The Long Riders' Guild

Vyv Wood Gee.jpg


Long Rider Routes


If it is true that the age of national exploration is now past, the Long Riders’ Guild believes we are about to witness the dawning of the age of the citizen-explorer, an enlightened era wherein individuals set out not to exploit the natural resources of their neighbours, nor to plant the flag of their country of origin atop a mighty peak in another land, but rather to explore the frontiers of this planet and our own souls.

Courage and curiosity are requisite requirements for any Long Rider; but practical knowledge regarding the possible route is of equal importance.

The well-known Scottish Long Rider, Vyv Wood-Gee (above), realized that there was a dire need for reliable equestrian travel information. She wrote to The Guild in 2008 to say, “It's obvious that those from outside Britain may not appreciate in advance how the UK differs from other countries, as finding out about routes in this country is not easy. I have had real difficulty finding out about riding routes in other countries, the legal position regarding equestrian access, knowing who to ask etc. Some may feel that finding such things out is all part of the challenge and satisfaction, as indeed it is, but basic information could help riders plan their journey so they don't meet major disappointments. My suggestion is to include basic information on the LRG web-site, volunteered by Long Riders, regarding riding in different countries.  Examples of the information which would be useful would be: how and where to find out about riding routes or other info relevant to that country, basic considerations in planning a ride in any country such as timing, weather, health, water etc.”

In response to Vyv’s suggestion, the Guild now archives the details of a growing collection of Long Rider Routes This unique repository contains the knowledge gained by equestrian explorers past and present, and will allow future Long Riders to travel with an increased degree of confidence and safety between distant destinations.

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.

From China to Afghanistan – The oldest “Story from the Road” was compiled by Chen Cheng, who made a round trip journey from Peking, China to Herat, Afghanistan in 1414.

St. Petersburg to Peking – In 1717 Scottish Long Rider John Bell spent seventeen months riding between the capitals of Russia and China.

Riding Across the Sahara - Hugh Clapperton travelled across the interior of north Africa in 1822 to identify the course of the River Niger.

In Search of the Alhambra – American author Washington Irving rode from Seville eastward to Granada in 1829.

Through the Kyzyl-Kum Desert – American Long Rider Januarius MacGahan rode 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) to report on the Russian invasion of Khiva in 1873.

From Persia to India – Harry de Windt rode 4,800 kilometres (3,000 miles) across Persia to India via the desert of Baluchistan in 1890.

Samurai Ride Across Siberia - The most noted Japanese Long Rider was Baron Yasumasa Fukushima, who rode from St. Petersburg, Russia to Tokyo, Japan in 1892.

Alone Along the Outlaw Trail – Alone and unarmed, English Long Rider Roger Pocock rode 4,800 kilometres (3,000 miles) across America’s most infamous trail in 1899.

By Desert Ways to Baghdad – Louisa Jebb rode across the Ottoman Empire in 1908.

In Genuine Cowgirl Fashion – Two Gun Nan Aspinwall became the first woman to ride “ocean to ocean” across the USA when she travelled 7,400 kilometres (4,500 miles) in 1910.

Pinto’s 48 State Ride – Between 1912 and 1915 George Beck travelled more than 32,500 kilometres (20,000 miles) to every American state capital.

Across Turkey and Persia – German Long Rider Eberhard von Westarp rode across these countries in 1913.

The Lost Oases - In 1923 Egyptian Long Rider Sir Ahmed Mohammed Hassanein mounted his horse and made a remarkable seven month journey across the centre of the Libyan Desert.

Gypsy Queen’s Journey – Starting in 1925 Frank Heath made an 18,000 kilometre (11,000 miles) ride throughout the United States.

Tschiffely’s Ride – The most famous equestrian journey began in 1925, when Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely set out to ride from Buenos Aires, Argentina to New York, USA.

Though the Heart of Afghanistan – Emil Trinkler rode from Herat, across the centre of Afghanistan, to Kabul in 1927.

On the Oregon Trail – John and Lulu Beard set off in 1948 to retrace the legendary pioneer trail stretching from Missouri to Oregon.

Into the Wakhan Corridor – Jean and Franc Shor received special permission from the King of Afghanistan to explore the Wakhan Corridor in 1949.

To Save a Country – In the winter of 1950 George Patterson rode across the Himalayan Mountains to alert the world that Tibet had been invaded by communist China.

Across the Takla Makan Desert and into Tibet – One of the most astonishing journeys was undertaken in 1950 when a group of Russian and American Long Riders, mounted on specially trained meat-eating horses, fled before the advancing Chinese communist army.

Argentina to Canada – After being inspired by Aimé Tschiffely, Ana Beker rode 27,500 kilometres (17,000 miles) from Buenos Aires to Ottawa between 1952 and 1954.

Journey from the Arctic – Donald Brown and Gorm Skifter rode from the Arctic Circle, in Lapland, to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1954.

Riding With Tarzan - Messanie Wilkins rode 11,500 kilometres (7,000 miles) across 17 American states in 1954.

Growing Up on the Pacific Crest Trail In 1969 Barry Murray, his wife and three young children became the first family to ride 4,286 kilometres (2,663 miles) from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Lesotho to Kenya – Ria Bosman and Gordon Naysmith’s journey across Africa in 1970 was one of the most difficult and dangerous on record.

Through the Darien Gap Jungle – In 1971 the British Trans-Americas Expedition led by Colonel John Blashford Snell completed a gruelling 99 day crossing of the infamous jungle separating Panama from Columbia.

