The world of equestrian travel seldom recognizes international borders, being content to urge its mounted adherents to ride where they will. Few people better symbolize this ancient philosophy of unrestricted freedom than Ana Beker. The only child of Lithuanians who had immigrated to Argentina, Beker grew up surrounded by horses on the vast, wind-swept pampas. Her earliest memories were centered around these four legged friends. She literally grew up in the saddle, ignoring the traditions of the male oriented society which said that a woman's place was by the hearth, not in the saddle. History might have been content to let her stay in her homeland, until a fateful meeting changed her fate forever. In the early 1940s Beker heard a lecture given by AimE Tschiffely, who had himself ridden from Argentina to Washington DC ten years earlier. When the famous horseman scoffed at the young girl's idea to ride alone even further than he had, from Argentina to Canada, Beker accepted Tschiffely's challenge, mounted up, and never looked back. What followed was an equestrian journey of Homeric proportions. With her eyes always on the horizon, Beker began a 17,000 mile mounted odyssey that would fix her place in the annals of equestrian travel history. Amply illustrated, "The Courage to Ride" is thus not only a thrilling adventure tale, it is also a true account of a wild heart that would not be conquered.
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