The Horse Travel Handbook Could Save Your Life
When we encountered obstacles or potential dangers, because of our collective knowledge and experiences in both human and animal rescue we did have a good base, but the Handbook came in very helpful when we had differing opinions based on our experience. We used the Handbook as a reference to help plan our route and decide which would be a less risky path. And when we had to go through tricky areas such as narrow paths along busy highways, we would consult the Handbook to calm our nerves and make sure we had all the ideas and wisdom fresh in our mind before entering the danger we knew we had too. All of these things either directly or indirectly improved the welfare of the horses. For those who didn't have our knowledge, this book would potentially save their lives and/or their horses lives.
The Handbook included information that was very useful. For example, the practice of leaving the saddle on your horses back to allow the back muscles to cool slowly to avoid muscle soreness. Of our six horses, one of them (Mak) was becoming sore and we could not find the cause. Being a veterinarian and my sister a vet tech this was concerning. Then I read that tip in the book and his soreness was eliminated. I have never heard of that and neither did any of the riders we encountered and ranchers we met but it was fundamental to Mak's well being and ability to comfortably continue. None of the other horses had a recognizable issue with back muscles from cooling to quickly but that didn't mean it didn't help them either.
The book also sparked curiosity and a feeling of community with the experiences written within. My Dad was very fortunate to have met American Long Rider Bernice Ende and when we read her section in the Handbook we felt connected and an unusual sense of community. And you couldn't help but wonder about the other travellers that have experienced things you simply got a taste for. Like imagining going through a desert day after day after you just experienced your first 40C day. Or pushing through a jungle after you just finished bush whacking for several hours. I would very very strongly recommend this book not just for the would be equestrian traveller, or even the experienced Long Rider, I would also recommend it to people who work with horses a lot. Another perspective is always helpful!
Not only is the Handbook invaluable to those thinking of travel by horse, it has such useful information that the weekend trail rider can also benefit a lot. The knowledge is a compilation of experience both positive and negative which could save someone (and their horse) from making an unsuspecting poor decision while traveling on horseback. A great read, tons of pertinent information, and very handy to have within your pack as you go! Highly recommended for the horse traveler and a must read for those who care for the welfare of their horse while traveling long distances.
Stacey Nahachewsky, her father, David, and sister, Teresa, crossed Canada. They are the first Long Riders not only to take the Horse Travel Handbook with them, but to consult the book while travelling.