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The Hoof Boot Review: 3 Hoof Boots, 32 Days on the Trail

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Consumer Reports just won’t report on some things. These are the boots we’re reviewing. Here’s how they looked during our month-long mule ramble.

What’s the best kind of hoof boot for your horse or mule? My wife Julia and I rode from North Carolina to Virginia and back with three brands of hoof boots. This hoof boot review is what we learned after 32 days on the road. The 3 boots reviewed are Cavallo hoof boots, EasyBoot hoof boots and… Continue reading

16,000 Miles on a Horse: Interview With Long Rider Filipe Masetti Leite

“I’d never ridden more than 3 kilometers.” That’s what author, filmmaker, and Long Rider Filipe Masetti told me after riding 16,000 miles across North and South America. That quote will give you hope you can do whatever you’re dreaming of doing.

Long Rider Filipe Masetti
Filipe Masseti Leite interview
preparations (3 min)
mental fatigue (9 min)
food, water, shelter (16 min)
something bigger (20 min 30 sec)

Attending the World Premiere of “The Long Rider”

A… Continue reading

“Trash to Triumph” Book One Step Closer to Publishing

`Hot damn! This week, I received the manuscript of my new book “Trash to Triumph”. It’s about riding my mules Brick and Cracker from North Carolina to Idaho. This is a huge milestone as I’ve been working on this book for over 2 years.

The “Trash to Triumph manuscript”: eleven pounds, 1,054 pages. It’s fair to say that I have just written the biggest manuscript ever about a saddle journey on two mules. The manuscript is double-spaced.
Cracker and Brick… Continue reading

How to Catch a Snake in Your House

I was taking a nap when I heard my wife Julia say, “honey, can you come here?” I walked into the kitchen and saw Julia looking at the cookstove. Our cookstove is a two-burner camp stove hooked to a twenty-pound propane tank. It’s black and greasy. I didn’t see anything. Then I saw the black snake next to the pot we boil our coffee in.

The snake and the pot

The bottom of the snake’s head was white and so… Continue reading

What is the Long Riders’ Guild

Twenty years ago, I owned a mule named Woody. Woody was cantankerous. I wanted to ride him across North Carolina – and maybe a whole lot farther. Too bad nobody could tell me how to ride a mule 300 miles. This is the post I wish I’d read all those years ago.

Woody and me trying to figure out how to ride across North Carolina. I had no idea what we were doing but figured feeding him apples was a… Continue reading

Mule Rider

It was about this time of year, a few years ago, that a TV crew for UNC-TV followed mule Polly and me on a wagon ramble through eastern North Carolina.

Mule Rider: just click on the arrow between mule Polly and me to watch the video

Director Morgan Potts and his film crew followed me from Oriental, North Carolina to Hobucken and Aurora and back to Oriental. They dropped in from time to film me as I visited with folks… Continue reading

Are you Too Old to Go?

A guy I’ll call Harold wrote me recently. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “I’m seventy-one years old. I’ve always wanted to take a long saddle trip like yours. Am I too old to go?” This reminded me of a quote by Saul Bellow. “When someone asks for advice, they’re looking for an accomplice.” It also reminded me of my dad, Art Harberts.

My dad Art Harberts on his 87th birthday. He never was much of a cake man so I… Continue reading

Adjusting Pie’s Hoof Boots (Part 3 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

How do you adjust a pair of new hoof boots?

Nice new hoof boots. But how do you get them to fit?

In today’s post, I’ll show you how I’m adjusting a pair of hoof boots to fit my wife’s pony Pie. To get you up to speed, here are the first two parts in this three part series.

Continue reading

Off With Her Shoes (Part 1 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

A while back my wife Julia and I pulled the steel horseshoes on her pony Pie’s front feet. I thought you’d be interested how we’re transitioning her (Pie, not Julia) to bare feet. From here on out, she’ll go barefoot. For extra protection Pie might need on rocky trails or abrasive surfaces like asphalt, we’ll slap on a pair of hoof boots.

Julia removing the nails from one of the horse shoes she’s taking off Pie. Pie looks pretty chill… Continue reading

Mule Mushroomimg: Hunting “Aeyer Schweumli” from the Saddle

My mom used to point them out to us as kids. We’d be walking through the forest in western North Carolina and she’d point down at an orange mushroom and say, “Lueg. As Aeyer Schweumli”. “Lueg” means “look” in Swiss German, her native language. Aeyer Schweumli is what she used to call chanterelles. *

Aeyer Schweumli: aka chanterelle. It’s also called “Pfifferling” in German. Pfeffer means “pepper” in German. The mushroom has a peppery taste.

My brother Christian recalls a… Continue reading

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