They sold everything they had.
With daring inspiration, Jackie and Noel trained the lost and confused horses, and forced their own unfit bodies to meld into one team.
Life became horses, trail, endurance, and camping: all seven reliant on one another as they trekked along part of Australia's majestic Bicentennial National Trail.
What started as a dream adventure turned out to be more than they had ever imagined. The beauty of the trail didn't lessen its dangers; with minimal support and all their worldly possessions on horseback, Jackie and Noel made mistakes and with humour learned the hard way.
They were amateur horse-handlers, tackling an epic challenge, but they created something special, unique, and incredibly endearing.
Fears were faced, healed, and conquered. Bonds were forged.
But did the team of seven that started together, finish together?
Saddle up and take a ride along life's natural trail of trauma, fear, pain, and loyalty.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite Have you ever thought of taking a journey cross-country, I mean really cross-country as in across the entire country or the majority of it, on horseback? What an exciting trip that would be. What stories you would have to share. But what would you take with you? It's not like you can pack numerous suitcases and check them through at the starting point and hope the luggage reappears each night when needed. And you certainly can't take many changes of clothes, shoes, books, and other paraphernalia. The choice of what to pack would have to be very frugal, efficient, and include only the bare necessities. A Standard Journey by Jackie Parry will enlighten readers. Jackie and Noel are no strangers to long-distance travel using alternate, non-commercial modes of transportation. They had already ventured around the world in a ten-metre sail boat. Surely the notion of horseback riding across Australia on the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT) would be little more than just another adventure. The two were no strangers to horses, although it had been some time since either had ridden a horse. Pack up three, ride two - what could be simpler? Well, for starters, some of the areas being traversed were very isolated, remote, and inaccessible by any other mode of transportation. And horses are living creatures, too, and they need attention to aches and pains and injuries, just as humans do. As Jackie and Noel learned, you can't return from such a journey the same way you left. "Noel and I changed, but it wasn't the journey that changed us the most, it was the boys [their horses].... they gave us - unwaveringly, utterly, and without question - their hearts." This is a very moving tale of a journey cross-country on horseback, a journey full of challenges, but also full of love, compassion and mutual bonding. "Now I've witnessed and been a part of a bond that, at times, overwhelmed me." Excellent.