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In 2005, 50-year old Bernice Ende wanted to find out what kind of horsewoman she was, so she set out on a 5,000-mile ride. Atop an 8-year old thoroughbred mare named Honor, Ende traveled from her home in Trego, Montana, to New Mexico. Adorned in a broad-brimmed cowgirl hat and accompanied by her dog Claire, she made the journey with only the clothes on her back.
The retired ballet teacher depended on the kindness of many strangers along the way. Since that initial trip, Ende has logged more than 29,000 miles in the saddle, crisscrossing North America on horseback—alone.
More than once, she’s traversed the Great Plains, the Southwest deserts, the Cascade Range, and the Rocky Mountains. Lady Long Rider: Alone Across North America on Horseback chronicles Ende’s travels, the friendly people she meets, her ongoing encounters with rough weather, wildlife, mosquitos, tricky route finding, and the occasional worn-out horseshoe.
The story of Ende’s remarkable journey is inspiring and filled with hope. Lady Long Rider reveals Ende’s inner struggles and triumphs—testing the limits of physical and mental stamina, coping with inescapable solitude, and the rewards of living her life her own way, as she says, “in her own skin.” Along the way, she discovers a sense of community and love of place that unites people wherever they live. The reading is further enhanced with maps of the routes Ende traveled and photographs of the kind souls she met on her trek.
Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback is a moving tale of a journey of a lifetime.Buy it here.
Reviewed by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor, and a New York Times best-selling author who writes about women of the Old West.