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North America

 

ISBN 1590480287

California Coast Trails, J. Smeaton Chase - Few books deserve the endorsement “forgotten gem.” Yet “California Coast Trails” is entitled to that accolade and more!
An English immigrant, Smeaton Chase (1864-1923) came to California in 1890 where he pursued a career as one of the state’s earliest social workers. Yet he never allowed his career to interfere with the life-long pursuit of his twin passions, equestrian travel and botany.
Though Chase made many various horse trips throughout the American West, this book describes his most famous journey, from Mexico to Oregon along the coast of California. The amateur scientist doesn’t merely ride along, he treats us to a treasure trove of observations, commenting on subjects as diverse as the architecture of the Spanish Missions, the hospitality of the people, and the beauties of a fabled countryside in the last days of its pristine natural glory.
While Chase regales the reader with adventures, such as rescuing his horse from quicksand, the book is far more than a mere account of an equestrian exploration. It remains one of the most poetic and moving accounts ever written by a man in the saddle. “California Coast Trails” is thus not merely a “classic.” It is a blessing to any library and to every reader.    Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble for more details

 

ISBN 1590481453

 

California Desert Trails, J. Smeaton Chase - Imagine all the soft places of the world, the green valleys, the soft beaches, the tranquil islands, the cool mountains.

Now imagine you are on horseback in one of the harshest deserts in the world – riding alone for two years!  That is what famed British naturalist J. Smeaton Chase did.

He mounted up and rode into the Mojave Desert to undertake the longest equestrian study of its kind in modern history.

Chase was no newcomer to equestrian travel.  In 1910 he rode from the Mexican border to Oregon, then penned a delightful book called ‘California Coast Trails,’ which recorded his impressions of the pristine beauty observed during that ocean-front ride.

Then in 1916 the amateur naturalist headed his horse inland in search of the secrets of a sun-drenched landscape few had explored.

The resulting book, “California Desert Trails,” is one man’s love affair with the Mojave Desert.

For Chase possessed the rare talent of seeing beauty where others perceived only serpents and sand. He found wisdom in unconventional places, with crazy hermits, wise Indians, and fellow wanderers adrift in the desert. Traveling slowly as he did on horseback, Chase was also able to observe the animals and plants that inhabited this dangerous, but delightful, world.

The result is a book unlike any other in the history of equestrian travel.

Amply illustrated with stunning black and white photographs which Chase took during his long ride, this poetic travel tale concludes with a special appendix, wherein Chase gives “Hints on Desert Traveling” to a new generation of Long Riders and desert travelers.
Learn more at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.co.uk

 

ISBN 1590480260

Following the Frontier, Roger Pocock - Roger Pocock was an Englishman whose tales of wanderlust and equestrian adventure were nineteenth century travel classics. “Following the Frontier” is considered his best work describing as it does his early adventures in North America.
Although the autobiographical account reads like fiction, it is in fact only the first half of his remarkable life. Pocock begins his tale by explaining how he came to join the Canadian Mounties in 1885. When the Saskatchewan Rebellion broke out soon afterwards, Pocock’s unit was ordered to march from Regina to Fort Albert during the height of the Canadian winter. The author’s feet were severely frost-bitten, leaving him crippled for life.
Never one to be put off by physical adversity, Pocock went on to become one of the nineteenth century's most influential equestrian travelers. One of the highlights of “Following the Frontier” is the detailed account of Pocock’s horse ride along the infamous Outlaw Trail, a 3,000 mile solo journey that took the adventurer from Canada to Mexico City. During this trip Pocock not only visited Robber’s Roost and Hole in the Wall, he also spent many a night with the hunted American outlaws then inhabiting this lawless section of the Old American West.
Although considered one of the finest writers of the nineteenth century, Pocock’s story is more than just a literary adventure. It takes the reader into backwoods, along forbidden paths, and into the den of danger!  Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble.

To read Pocock's fascinating book, Horses, please click here.

