All the questions and more are answered within the Handbook
Things we take for granted every day, even when on vacation, become major
dilemmas for the horseback traveler - will I actually be able to find enough
food, shelter, and supplies when I need them? What exactly is the best way to
secure a horse for the night when there are no fences? Do I need to learn how to
trim my horse's feet myself? How much of various items do I need to bring? Why
am I doing this and is it even possible?!
All these questions and more are answered within the pages of O'Reilly's excellent book. From the Long Rider daily routine to emergency preparedness, from buying the ideal long ride horse to what to expect when your ride is done, he covers it all, with information gleaned from his own experience and from countless other long riders throughout history and modern times.
Planning a horseback journey is so different than planning a trail ride or a pack trip or an endurance ride that it can be confusing about what is the best answer for each unusual and unique problem. In my own long ride preparations, I have been able to find most of the answers I need within this book. I've also found answers to questions I didn't yet know I had, and verified answers that I have had to muddle through on my own in the earlier part of the planning before this book was available.
And if you ride horses but don't plan on doing a long ride ever in your life, you should still get this book! If only for the section on trail emergencies, including weather, wildlife, and illness, because these are issues all horse people deal with whether we ride one hour or one thousand miles down the road.