories,
please visit the