2019 EQUUS Film Festival

Literary Contest WINNER !!!

Wow!!! Wow!!! Wow!!!


“Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback” *** W-O-N ***
the 2019 EQUUS Film Festival Literary Contest!!!

“Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback”
By Bernice Ende
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Bernice at her book table in the Pop-Up Gallery at the Kentucky Horse Park. The display behind her is about her and will remain there for months. Under the blanket is her Black Mountain Tucker Trails Saddle which she rode 16,000 miles from 2011-2014.
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Bernice at the entrance to the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky.
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Entrance to the museum at the Kentucky Horse Park.
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“Art of the Cowgirl”, one of the films in the festival.
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Statue of Secretariat at the Kentucky Horse Park.
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Another bookseller.
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Mounted law enforcement officers.
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Therapy pony, another star of the EQUUS Film Festival.
The End.

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Greetings to all of you who follow my rides and journeys. I am so delighted to announce that I will indeed be attending and participating in the Equus Film Festival at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, December 5-8, 2019.

A hearty thank you must be extended to Russ Barnett, owner of Outfitters Supply, and Steve Tucker, owner of Tucker Trail Saddles. Both are long-time sponsors who have generously made it possible for me to attend this big event. Russ Barnett shipped my exhibit which will be displayed during the festival and ongoing for a couple more months, and Steve Tucker is shipping ME over to the event. Gentleman, my sincere “Thank You” to both of you.

Although the documentary film produced by WE1 Productions about my journey will not be released until Spring 2020, previews will be shown throughout this festival. It will then be entered in this film festival next year, and shown around the country in about six locales in 2021.

Link to film trailer:

Also, my book “Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback” has been submitted in the festival’s Literacy Contest – we shall see how it fares!

EQUUS Film Festival Literary Selections

The festival will be hosting several panel discussions in which I will be participating, one of which is sponsored by Outfitters Supply & Tuckers Saddle on Saturday. The festival schedule which will show the times of my participation is still being finalized and should be up on their website very soon. Please do check out this incredible event at http://www.equusfilmfestival.net/ and all that is happening with horses, horses, horses.

Link to Kentucky Horse Park website.

Silver City, New Mexico – Pat Wolph Residence

I am so grateful for passing lanes. My travels with Bill’s Old Blue Truck, albeit faster than horse travel, are still relatively slow. Mountains are daunting as I shift down into second gear, grateful for the passing lane that allows angry drives with shaking heads to speed past the trudging old truck pulling two horses.

After Montpelier, Idaho my next stop was Logan, Utah. It required a long, uphill climb — with snow on the ground I might add — and a fair amount of traffic before arriving at Utah State University’s Equine Center where Barbara Middleton had made arrangements for me to speak. The facility is one of the finest, from the website…

Utah State University Equine Center, Wellsville, Utah.

About USU Equine Programs

Utah State University’s Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences Department proudly offers a four-year Equine Science and Management Emphasis. Through lecture, laboratory, and actual on-the-farm experiences, students are exposed to exceptional management and handling techniques. The program is directed by Utah State University faculty who carry industry and show credentials. Course work covers areas such as nutrition, management, riding fundamentals, colt starting, and equine evaluation, along with a special topics course, which allows students to focus on a specific area of interest. Students are actively involved in the daily Equine Education Center activities including feeding, medical care, and facility upkeep. Students also gain industry experience by working with a professional in their area of interest through an internship program. With Utah State’s strong Extension equine program, students are encouraged to attend and assist with programs presented across the state. This provides students with the opportunity to meet and work with professionals in the industry developing their own network.

Judy Smith, Director; Sherrie Petty, Research Assistant/Instructor; Bernice; and Barbara Middleton.

“Turn your passion for horses — and love for animals, in general — into a career with an education in equines studies. Our equine degree program will lead you in an exploration of every aspect of the equine industry, from nutrition, anatomy and physiology to the practical management practices for keeping a safe barn or stable. Our Certificate in Equine Veterinary Assistant program will train you in the skills and techniques you need to support large-animal veterinarians with the treatment and healing of horses.”