 

ISBN 1590480937

To the Foot of the Rainbow, Clyde Kluckhohn - He had a chance, a rare chance, to leave behind the smoky, crowded streets of New England and journey out to the still unspoiled American West. He had a chance, a rare chance, to forget that he was born to ride a desk, not a New Mexican bronco. He had a chance, a rare chance, to turn his back on convention and schedules, wrist-watches and bills, misspent romance and a thousand other heart-aches.  He opted instead to climb up on the back of a untried horse and ride off in search of equestrian adventure. 
He had that chance, and he took it!
His name sounds ungainly today. “Clyde Kluckhohn”. Yet he was no cartoon character. This was a young man in search of adventure and a dream, to ride through the stony wastes of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico in search of a geographic legend, “The Rainbow Bridge.” Native American myth stated that somewhere in the rocky wastelands of Navajo-land stood a gigantic, unbelievable arch of pure red stone. No white man had ever seen it. No white man had ever ridden near it. Young Clyde Kluckhohn, the Yankee horseman, determined to do just that!
Thus “To the Foot of the Rainbow” is not just a exciting true tale of equestrian adventure. It is a moving account of a young man’s search for physical perfection in a desert world still untouched by the recently-born twentieth century. Amply illustrated with period photos, it remains a classic tale of a daring man, his trusty horse, and their brave struggle to discover a legend.    Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

 

ISBN 1590480724

Forty Million Hoof Beats, Frank Heath - Everyone harbors a dream. Perhaps it is to leave the bills behind, see what is over the next hill, or even seek for adventure. Frank Heath, the author of “Forty Million Hoof Beats” did all that and more.
A former cavalryman during the First World War, Heath not only knew about horses, but more importantly he understood the rigors involved in undertaking a great equestrian journey. That is why he took a deep breath before announcing to the world that he was going to ride to all 48 states within the continental United States.
Most people would spend vast amounts of time and money to acquire a horse for such a stupendous undertaking. Heath did neither. He traded a horse he had on hand for a ten-year-old mare named Gypsy Queen. According to the horse trader, the mare Heath acquired was a Kentucky Morgan. Yet fancy pedigree aside, the little bay mare could cover ground like a fast moving windstorm.
Mounted on Gypsy Queen, Heath set out in 1925 to see his vast country. The journey lasted more than two years, during which time the two travelers shared a long series of hardships, becoming inseparable companions in the process. In 1927, more than 11,000 miles later, Frank and his Gypsy Queen mare finally rode into Washington DC. The unlikely horse and her cavalryman rider had touched every state in the Union. One man’s dream had been achieved.
Long considered a classic equestrian travel tale, “Forty Million Hoof Beats” influenced three generations of Americans to follow Gypsy Queen and Frank Heath onto the high road of adventure. This marks the first time in more than 50 years that this once famous book will once again be available to the public.  Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

 

ISBN 1590480333

A Lady's Ride in the Rockies, Isabella Bird - The American West of the late nineteenth century had seen its share of foreign travelers but none could compare to Isabella Bird, the archetypal Victorian Lady Traveler. The daughter of an English clergyman, Bird was on her way back from Hawaii, which she had spent nearly a year exploring on horseback, when she decided to stop off to investigate the Wild West.
Having suffered from ill health as a child, Bird therefore threw herself into a life of open air and exercise as a means of recovery. “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains” is told through letters the intrepid author wrote to her sister in the winter of 1873 regarding this equestrian sojourn during which she explored the magnificent unspoiled wilderness of Colorado, ascended the highest mountains, observed the abundant wildlife, and observed life on the remote frontier in all its phases.
Bird’s quest for equestrian adventure was to turn her into a compulsive traveler and eventually take her on other equestrian journeys to equally inaccessible places including Persia, Tibet, Japan, Korea and Morocco. Plus she was also the first woman ever to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of England.  
Yet this remains the most popular book the prolific author, and indefatigable traveler, ever penned. Enormously entertaining and amply illustrated, “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains” remains a vivid account of an astounding equestrian journey.   Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

