Have you ever ridden a horse? Did you feel like a true a cowboy roaming the Wild West? You should, but a few other modern rebels may have you beat. If you’re satisfied with your past experiences, then you should stop reading now, but if you want to open up a whole new world of possibilities, then you need to hear this!
Alex McNeil is a man experienced in journeys that cover great distances, but he recently completed one that would make any old cowboy or cowgirl proud. He rode from Oregon to New Hampshire on the back of his trusty horse, Pepper. It was an adventure that covered about 4,000 miles through all types of landscapes, and although the challenges were major, the rewards were even greater.
You probably assume that McNeil has been riding horses his whole life, and that’s what motivated him to do this. Well, that’s not the case. He had actually never ridden a horse before he decided on this track. But, that doesn’t mean he was making irresponsible or dangerous choices. He spent months learning everything he could about horses, and people who were much more knowledgeable about the animals took the time to work with him and Pepper to make sure they were prepared.
It may seem like long-distance trips on horseback went out of fashion when the Wild West was tamed, but there have been quite a few people recently who have made similar trips to the one McNeill and Pepper did. There have been plenty of pairs of human and horse who have successfully completed the journey, and there are sure to be more.
This duo made their trek back in 1975, but they took a slightly different route. They started up at the Canadian border, and they traveled all the way down the Rocky Mountains until they got to Mexico. The total distance was a little bit shorter since it was only about 2,400 miles, but keeping to the mountains let them stay in remote areas most of the time. Plus, they didn’t have any of the handy tech gadgets we have today, so it required a lot of old-fashioned navigating. Time travel may be impossible, but a trip like this could make it seem like it’s not such a far-fetched idea.
Another more recent journey was made in 2008, and that’s when a man named Bill Inman set off with his wife and a few friends acting as a support group. Inman had become upset about how divided and full of controversy the country seemed on the news, so he wanted to do his part to bring the real spirit of America to the spotlight. Along the way, he met a ton of nice people, shared a lot of interesting stories, and successfully proved that our country is still full of amazing and happy people.
Before you hop out the window and land on a horse, keep in mind that trips like this aren’t for everyone. They take a lot of planning. A lot. And there are quite a few risks involved.
Also, most importantly, you have to remember that it’s not just your life that will be impacted. You’re going to be responsible for an amazing animal, and the loyal horse will also be facing the dangerous risks.
If you’re thinking about grabbing your hat, boots, and horse to make a journey like this, make sure to do your homework before hopping in the saddle. You’ll be able to stop places for supplies part of the way, but you’ll have to be able to sustain yourself in the wilderness for much of the time. You’ll need food, water, clothing, shelter, medicine, and much more for both you and your horse.
Also, make sure you know how to navigate. Leading a horse through the wilds of America is pretty different from punching in an address on your car’s GPS. Plus, just knowing how to get somewhere doesn’t mean you can easily do it on a horse. And what about crossing major highways or large rivers? You need a bridge, but not all bridges are safe for horses to prance across.
But don’t let all of this scare you! Once you hit the trail, you’ll realize that you’re on the trip of a lifetime – just make sure you’re ready for it.
We haven’t mentioned everyone who has made a similar journey on horseback, but you get the idea. It’s obvious that some of you are already dreaming of the wide-open spaces you’re going to spend your days in, but others are probably skeptical of making such a trip – and that’s just fine. Even if you don’t feel like going on such an intense journey, you’re still more than welcome to head down to Grizzly Rose. We’ll make you feel like a cowboy or cowgirl – no horse required.