The large enrollment of mostly young women did not surprise me, as they’re becoming the leaders in this new field of equine health, developing many new programs never before heard of in the human/animal bond connection.

“Hey you two, where in the world do you think you are going?”
“Oh, we’re Just looking.”
Fresh young minds changing the world we live in.
Accommodations were quite luxurious for my two girls

A very interesting class taught by Sherrie Petty finally unraveled the complications of Equine-Assisted Therapy for me. Whether or not it could truly be called “therapy”, who could teach it, what training needs to be applied, and importantly, the care of the horses used in Clinical Practice of Equine-Assisted Therapy programs. One does not have to look far to see the growing use of animals in healing/therapy, mostly horses and dogs. The need for a more comprehensive training and certification program is emerging right here at USU Equine Center. I felt they were definitely on the right path. Merging: PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship; AHA (American Hippo-therapy Association); ACA (American Counseling Association which includes Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling Competencies); and IAHAIO (International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations). It was needless to say very impressive facility and program. Hearing what creative ideas were floating around in these young peoples minds for their futures truly gave me hope.


The following photos are of the trip from Salt Lake City south through some of the most outrageous country we have in the United States. Utah you are something else… colorful!

Rest stop in Moab.
Kay McDevitt on her “tool-shed mobile.”

St Johns, Arizona… a surprise visit to see St. Kay McDevitt who has been the fairgrounds/campground manager for ten years. An overnight stop and dinner with friends. Woke up to find my horses gone. Well now, I thought, Spirit no doubt had unlatched the gate, but knowing as I do, my girls are not run-away horses. It didn’t take long before I found them with noses to the ground. But still, it does give the heart a startle to find the horses GONE!


And my last stop, but certainly not the least of my stops, was Cliff School, Cliff, New Mexico. Home of the Cowboys and Cowgirls.

Cliff School, Cliff, New Mexico.

“It is not often that I speak to an entire room full of Cowboys and Cowgirls,” I said to the group of K-6th graders who sat restlessly in front of me. “How many ride horses?” I asked. ALL, I mean ALL of the hands went up. They were ready for action. “How many like dogs?” Again, ALL the hands when shooting to the gym ceiling. “Well good, because this is a dog story.” I do a “Claire Dog Speaks” slide show where my beloved Claire has written a letter to them telling of her travels as a long riding dog…. “We speak different languages, we eat different foods, we are even different colors all of us, but we travel together like friends, like a team, like a family.” They were with me!! and such a delight.

Out they filed and next came the 7th thru 12th graders for the “What I have Learned from 30,000 Miles of Equestrian Travel” talk I had prepared for them. Serious looks rode on their faces. “Um,” I thought, “Will I have anything of interest or value for them?” Well I think they were the most responsive group of high school students I’ve ever spoken for. AND, the questions that followed we could have gone on for another hour had they let us. As they filed out the senior boys lined up, shaking my hand and thanking me.

And for a grand finale, I brought my horses up outside the school and the whole assembly, about 250 students, flowed out of the school, surrounding us. I thought, “How will the girls handle this many people?” but they were perfect, steady and calm. What a way to end my speaking year of over 100 engagements.

Speaking with two of the teachers and the principal, I learned they had all attended school in Cliff, returning after many years elsewhere. I think this says something about the community and how much they care for the future of their children. It showed, truly it showed!!

Thank you so very much Maggie Slavick for making this stop happen. I met Maggie on the book tour when I spoke at the Cliff Community Center last year.

And now for a sabbatical.
A Sabbatical is an extended period of time away from ones vocation, for the purpose of rest, restoration, inspiration and vision.

Groundwork Magazine

Cover Story – Interview & Book Review

By Barbara Moore and Phyllis Jensen

Summer 2019 Issue

Interview – Spring 2019

By Barbara Moore and Phyllis Jensen

Book Review

By Phyllis Jensen

Montpelier, Idaho

It is harvest time for the famous Idaho Russet Potatoes, by means of a very complicated and sophisticated piece of machinery which I could see as I drove past the fields of workers, working with urgency as the weather now bears down on them – on all farmers. This is it, harvest time.

