The Long Riders' Guild

The desire to ride our horses towards the unknown horizon cements the unity of the vast equestrian brotherhood that has existed for centuries.

 

Former generations of horse travellers took the basis of their equestrian knowledge for granted. For centuries they passed on wisdom in an oral tradition, never foreseeing the day when horses would be replaced as the primary mode of transportation.

 

The advent of a motorized age accomplished two things. The equestrian population of the USA alone plummeted from a 1910 all-time high of 26 million to an all time low of 6 million in 1960.

 

The other casualty of this equinocide was the loss of humanity’s collective equestrian travel wisdom. A treasure trove representing more than 8,000 years of cumulative human-horse travel experience was lost in less than 100 years due to global apathy. Thus as the 20th century came to a conclusion mankind knew more about the surface of the moon than it did about the once vital topic of horse travel.

 

As equestrian amnesia took hold it became common for a timid pedestrian population to hide at home rather than risk trying to explore the world on horseback. Those few brave souls who did venture onto the trail did so in an increasing state of ignorance. This in turn resulted in unintentional mistakes as the fundamental laws of horse travel had passed out of popular existence.

 

The formation of the Long Riders’ Guild brought about a number of essential improvements including the establishment of a strict code of equestrian ethics, the publication of a tremendous archive of news articles and the preservation of the names and travel details of nearly a thousand Long Riders.

 

Yet one intellectual goal has eluded us - until now – the gathering, preservation and passing on of humanity’s equestrian travel wisdom. The forthcoming Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is designed to resolve this problem.

 

CuChullaine O’Reilly, the Founder of the Long Riders’ Guild, has spent more than thirty years searching the world for this endangered equestrian knowledge. Early in his search CuChullaine was told by James Allen, the world’s most respected equestrian publisher, that no such comprehensive study had ever been attempted. Nothing of an international nature had yet been created.

 

According to Allen there were only two types of available texts. A few travellers had left accounts of their individual journeys. But these were intended as entertainment. Any information had to be painfully extracted from amidst hundreds of pages of narrative. The only exceptions to this rule were two out of print studies written in French and German. But these were based upon the authors’ limited travels and did not take into account the immense knowledge of other Long Riders. Plus, because they were penned in the late 20th century both volumes were badly out of step with the new internet age.

 

The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is not the limited personal view of the author. It is not the recollections of a single traveller. It does not promote the superiority of one race or culture.

 

The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of the most incredible Long Riders. The pages reveal their forgotten equestrian history, complete with their gallant struggles against inconceivable odds. Their books are honoured in the Bibliography which includes more than 200 titles reaching back to the mid-17th century. The pages are enriched by nearly a thousand images, drawings and photographs.

 

As might be expected this extensive book offers every conceivable type of advice about the basics of equestrian travel such as how to plan a route, how to choose a travelling companion, how to find a road horse, how to load a pack saddle, how many miles to travel per day, how to feed and shoe your horse, how to cross rivers, how to negotiate borders, how to survive in traffic, how to deter horse thieves, etc.

 

Thus the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is a book containing hundreds of pages of practical wisdom gained from the travels of the greatest equestrian explorers. It is also a guidebook to the inner way.

 

The wise Long Rider knows he is setting off on two journeys, the external and the interior, that he will be required to travel along the parallel streams which run through every equestrian journey, the practical and the philosophical. Both require careful study.

 

A few books have addressed the practical aspects of horse travel. But no one has examined the philosophical side. The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration doesn’t just tell you how. It reveals why.

 

The author, CuChullaine O’Reilly, believes we have a duty to provide guidance to future Long Riders, to hand down ancient wisdom to those who would follow in our hoofprints, to educate them to profit by our mistakes, to encourage a new generation of equestrian explorer to set off towards the horizon in search of adventure.

The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration represents an Ark, not of animals two by two, but of mankind’s equestrian travel knowledge, consisting of every scrap of wisdom found in ancient tomes, the lessons learned from countless painful personal experiences, the practical knowledge garnered from generations of horse-humans, our species' collective equestrian evidence gathered together for the first time, preserved, and presented to posterity. It is a book that serves as a bridge to mankind’s collective equestrian travel heritage. Its message transcends nationality and time.

After decades of unrelenting labour, the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is nearing its conclusion. If you would like to be informed of its completion, please send an email to the Guild’s webmaster.

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