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Nov-04-2010 18:57printcomments

Two Frenchmen Cross the US on Horseback

Marc Polier and Augustin Blanchard
Photos courtesy: Marc Polier and Augustin Blanchard

(FLORENCE, Ore.) - Marc Polier (31)  entrepreneur in Moscow-Russia originally from Paris and Augustin Blanchard (30) Business Consultant in New York City originally from Normandy arrived at the end of October in Florence, Oregon, after a 5-month trip on horseback across the US.

They left Kentucky in June on their two Rocky Mountain geldings, Amigo and Midnight, to venture out into Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and finally Oregon. They say their idea was to follow the basic route of the Oregon Trail while discovering the United States and meeting people along the way.

This is not the pair's first long ride. They've trekked on horseback all across Mongolia and the south of France. Averaging 25 miles per riding day, their journey was going at the pace of their two gaited horses from Kentucky. The Rocky Mountain horse is indeed known for its endurance and smooth gait, which allowed them to cover good ground each day, without wearing their horses out.

Also, the pair says this journey could not have been possible without the help of the people (farmers, ranchers, horse lovers) they met along the way. Offering hay and grain for the horses and sometimes a good meal for the riders.

They say these encounters have been the essence of this trip.

The journey has been a succession of amazing scenery, landscape, and meetings enhanced by the mode of travel which does not allow choosing the people and place you visit and thus gives a great random picture of the American countryside.

The riders encountered many unexpected things along their way, popping out of nowhere such as:

- Getting caught in a few storms in Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.
- Fending off attacks of wild horses in the middle of the night in Wyoming’s mountains

- Answering questions from a TV journalist while waiting in underwear for their laundry to dry.

- An unexpected evening -visit to a tiger rescue center in Oregon while looking for some grain.

- Being invited by Don Mattingly a major league baseball champion to a Dodger – Cardinal game in St Louis, MS

- Driving cattle in Idaho

- Discovering rodeo in an amateur but still tough contest at an Indian reservation

- Finding the fair share of the road with timber truck drivers while crossing the 126 tunnel from Eugene to Florence

- Entertaining discussion with Dan O’Brian famous American novelist in one of these isolated ranches after crossing the Badlands, SD.

- Showing their horses where to step while crossing old railroad bridges.

- Talking themselves out of a fine with a park ranger at the Mount Rushmore.

- Successfully breaking of the horses to pull a carriage

- Getting lost in deserts or mountain ranges.

- Riding in the moon light across endless mile sections of the Midwest to avoid summer heat waves.

- Having some of the best beef ever grilled on sagebrush.

… many more …

- And finally teaching the horses how to ride in the surf of the pacific ocean

While looking for a new owner for their horses Marc and Augustin are now preparing their trip back to the east coast; why not two wheels instead of four legs?

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