ISBN 1590480430

Last of the Saddle Tramps, Messanie Wilkins - Historically the world of equestrian travel has contained an exciting mixture of unique men and women. Some are adventurers seeking danger from the back of their horses. Others are travelers discovering the beauties of the countryside they slowly ride through. A few are searching for inner truths while cantering across desolate parts of the planet. Then there is Messanie Wilkins. She was acting on orders from the Lord!   
In 1954, at the age of 63, Wilkins had plenty to worry about. A destitute spinster in ill health, Wilkins had been told she had less than two years left to live, provided she spent them quietly. With no family ties, no money, and no future in her native Maine, Wilkins decided to take a daring step. Using the money she had made from selling homemade pickles, Wilkins bought a tired summer camp horse and made preparations to ride from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Ocean. Yet before leaving she flipped a coin, asking God to direct her to go or not. When the coin came up heads several times in a row, one of America’s most unlikely equestrian heroines set off.
What followed was one of the twentieth century's most remarkable equestrian journeys. Accompanied by her faithful horse, Tarzan, Wilkins suffered through a host of obstacles including blistering deserts and freezing snow storms, yet never lost faith that she would complete her 7,000 mile odyssey.
“Last of the Saddle Tramps” is thus the warm and humorous story of a humble American heroine bound for adventure and the Pacific Ocean. The classic tale is amply illustrated with photographs.   Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble
Ocean to Ocean on Horseback, Willard Glazier - The “soldier-author” was how Willard Glazier billed himself.  
A penniless schoolboy at the beginning of the American Civil War, Glazier enlisted in a cavalry unit of the Union Army of the Potomac and was soon captured by Confederate troops. After a daring escape, he was recaptured, only to escape a second time, before finally reaching the Union lines again.
At the conclusion of the conflict Glazier wrote a book describing his wartime experiences. When every New York publisher rejected him, the young cavalryman self-published his work, hoping to make back his costs plus a hundred dollars profit. Instead, to his delight, the book took off like wildfire, selling 400,000 copies.
With the $75,000 profit realized from his efforts, Glazier determined to ride “from Ocean to Ocean.” Leaving New York state in 1875 on his horse, Paul Revere, the former trooper set out to see the mighty Pacific, many miles and many unexpected adventures away.
“Ocean to Ocean on Horseback” is Glazier at his best, complete with every sort of mounted adventure, and includes an account of how he was kidnapped by Arapahoe Indians. Amply illustrated with pen and ink drawings of the time, the book remains a timeless equestrian adventure classic.   Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

On Horseback in Virginia, Charles Dudley Warner - A prolific author, and a great friend of Mark Twain, Charles Warner made a witty and perceptive contribution to the world of nineteenth century American literature when he and Twain co-authored “The Gilded Age”, the book that gave the era its name.

In 1887 Warner combined his urbane wit with a love of adventure travel when he penned “On Horseback in Virginia.” Always a keen observer, the roving author set out on horseback to investigate a great, rugged stretch of southern Appalachia. The extended equestrian journey took Warner from Virginia, through North Carolina, and into the remote hills of Tennessee.

Additionally, the book contains a second narrative account of Warner’s equestrian adventures in the Old West. This time he saddled up and rode from El Paso, Texas to Mexico City, Mexico.

Both tales comprise a book full of meaty descriptions told by one of America’s premier nineteenth century storytellers.  Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

Ride the Wind, Miles Abernathy - Once they were famous from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

If you had asked any American school children in 1911 who Bud and Temple Abernathy were, they would have given you a look of disbelief. “Everyone knows the Abernathy Boys,” they would have said. And they would have been correct, because the mounted adventures of the little Long Riders from Oklahoma Territory had taken the United States by storm.

On their first equestrian journey in 1909 the tiny travelers, aged nine and five, encountered a host of Old West obstacles, including wolves and wild rivers, when they rode more than 1,000 miles from Oklahoma to Sante Fe and back – ALONE!

