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A Standard Journey Paperback – June 20, 2015
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Pack up three, ride two - what could be simpler? Well, for starters, some of the areas being traversed were very isolated.
"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."
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Paperback : 264 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0987551566
- ISBN-13 : 978-0987551566
- Product Dimensions : 5.83 x 0.55 x 8.27 inches
- Publisher : Jacqueline Parry (June 20, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,157,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I’ve ridden horses, love them, but never really knew them until I read this book. From the beginning, when the “boys” (all rescued ex-trotter Standardbreds) are introduced and their personalities, temperaments and quirks noted, I realized this story would be different. It wasn’t long before they became, to me, five mischievous boys out with their parents on a holiday road-trip (Neddy pushed me! Did not! Did to!). But then, these boys weighed a half-ton each, sometimes had a mind of their own, and couldn’t grasp the concept of “time outs.”
This story is well written with an appealing honesty. It made me laugh, as well as dab at my eyes. It’s about change: how five horses, once timid and easily spooked from a life at the racetrack, can become strong and courageous with love and attention; how two people, through the most adverse conditions, will do everything they can to keep their “family” healthy and safe. A Standard Journey is a must-read for animal lovers and/or those with a taste for a truly great adventure.
A “standard journey” for Jackie Parry isn’t the same as for most of the rest of us: she did, after all, sail a boat around the world (see her book Of Foreign Build.) For this trek across part of Australia, if there’s one episode in the story that represents the whole journey, it might be the one where the horses wandered off across a road, in traffic, and Jackie chased after them, running when the horses weren’t looking, abruptly walking nonchalantly when they’d turn to check on her, a la silent movie / cartoon slapstick comedy. For me, this episode exemplifies the story because while she was trying to have fun she found herself having a serious, dangerous problem, but yet she saw the humor of it all.
A second “standard journey” meaning might be exactly that: a man and a woman trying to enjoy their lives, achieve their goals, and encountering all kinds of setbacks and surprises along their path, daily uncovering the reality under their dreams. Isn’t that pretty much the standard experience for many of us?
She tells her story in a very down-to-Earth, humble way, sharing with readers information on how she and Noel could afford to have adventures like this (by buying their clothes in charity shops, for one thing), which leads to one of my favorite lines in the book, “The smartest thing we’ve done is to make our lives the entertainment.”
And my favorite line? The last line: “We’re still not immaculately dressed: how can you be while renovating a 1920s Dutch barge in France during winter? But that’s another story.” Y’all better read about this horse-trekking adventure of hers now because surely in the future she’ll have another good story to tell . . .
The Australian Bicentennial National Trail is 5300 kilometers in length. Jackie and husband Noel rode its length on horseback packing their gear between their five rescued horses. Two horses were ridden and three were led with packed gear. An amazing feat to this sailor. The part that interested me the most was learning just how complex trail riding is. My boat may not love me back but it sure is a lot easier to voyage. Thanks Jackie and I look forward to more work from you.
The voices and emotions of the humans fits exactly what I learned my 9 months in Oz. And HORSES!!!
Top reviews from other countries
Jackie’s writing is honest, clever and compelling as she describes the good and bad days and how the couple discovered new aspects to their already long-term relationship. On the good days her joy and contentment were almost palpable and on the bad I could have cried with her.
From buying and training the horses to the hardship and pleasure of the trail (including mammoth packing and unpacking sessions), this book was totally captivating, and also very funny in parts.
A must read for animal lovers and adventurers. In fact, I highly recommended ‘A Standard Journey’ for anyone who enjoys a good read.
This book is very well written. The very human narrative voice kept me interested. I’ve always loved horses and knew they had personalities but never quite like this. I am recommending this book without hesitation.
The book is an adventure, through an unfamiliar landscape of hazards and pain, natural beauty and frustration. And it has some very moving moments of unexpected kindness - human and equine - that stayed with me after I'd finished the book. It was good to be reminded that it isn't just horses that have to grow down sometimes so they can grow up. Heartily recommended.