Tech worker quits job to ride horse he bought off Craigslist across USA – New Zealand Herald

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Destiny: The hobby-horse cowboy bought Shiok to undertake a 3000km journey across America. Photo / 2Raw2Ride, Instagram
A tech worker from Austin has quit his high-paying job for a horse he met on the internet, and the dream of riding across America.
Cyril Bertheau describes his 100-day journey from Texas to Seattle as a “rite of passage”.
Having bought Shiok, a 13-year-old gelding, from craigslist for US 3000 (around $4800) the Texan says he will complete the challenge with only what he can fit on the saddle.
The 3000km journey spans Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho before ending at the northwest frontier in Washington.
“The rules are simple,” Bertheau said via a social media channel he has set up to document the trip.
“I’m giving myself 100 days, it has to be self-supported, and I’m not going to spend any money on lodging.”
Setting off on April 9, only a week into the ride he has attracted over 10,000 TikTok viewers to follow along with the madcap ride.
Talking to Fox News the hobby-horse cowboy said he was inspired by family stories and the adventures of his father’s relatives.
“It’s a family tradition for each one of the oldest sons of my family on my Dad’s side to do a great big adventure.”
Four generations of Bertheaus have been trekking across the globe, he says, but not all of them do it on horseback.
“My great-grandfather started it, and then my grandfather, then my dad, and then now it’s me.”
He was inspired by father Eric’s overland adventure from Europe and Asia to Australia.
He described it as a “kind of a rite of passage.”
A post shared by Cyril Bertheau (@2raw2ride)
Bertheau said that his self-imposed challenge married this family tradition with his love of horses.
Travel companion Shiok was picked out of a stable of 6 potential steeds. The distinctively marked piebald Tennessee Walker stood out immediately.
Most importantly, the breed has excellent endurance and a comfortable gait.
“One of my criteria for a horse that can carry me 100 days is, he’s gotta be comfortable,” he explained via a TikTok video.
Only a week into the trip it’s not been an easy ride. When clearing stones from Shiok’s shoes, the horse recently spooked and ran off through town.
He told Fox News in Texas it was very nearly the end of the road for him and his horse.
“I started running down the street and I see this Mini Cooper come up and this lady comes out says, ‘Hop in. My husband’s going to drive you.’ So we run down and I just opened the door and stopped my horse.”
Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the prospect of Berthau’s ride. Comments on the 2Raw2Ride social accounts dismiss the ride as “Foolishness” or downright “animal cruelty”.
The stunt spawned several response videos, condemning the ride, and the hashtag #SaveShiok.
“Buying an out of shape horse and expecting him to be Hidalgo,” was a recipe for disaster wrote one.
“New clothes for him but terribly fitted tack for his horse…” wrote another, who was judging the social media star’s priorities.
“This so so wrong,” read one of the top comments. “This horse is nowhere near ready, and it’s unfair to him that you set him up for failure. There’s a chance you’ll finish ur goal, but at what cost to the horse.”
Others wondered if Bertheau had factored in veterinary inspections or health records required to cross state boundaries. In the USA a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) is generally required by the authorities to allow horses to cross into another state, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“Cosplay Cowboys strike again,” wrote Caitlin Oponski, manager of a shelter for rescue horses.
Despite what he described as “mental, physical, and spiritual challenges” Bertheau expected ahead, the horseback adventurer says he will be better off after the journey.
“[Some] people go to university and I sort of take this as the university of life. I’m just going to put myself in tough spots and I think I’ll be a better man afterwards,” he said.
And what will he do when he arrives in Washington State? Shiok and he will rest a week before heading back again, on another 100-day adventure.
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Bring your buggies, dogs and littlest legs, there’s a walk here for everyone.

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