Our book of the month for February is 'From East to West by Saddle is Best: A horseback journey across the Scottish Highlands' by Claire Alldritt. Horsemanship Journal book reviewer Rebecca Dorman share's her thoughts on this wonderful book.


I was interested in reading this book as I wanted to hear about the adventure of riding horses over a long distance and what would be involved. I enjoy hacking out with my pony, but not sure I would ever be brave enough to do this solo.

I have a Welsh x Appaloosa, so I was very interested to hear how team Swogi tackled the long journey. How did they cope both physically and mentally? 

From East to West by Saddle is bestIt was great to hear how Claire discussed, with her equine companions, the events for the day and when they hit difficult encounters. It was great to read how Claire took Team Swogi’s thoughts and abilities into consideration when planning routes, terrain and obstacles along the way. 

I also try and think from my pony’s perspective as this is a partnership, and we need to work together. It definitely sounds as though Claire had this with her team. It also brought the book to life as I could imagine what my pony would be saying to me in those situations.

It was also great to hear of all the support she had on the way from family and friends and even passers-by. What a fabulous friend Yvonne is to allow Claire to continue her journey with Katy and Skye; I’m not so sure I would have been that generous, but maybe I would?

I loved the fact that Katy and Skye both loved the grass (food in general). My pony also lives to eat, and I could relate to eating being the most important thing for them. I don’t have the problem of the sticky feet; I do, however, have the tantrums when not allowed to eat when hacking over lush grass, which must smell amazing.

I would most definitely recommend this book. Claire, you have inspired me to put on my ‘brave pants’ and go find those adventures. Trust in my pony and not overthink or worry about what might happen. 

This book shows the determinate Claire demonstrated to get her journey completed, even with having to deviate from the set plans. Well done to Claire, team Swogi, Skye and Katy.


What a journey.