Benchmark Maps never fail me, “No GPS for us,” says Little Liska Pearl.
Dropped off 10 books at the Pub before leaving town. “See you next year.”
Yes, that is indeed snow! But the old truck pulled onward.

Kalispell, Montana was our first stop as we journeyed south. We had a comfortable camp at the Kalispell Fairgrounds and presented for the local Northwest Montana Back Country Horsemen. I learned for the first time about their 4-H Trail and Packing Class/Club. Following, is information from club president Rick Mathies.

This is one of those groups which I find so encouraging – great for the young minds.

We have just completed our fifth year of doing this with the kids of Flathead County 4-H.  We started with just teaching Packing, and have added Trail – getting your horse ready for the trail.  We found that many of the horses involved in 4-H have only been used in the arena or on roads, and we all know if they haven’t been on a trail, they can be very dangerous… so that is why we feel they need to work on some basics to get their horse ready to be on a trail.

We also take the kids that can go on a overnight trailhead camp-out at the end of the season. Our Level 4 and 5 kids get to do actual packing projects with our BCH chapter. Last year they did over $35,000.00 in volunteer contributions.

Next we moved south to Missoula and were the guests of Meredith and Dean Hoistad, members of the Missoula Back Country Horseman. Big turnout for the event thanks in part to the nice article and photos done by photographer Ben Allan Smith and veteran journalist Kim Briggeman. One hundred and thirty four people attended! Several people I’d met on past rides and even Smoke Elser was in attendance. Smoke is a legendary packer and the documentary, “3 Miles an Hour”, tells his story. I met Smoke years ago on one of my rides in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The following is from his website. Now, I find THIS man inspiring!! What a gentleman.

Packing Class

Smoke Elser, The Instructor

Smoke Elser

After graduating from the University of Montana, Smoke spent the next forty-five years as a wilderness outfitter in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and has spent more than 55 years as an instructor in packing, horsemanship, and minimum impact camping. Smoke is past President of the Montana Outfitter & Guides Association, founding member (1974) of the Professional Wilderness Guide’s Association, past President of Back Country Horsemen of Missoula, serves on the Advisory Council of Elders for MWA, and is currently active on the USFS Region I Pack Train Board. He is an instructor at the Nine Mile Wildlands Training Center, Region I, USFS. He has missed only one or two years of traveling in the Bob Marshall Wilderness each and every year for the past 56 years.

It might be noted that he failed miserably at “retirement”.

Smoke is a recognized leader in practicing the art of Alight on the land horse use, designing and building new light-weight horse and packing/camping equipment, and in educating the public in these areas. Well over 5,000 students have taken his classes during the last 55 years and well over that number of guests have experienced his hands-on use of such techniques. He is the co-author of the book, “Packin’ in on Mules and Horses”, a well-known how-to book on packing and horsemanship.  Learn more about Smoke in the National Geographic article.

Also, learn more about Smoke in “3 Miles an Hour”, a documentary from MontanaPBS which takes viewers into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 3 Miles An Hour – A PBS Documentary – Bob Marshall …
https://bobmarshallwildernessoutfitters.com ›

With Dean Hoistad as we prepared for the photo shoot.
Smoke at his “Packing School” What a place! Look how clean and organized it is.
I am sure it says how he packs.

Now, a rest stop in Montpelier, Idaho visiting Elaine Zeyer whom I met in 2009 on a 6000-mile ride. Back then, I rode into Soda Springs (north of here). She was there visiting the springs with a friend of hers when I rode up. I had cracked my ribs about a week earlier and looked, I suppose, a bit rough. Well, she helped make arrangements for my stop in Montpelier and then fed me and fed and fed me!!

2009. Oh my, oh my, – Honor, Essie Pearl, and Claire Dog.