Rider's latest journey is to promote new book - Albuquerque Journal

Rider’s latest journey is to promote new book

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.

Ende (pronounced N-Dee) is lean and tanned with piercing blue eyes. She speaks in a resonant voice that captures the imagination. She has given hundreds of talks at schools, senior homes and community centers. She says everyone is on their own long ride, be it marriage, parenting or just life. She hopes her rides encourage women to become leaders.

Ende has written searing account of her many journeys in her book, “Lady Long Rider,” published in 2018 by Farcountry Press. She is midway through a coast-to-coast book tour and will give three more talks in New Mexico.

The Land of Enchantment has a special draw for Ende. It was the destination she chose on her first long ride in 2005, a 1,800-mile trek from her home in Trego, Mont., to the home of her older sister, outside Edgewood. She described that first journey as “nightmarish.” She traveled with only one horse – a Tennessee Walking Horse called Pride – and her dog. She had no tent and slept on sheepskins she used beneath her saddle, covered with blankets and a tarp. Nevertheless, she became hooked.

“Since then New Mexico’s enchantment has lured me back again and again. I feel like I’m riding in a movie when I cross through New Mexico,” Ende said.

In 2006 and 2007, she did a 5,000-mile ride and encountered seven snow storms as she crossed this state. She writes about how grateful she was for the hospitality she encountered from a family on the Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation near Socorro and from residents of tiny Pie Town.

“I survived in large part to New Mexico’s generosity. My small notebooks from those years are filled with dozens of addresses, people who kindly helped a sorry looking traveler on her journey,” said Ende.

By 2008, she had honed her traveling skills and acquired a pack animal, a rugged Fjord horse called Essie Pearl. She was quite the sight as she rode through Quemado, Magdalena and Edgewood.

“Now I had two horses, a traveling dog and pony act came racing into town, as my dog rode on the pack horse!” she said.

People often stop her and say how they envy her freedom. She is passionate about what she does but honest about how tough it is and how much she depends on the kindness of others.

“Time and again, people have opened their homes, shared meals with me, washed my clothes, repaired tack, shod a horse, and encouraged or supported me in one way or another. I am truly indebted to hundreds of people,” she writes in “Lady Long Rider.”

Home » From the newspaper » Rider’s latest journey is to promote new book

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

We need a DA who will reduce incarceration
From the newspaper
The recent election of 2nd Judicial ... The recent election of 2nd Judicial District Attorney Raúl Torrez to the state attorney generalR ...
Albuquerque Little Theatre brings 'A Tuna Christmas' to stage
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque Little Theatre gets in the ... Albuquerque Little Theatre gets in the holiday spirit with "A Tuna Christmas."The prod ...
Editorial: Why would CYFD return girl again and again ...
On Monday night, Nicholas Clinton was ... On Monday night, Nicholas Clinton was so inebriated that he and his 5-year-old daughter were denied ...
Lawmakers discuss new oversight for NM prisons
ABQnews Seeker
Hefty legal settlements over past year ... Hefty legal settlements over past year draw attention, calls for action
'Our new Santa': Good Samaritan gifts bike after clothing ...
ABQnews Seeker
Crime occurred Tuesday night at Northeast ... Crime occurred Tuesday night at Northeast Albuquerque nonprofit
Fishing Line for Dec. 8, 2022
Fishing Line
New Mexico offers many options to hit the cross ...
From the newspaper
Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area ... Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area set among 600 acres of the Carson National Forest has nearly 19 miles of trails and another 11 ...
Fifth-year senior 'Uncle Mo' Udeze mentors his Lobo freshman ...
ABQnews Seeker
'He’s definitely the big dog in ... 'He’s definitely the big dog in the house,' says one roomie Donovan Dent
Lobo football: Freshman All-American enters transfer portal
UNM freshman A.J. Haulcy (24) reacts ... UNM freshman A.J. Haulcy (24) reacts with teammates after a play during the Lobos' Sept. 17 home win over UTEP. (Chancey Bush/Journal)A.J. Haulcy, who ...