The following year the intrepid brothers set their sights on New York City, which they reached after a month of hard riding. Along the way Orville Wright offered to take them up in his new-fangled airplane and President Taft gave them a warm welcome when they reached the White House.

Kids envied them. Women adored them. Grown men pulled hair from their horses’ tails to keep as souvenirs. This public frenzy culminated when Bud and Temple rode their Oklahoma ponies alongside Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders in a victory parade witnessed by more than a million cheering New Yorkers. Even though they were only six and ten years old, Temple and Bud Abernathy were a national sensation.

In the summer of 1911, they did the impossible. They rode nearly 4,000 miles, from New York to San Francisco, in only sixty-two days. Once again, the Abernathy Boys had made a historic ride without any adult assistance and accomplished an equestrian feat which has never been equaled.

Now this superbly-written version of their remarkable story, penned by a member of their family in 1910, has been reissued in conjunction with the creation of a life-sized statue being raised in honor of the world’s youngest equestrian travelers.

“The Abernathy Boys were mounted heroes whose memory deserves to be cherished by a new generation of children and horse lovers,” said Basha O'Reilly, a Founder Member of The Guild and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, who rode from Russia to England.

This new edition celebrates the equestrian legacy of Bud and Temple Abernathy.
Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble.

Saddle and Canoe, Theodore Winthrop - At first glance Theodore Winthrop didn’t look like a hardened equestrian adventurer when he set out to travel across Washington Territory in the early 1850s. The twenty-five-year-old was a recent graduate of Yale and a confirmed East Coast intellectual. Winthrop didn’t let his education handicap him however. Instead he set out to ride horses and canoes across some of the most remote portions of the early United States.
The resultant book, “Saddle and Canoe,” is a vibrant picture of frontier life in the Pacific Northwest and covers the author’s travels along the Straits of Juan De Fuca, on Vancouver Island, across the Naches Pass, and on to The Dalles, in Oregon Territory. Throughout his journey Winthrop spent much of his time among both pioneers and Indians, whose picturesque descriptions are found within the pages of this historic travel account. Never one to hold back his opinions, the Yankee traveler thus regales the reader with personal observations and blunt honesty on a host of topics, people and places.
Illustrated with drawings of the period, “Saddle and Canoe” also contains a vocabulary of the Chinook Indian language which Winthrop used during the course of this historic journey. A treasure to read, the book will be of interest to students of both the horse and history.   Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

Saddlebags for Suitcases, Mary Bosanquet - The year 1939 was a bleak and gloomy time in England. Fire and darkness loomed on the horizon as war with Nazi Germany drew ever closer. In the midst of this national angst young Mary Bosanquet had a revelation. She would toss off college in London, board a steam-ship, voyage to Vancouver, Canada, then buy and ride a horse alone more than 2,500 miles  to New York city. Simple enough!  
She could ride, had a grand total of eighty English pounds to fund the one-woman expedition, and figured horses would be cheap out in the Wild West of Canada. Besides, she reasoned, if the world really was going to self-destruct, she wanted a memorable adventure, “such as befell heroic voyagers”, before the global ship sank.
If it was adventure the young English adventuress wanted, she got it!
Bosanquet rode through the mighty Rockies, was wooed by love-struck cowboys, chased by a grizzly bear, feasted with lonely trappers, was adopted for the winter by a family of Irish farmers, and even suspected of being a Nazi spy, scouting out Canada in preparation for a German invasion. And through it all she had Jonty and Timothy, her whimsical and charming horses.
If the three inseparable companions sought to put the news of Europe’s descent into the madness behind them, then their eighteen month journey through the silent mountains, dreamy forests, and mighty plains of pristine Canada provided the sanctuary they sought.
Illustrated with photographs taken during her remarkable trip, Bosanquet’s story is as heart-warming today as the day it was written.   Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

