The facts are obvious. Scottish Long Rider Louis Hall pioneered the first modern equestrian trail from Italy to Spain. The journey took 110 days to complete, with 84 days spent in the saddle.
Louis rode 2,789 kilometres (1,733 miles). It was the spiritual dimension of the journey that took the young Long Rider by surprise. He learned that in these uncertain times his adventure managed to untie the angst and fears of hearts and minds everywhere he rode. This is the remarkable story of a traveller who discovered that, “I once knew horses to be healers. I then understood them to be unifiers. I now know them to be companions in a world that thirsts for healing, unity and friendship.”
After completing his journey across Europe, Scottish Long Rider Louis Hall is preparing to ride “Ocean to Ocean” across the United States. His route will take him from Florida’s Atlantic to California’s Pacific.
He said, “I aim to travel across America by horse because this animal has no time for creed or colour. The horse does not judge you or receive you from where you come from, which political party you align with, your sexual preference, but it measures you equally by what you give to the world around you. It lives off peaceful hearts and minds and cultivates companionship and, above all, connection. This connection is one that unifies people from all walks of life. The horse brings people closer together by opening us up to ourselves. As I have discovered in my previous rides, the nature of the horse sees through the troubles that humans create, thus uniting us in a pure and untainted way.”
There is a steady stream of predictable books that cater to the latest fad in the horse world. This book breaks the rules by being the first to explore a vital part of equestrian history that tottering is on the edge of extinction. Dr. Paula Sells spent years documenting the equine equipment used in 27 different activities ranging from the pit ponies confined in the Welsh coal mines to the equestrian explorers roaming the world. Canadian Long Rider Bonnie Folkins interviewed the author and reviews a fascinating book full of historical surprises and museum quality photographs.
German Long Rider Sabine Keller has ridden more than 40,000 miles. In a special report created for HRL’s environmental edition, Sabine describes the many alarming changes she witnessed during her latest equestrian journey across Europe.
Will we stand aside and watch as humanity in its arrogance continues to ruthlessly ravage the fragile ecological balance and thereby transform the planet into our coffin? If children are to have a chance, we have a blindingly obvious individual duty to save the Earth by abolishing the harmful habits that have brought us to the brink of collective suicide.
Long Rider author and environmentalist Greta Matos knows that an on-going series of climatic disasters not only cause physical damage but also inflicts emotional harm to millions. Greta wisely wrote, “When we know better, we do better!” She then compiled a list of organisations and websites which provide vital information and a source of inspiration for the public.
Lucy Leaf overcame a great many challenges during her 7,000 mile ride through the United States. Ironically her life was put at its greatest risk after she stepped down from the saddle. Like other Long Riders in Europe and the USA Lucy became a victim of an insect-borne health hazard that poses a danger to millions of horses and humans in dozens of countries. Lucy’s ground-breaking article confirmed that climate change was encouraging a massive growth in the tick population and revealed how the deadly insects were migrating north into new areas. To demonstrate the importance of Lucy’s research, as this article was going to press American medical authorities announced a 357% increase in tick borne illnesses and warned “more people are catching Lyme disease than ever before across the United States.”
I too, was diagnosed with Lyme Disease many years ago. Though our infections originated in different areas of the United States, it seems the complications of the disease were very similar.
Unfortunately, those complications included issues I once would never have imagined in the medical field; ignorance, ego, and complete denial of a disease that was wrecking my own and others’ lives.
More than a decade before today’s environmental crisis, in his passionately written book, Harmony, Prince Charles issued a prophetic warning about the future. The Prince cautioned humanity that the great juggernaut of industrialization was endangering our planet and all life on it. During her equestrian journey across Mongolia, Canadian Long Rider Bonnie Folkins witnessed firsthand the environmental catastrophe described in this book. Her review reveals why the concept of living in “harmony” has never been more important.
We know that different foods have different footprints…But what if we could go further? What if, instead of having farming and forestry in direct conflict, we could develop a system that allows food production and forest on the same parcel of land? (Republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.)