Fleur Scheele – The Netherlands
It's been a year since I last visited the Long Riders' Guild website, and now that I took a look again, I immediately got thrilled - like I did last year. A year ago, after months of preparing, using your website, reading Long Riders books, and taking a farriery course, I left my home country the Netherlands to go for a long ride in Turkey. I found a beautiful little horse in Cappadocia, a Syrian stallion (right), fit and easy-going. We set off on a Central Anatolian ride that lasted a little less than three months.
The trip was far more exhausting than I had imagined, not in the least because finding proper horse feed in a country nearly void of horses turned out to be a full-time job! Ensuring my horse's safety and health were not compromised required my continuous attention, like it does, of course, for any Long Rider; but it wasn't too easy, as an inexperienced equestrian traveller, in this country I had never visited before, and where people no longer have the facilities and knowledge to keep horses.
Fortunately, I received a lot of support via email and telephone, from my friends: experienced Long Riders, my farrier, a horse vet, and local Anatolian travellers. It's been a great adventure, and I have learned a lot. Knowing what I know now, I would not go on exactly the same journey, as the challenges were so great that I did not always have the energy to enjoy the journey. But a long ride is great, and I will definitely seek for ways in the future to take my horse and travel again. I don't care so much where we go, or how fast we go (I hardly ever rode, because he's such a small horse and I'd have put too much weight on him); just being in the presence of the horse is enough for me. Time is all we need.
Just writing to you to say how much I appreciate your website and all of the essential information on it. Thanks for all of your work and for sharing it. It's opened a world for me!
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