I cannot recommend this book enough!
As a newcomer to the world of horses, this book gave me strength and clarity to plan my mammoth dream of a long ride.
For the last year I have been planning a long ride across 8000 miles of the USA. I grew up in New York City and have had limited experience with horses. I have two more years of planning before I embark.
I found the Handbook to be stupendously helpful and prodigiously particular. The
level of depth and thought that went into each chapter is a massively generous
gift that CuChullaine O'Reilly has offered to both prospective and active long
riders alike. He manages to cut down foolish romantic notions that can get you
and your horse killed while still encouraging the great adventure of the long
ride provided one has reverence for the massive undertaking they are beginning.
I found it to be organized and easy to navigate. I was able to comfortably jump around from more technical to more emotional or intellectual elements. It was clear what information was completely vital and what was extra bonus thoughts of pleasure and ease. I liked that. As a newcomer to the Long Rider world the clarity about what is non-negotiable and what you will discover for yourself along the way was comforting.
Certain more technical parts I breezed through as I was able to get a sense of what I would need to learn and how involved it would be, like crossing rivers. But I was still able to get a clear sense of the complexity that can be involved and the time that needs to be allotted. I know I will be re-reading the Handbook with a fine toothed comb many times before embarking, before buying my horses, before route planning etc.
I appreciate how the author pushed making the horse journey a singular goal, that you don't need to attach other missions alongside it. Traveling by horse is a grand journey in and of itself. I think that makes a lot of sense. For someone like myself, who must marry another element to the travel (I'm a musician and performer who will be touring a show through homes along my route), I think they need to be very clear about why they must and what the benefits and pitfalls of such a marriage might be. The author helps to guide and encourage that conversation in a really productive way.
I cannot recommend this book enough! Thank you!
Gideon Irving read The Horse Travel Handbook prior to departing on an 8,000 mile equestrian journey across the United States.