Saddles East, John Beard - A great many equestrian travelers could say they were inspired to take to the saddle because of the exploits of someone who rode before them. However John Beard is the only horseback traveler whose journey can be directly linked to the influence of the famous Buffalo Bill Cody. Beard determined as a child that he wanted to see the Wild West from the back of a horse after a visit to Cody’s legendary Wild West show.
Yet it was to be more than sixty years after seeing the flamboyant American showman before Beard, and his wife Lulu, finally mounted their dreams. Setting off on a matched pair of horses, Black Diamond and Black Fairy, the Beards left to discover the long cherished equestrian quest of the author’s youth.
Their mission in 1948 was to ride the length of the Old Oregon Trail. What followed was a 2,500 mile odyssey from Oregon to Missouri through a vast sea of weariness, thirst, hunger, hardship, and danger as the aged equestrians rode down the trail of their pioneer forefathers.
Amply illustrated with photographs, “Saddles East” is more than a mere tale of adventure, it is the romantic story of two pilgrims of the sunrise riding back into the morning of their youth, hunting for America’s yesterday with everything they own on the backs of their faithful horses.   Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble
In Genuine Cowgirl Fashion, Mary Higginbotham - The Long Riders' Guild is proud to announce the publication of In Genuine Cowgirl Fashion, the life story of Two Gun Nan Aspinwall, the first woman to ride across the United States alone. Riding from San Francisco to New York City in 1910-11, Nan covered 4,496 miles during 180 days in the saddle. 

Please go to Barnes & Noble or Amazon.co.uk.

 

 

Two Thousand Miles on Horseback: Kansas to Santa Fé in 1866, James F. Meline - The Old West was populated by a host of colourful characters including gunfighters, cowboys, buffalo hunters, sod busters, and at least one cavalry officer with the eye of an eagle and a penchant for fine writing. Colonel James Meline was an educated New York journalist, turned pony soldier, who had fought for the Union during the recent Civil War. With the country lulled into an uncomfortable peace, the fifty-four year old Meline decided to partake of one last mounted adventure before he hung up his spurs.  Lucky for the history of equestrian travel that he did.

The resultant book, “Two Thousand Miles on Horseback” is a beautifully written, eye witness account of a United States that is no more.

Meline was no fool. He sensed that the great American wilderness was about to be tamed. Setting out from Fort Leavenworth in the summer of 1866, Meline observed a nation on the move. In his first week in the saddle Meline counted 680 wagons heading west. Moreover, he warned, “the iron rail will soon clamp East and West, leaving no room for adventure or personal freedom.”

Yet before that dire prediction became a reality, Meline participated in one of the greatest equestrian adventures of the time. 

He noted everything from the price of pistols to the practices of Pawnees. Border land barbarities too hideous “to write in English,”  horses struck dead by lightning, forlorn graves, summer days so hot they drove men mad – Meline faithfully recorded the details of prairie life seen during his ride to Santa Fe.

Once he reached fabled New Mexico the saddle-borne scribe fell in with Kit Carson. What followed was a three day marathon interview wherein the legendary frontiersman regaled the cavalry journalist with tales of fighting the Navajo, hunting gigantic grizzly bears, and eluding capture by Indians.

Then, with his notebooks full, Meline headed home, experiencing a storm on the way that was so cold that “even my memory froze.”

Though the frontier they inhabited is a thing of the past, Meline and his cast of mounted characters still jump off the pages and dare you to ride down the road of adventure with them.   Go to Barnes & Noble or Amazon.co.uk.

Winter Sketches from the Saddle, John Codman, with a Foreword by Brandon Schrand!  - The author, a sea captain by trade, spent his leisure hours on land riding his mare, Fanny.  
A self-confessed "septuagenarian,” Codman was never shy about sharing his horse-based opinions.
Walking, Codman said, was a “solitary entertainment” and the bicycle he dismissed as being “unnatural.” Thus it was from the back of his horse that the old sea captain sailed over the land of his birth.
This once-famous book, “Winter Sketches from the Saddle”, was first published in 1888. It recommends riding for your health and describes Codman’s many equestrian journeys through New England during the winter of 1887.
“There is no greater pleasure than to find myself on a horse,” Codman wrote.
The next best thing is to read his classic book!   Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

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