Months ago I was asked to review a book, The Long Ride by Lucian Sparato Jr. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to do another review because I actually have one still brewing around in my head because I take the obligation so seriously. I just don't write unless the words match precisely how I feel. Sometimes it takes me a while to get there and I just didn't want another thing hanging over my head so I thought about it long and hard before I agreed. If it hadn't been for the subject matter I probably wouldn't have but my curiosity got the best of me.
When the book arrived. I could hardly wait to get it out of the box. The idea that someone had ridden an Arabian horse across this country for any reason was intriguing to me, let alone doing it for a cause like the plight of the world's rain forests.
Once the book was out of the box I got goose bumps just reading the jacket. I must admit I wanted to saddle up and participate in this adventure right then. I remember thinking I was getting ahead of myself, I hadn't even gotten past the introduction yet. I wondered if the book was going to live up to the my reactions to the epic adventure this sounded like to me.
To be candid, I really didn't know what to expect. I had many questions about the "how's" and "why's" behind the project from the moment I was first asked to review this book. My mind raced with the possibilities of how such an adventure could happen and how it would be told. I was almost afraid to begin reading lest I be disappointed.
I don't read books often these days because my vision is poor. It really has to be worth it to me to make such a commitment. I actually picked this book up and put it down several times before I finally dove in, not wanting to burst the bubble of building anticipation.
One man, three Arabian horses in the ultimate endurance ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic to bring attention to the plight of the rain forests and how that affects us all, how could it be anything but compelling, dramatic, and unpredictable? I found myself with my heart pounding and holding my breath on more than one occasion as the monumental journey unfolded before me.
In my life I have tended to tackle projects larger than anyone thought I could ever accomplish so I identified with the challenges facing the author. Details of his journey may be different from mine but the size of the obstacles and the feelings they triggered much the same. The more I read, the stronger a feeling of kinship grew.
Ever since I moved to this farm I have been aware of the importance of balancing the needs of nature and the needs of my business and my horses. With the changes in weather, both winter and summer, over the last couple of years, that awareness has definitely heightened. This book offered me more insights into the changes I am seeing as well as refueled my desire to maintain my farm in an environmentally friendly way.
There wasn't anything about this book that didn't work for me except maybe there could have been more of it. I could have read on for days if there had been more to read. I loved the telling of the story, the pictures of the journey and the inclusion of press releases from the actual ride. I lived it all. It was a great read!
NOTE: I finished this book in a couple of days and wrote the review on my phone almost immediately. I sent it to myself as an email thinking I would post it when I was feeling better. Still waiting for that but decided I needed to get this done.
Unfortunately the images from the book that I was sent to post with the review are not opening properly so I have no pics at this time. Hopefully I will update with those in a more timely manner.