and Jeannette for
What is a Long Rider and why is this special?
A Long Rider is the term used for a horseman who rides a minimum of 1,000 continuous and documented miles in a single trip. The Long Riders’ Guild is a prestigious organization that recognizes the few elite horsemen who accomplish this feat with honor and excellence. Becoming a member is by invitation only, carries responsibility, and is only done so after several requirements are met- all of which are intended to ‘weed out’ those who attempt this feat without care for their horses or the people who help them.
A lovely exerpt from the Guild’s website states, “we acknowledge the inherent bodily perils involved in equestrian travel to both horse and rider. Yet we in no way condone or sponsor any expedition that knowingly subjects its mounts to needless suffering. The Long Riders’ Guild has no obsession with mileage. Though our members have set an assortment of world records during the course of their equestrian travels, we do not encourage a needless quest for kilometers, nor the lightning flash crossing of continents. We encourage our members instead to undertake a life-changing equestrian journey that explores not only the unknown portions of the world, but their own souls as well. Indeed, being a Long Rider is more than just a matter of miles. It is a question of honour, dignity and behaviour,” and is “an honour worthy of the hardship and danger involved in obtaining it.”
The Long Riders’ Guild only recognizes those who meet these qualifications for membership:
– a continuous ride of at least 1,000 miles
– a determination to put the horse’s welfare above their own desires
– acknowledgement of the assistance of The Long Riders’ Guild
– at the conclusion of their journey, a readiness to share their
individual experiences and advice with would-be Long Riders
– If the ride is for a charity, then the funds should be accounted for at the conclusion of the journey, thus ensuring integrity among Long Riders
Additionally, The Long Riders’ Guild seeks to collect and preserve equestrian travel knowledge so that it will be available for future generations to claim and enjoy.
As stated from their website, “The Long Riders’ Guild is the world’s first international association of equestrian explorers. It was formed in 1994 to represent men and women of all nations who have ridden more than 1,ooo continuous miles on a single equestrian journey. Members currently reside in 39 countries. These Long Riders have collectively written more than a hundred books on equestrian travel and ridden on every continent except Antarctica. Thus the history, stories, legends, and knowledge stored on the website represent the largest repository of equestrian travel information assembled in human history!”
Further information can be found at TheLongRidersGuild.com
Richard and Jeannette would like to extend a special thank you to the Long Riders- Len, Cuchullaine, and Howard who offered valuable advice, gear, and assistance during the challenging rest stop in Kentucky. God knows we needed it, but that rest was for the horses first, and we are grateful for the new equipment and game plan to avoid any further discomfort for our ponies. And as always, another thanks to the myriad of horse enthusiasts, businessmen, and ‘good samaritans’ across the country who helped so much throughout our journey. – R and J McGrath