From France to Arabia and Back - Jean-Claude Cazade and Pascale Franconie rode 21,100 kilometres (13,100 miles) between 1982 and 1984.

Little Long Rider - In 1986 at the age of 9, Hjoerdis Rickert rode 1950 kilometres (1200 miles) from Le Puy, France, to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, making her the third-youngest person ever to be inducted into The Long Riders' Guild.

Raul’s Ride – In 1987 Raul and Margarita Vasconcellos rode 15,400 kilometres (9,500 miles) from New Mexico, USA to Baraderos, Argentina.

From Turkmenistan to Russia – Geldy Kyarizov rode 4,300 kilometres (2,700 miles) from Ashgabat to Moscow in 1988. The journey took him through the Kara Kum Desert, across Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Khyber Knights – A Founding Member of the Guild, CuChullaine O’Reilly rode through northern Pakistan in 1987.

Spanish Pilgrimage – Founding Members of the Guild, Robin and Louella Hanbury-Tenison, followed the ancient pilgrim’s trail across Spain in 1989.

Through Brazil – Between 1991 and 1993, José Reis, Pedro Luis de Aguiar and Jorge Dias de Aguiar rode 19,400 kilometres (12,000 miles) through their native Brazil.

Across the Steppes to Mongolia - Catherine Waridel, a Founding Member of the Guild, rode 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) from the Crimea to Mongolia between1992 and 1995.

From Patagonia to Alaska – Starting in 1994, Founding Member of the Guild Günter Wamser spent nearly twenty years riding 25,000 kilometres (15,535 miles) from the bottom of Patagonia to the top of Alaska.

Count Pompeii's Journey From Russia - Founding Member of the Guild, Basha O'Reilly set off in 1995 on a journey that led her from Russia to England.

Pampa’s Journey Through Argentina – Benjamin Reynal rode 5,000 kilometres (3,100 miles) to the four corners of Argentina in1998.

Chalchalero’s March from Argentina to Israel – Argentine Long Rider Eduardo Discoli departed in 2001 on a 35,000 kilometres (21,700 miles) journey that took him across the Americas, through Europe and on to the Middle East.

Travelling Across Tibet – New Zealand Long Rider Ian Robinson undertook a remarkable solo journey across Tibet in 2002 which resulted in him being pursued cross country by the communist authorities.

Misty’s Long Ride – Howard Wooldridge set off in 2002 to ride “ocean to ocean” across North America.

South Africa to Kenya - Esther Stein and Horst Hausleitner encountered many adventures during their ride across southern Africa in 2003.

Riding in the Hoofprints of Genghis Khan – After setting off in 2004, Australian Long Rider Tim Cope rode 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) across Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Hungary.

The Afghan Cavaliers – Louis Meunier of France and Hadji Shamsuddin of Maimana overcame dangers and disease during their ride across Afghanistan in 2005.

In Chile and Argentina – English Long Rider Hugh MacDermot made an extensive journey through Chile and Argentina in 2005.

Across the American West – Bernice Ende began an series of equestrian journeys in North America in 2005, when she rode 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) from Montana to New Mexico.

On the Tea Horse Trail to Tibet – Daniel Robinson travelled along an ancient trade route in 2006, going from China, across Tibet, over the Himalayan Mountains and into India – where he was arrested and imprisoned.

From Tunisia to Uganda – An ambitious journey began in 2007 when Christine Henchie and William Brenchley set off to cross the African continent from north to south.

The Long Trot – John O'Groats, Scotland and Land's End, Cornwall are the two furthest points of Great Britain. Grant Nicolle rode between them in 2007.

Across the Kazakh Steppes – In 2010 Bonnie Folkins decided to explore the steppes of Kazakhstan.

From the Baltic to the Black Sea - In 2011 a team of Lithuanians rode Žemaitukai horses on a special equestrian journey from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

North to the Arctic Circle - Vaidotas Digaitis completed a journey in 2012 that took him from Lithuania to the Arctic Circle and back.

Strider’s Ride Round England – William Reddaway undertook a historic 4,200 kilometre (2,600 miles) journey in 2013 when he visited 30 cathedrals and abbeys throughout Great Britain.

Dreams Do Come True – Filipe Masetti Leite set off from Calgary, Canada in 2012 and arrived in Espírito Santo do Pinhal, Brazil in 2014.

Sheila’s Journey - Inspired by national hero Jan Žižka, in 2015 Dalibor Balut made the first modern ride to all corners of his native Czech Republic.

Exploring Lithuania - Vaidotas Digaitis rode from the Baltic Sea in Lithuania to the Black Sea in Ukraine. He next completed a journey around the Baltic Sea to the Arctic Circle and back. In 2015 he also pioneered a route around his native Lithuania.

Red’s Ride - In 2015 English Long Rider Marc Noonan rode his gelding, Red, 4,800 kilometres (3,000 miles) across Colombia, through Ecuador and on to the border of Peru.

Hoofprints Across Patagonia - Long Riders Charlotte Simsar, Capucine Lelièvre and Charlotte Vandeputte mapped their route across Patagonia and the pampas in 2016.

In 2016 American Long Rider Samantha Szesciorka made her second journey through Nevada. The Nevada Discovery Ride  was done to encourage the adoption of America’s wild horses.

Bento's Long Ride: In 2018 Greta Lackner and her horse, Bento, pioneered a route across Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and into Norway. The journey lasted 116 days and covered 2,500 kilometres.

Oisín's Irish Trail - In the summer of 2018 English Long Rider Cathleen Leonard and Romanian Long Rider Vlad Coman rode the length of Ireland.

Trails and Borders   

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