ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Howling winds, freezing temperatures, fatigue and the daily search for food and water have not stopped Bernice Ende from following her chosen lifestyle as a nomadic equestrian.
Over the last 14 years, she has covered nearly 30,000 miles, crisscrossing the country with her horses and faithful companion Claire Dog.
Ende, 64, grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota and fell in love with horses at a young age. She trained as a classical ballet teacher and taught dance in Montana for 25 years before she decided to change her life.
Some people have called her the “crazy lady,” and she admits to having soul-searching moments. But what began as a way of overcoming a personal loss, has evolved into a lifestyle. She acknowledges that she could never return to living in one place. She is called to be a long rider, one who rides journeys of more than 1,000 miles.