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With a Horse called George along the Oregon Trail
by Hafis Bertschinger

He never pretended to be a "horseman"!

In fact Hafis Bertschinger knew more about palettes than he did about pintos. Yet in the spring of 1982 the famed Swiss-Lebanese artist determined to exchange his artist's studio for a saddle. What followed was one man's poetic odyssey across a vast country.

Of course Hafis didn't travel alone. Like all great equestrian travel classics, this story has another player and his name is George.

"I was shown a lovely horse," Hafis writes, "five-year-old Mister George. A handsome sorrel, he had a white star on his forehead and when I rode him I found him good, if not much disciplined. He hadn't been over-trained as racking horses often are. So I took George's friskiness as a good omen. I was so eager to have him that the whole deal was done in no time. I drew close to the side of George's face and told him that we would be partners, come what will. Pure intuition told me I had made the right choice, and I was elated."

So it was that a neglected horse, and an amateur equestrian traveler, set out to ride the length of the legendary Oregon Trail.

"I stood next to my horse, George, ready for the big adventure. America, here I come! I'm going to meet and talk with you, to see and hear you, to draw and write you, to laugh and feel you, to river, plain, and mountain, to earth, wind, and storm with you all, right into the setting sun," Hafis wrote on the day he and George set out.

So saddle up with this charming couple of first-time explorers. Buy this book and learn why Hafis learned to say, "Go slowly and get there quicker."

This book is published by:

Idaho State University Press
Campus Box 8265
Idaho State University
Pocatello, Idaho 83209


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