Writer & Long Rider Shares Her Story
“A Book of Gratitude of the Highest Order”
At 54, Lisa Stewart set out to regain the fearless girl she once had been, riding her horse, Chief, 500 miles home.
Hot, homeless, and horseback, she snapped back into every original cell.
On an extraordinary homegoing from Kansas City to Bates and Vernon Counties in Missouri, Lisa exhausted herself, faced her past, trusted strangers, and stayed in the middle of her frightened horse to document modern rural America, the people, animals, and land.
“Lisa Stewart’s The Big Quiet charts a path for all women. It’s a path at once dangerous and thrilling and a path she had started down and backed out of since childhood. The resulting narrative recounts a journey not only to a point on the map but to a whole and liberated self. Stewart is finally free to trust herself and others, to survive by her wits and with the help of kind strangers of which there are still many. This is a delicious fantasy of a journey most of us deny ourselves and one taken on the back of a horse whose simultaneously terrified and fiercely loyal personality unfurls before us as the richest of characters’ personalities do-on the way from Point A to Point B.” – Kelly Barth, author of My Almost Certainly Real Imaginary Jesus
“This is a book of gratitude of the highest order. Stewart, a 54-year-old woman riding alone on a high-strung, sure-footed horse across the gravel grid of rural America, is grateful each night for a place to pitch a tent and pasture her horse. But her journey, past and present, is as much about the people she meets, many of whom know how to study a horse and to trust its rider-these strangers are glad to offer water and their own stories, which, like Stewart’s, churn with old wounds, hard work, family, and an abiding trust in open land. This compelling meditation reminds us that every step, fall, and missed road leads the rider home.” — Gary Dop, author of Father, Child, Water, MFA Program Director at Randolph College
“After riding more than 3,000 miles across the United States in the early 1980s, Stewart helped launch one of that country’s most successful saddle companies. Yet Lisa Stewart is no salesman, eager to sell a saddle to gain a commission. She is a long rider who made mistakes and learned by them. She faced obstacles and overcame them. She was presented with ancient riddles and discovered solutions.” — CuChullaine O’Reilly, FRGS, Founding Member of The Long Riders’ Guild
Winner 2021 Thorpe Menn Award
Winner Kansas Authors Guild
Looks Like A Million Book Award
Finalist 2021 High Plains Book
First Book Award
Insights & Ideas for Fellow Riders
Stories about saddle fit, long-distance riding, the human-horse bond, and more
October 17, 2019 | Lisa's Horseback Trip 2012 Caption #1: None Caption # 2: My first saddle at 8. A 16" Hereford, which I rode on my 1982, 3,000-mile horseback trek. I saw a video today of girls competing in a stick horse competition, racing, jumping, prancing. I...
Leaving Chief's pasture near Edgerton, Kansas, on a trip that would last 3 months, three weeks, or if we failed, three days. May 16, 2012 For the month preceding my departure on a solo horseback ride through Kansas and Missouri, May 16, 2012--a girlhood dream that I...
It was the second week of my 500-mile horseback trip the summer of 2012, and I was in the depths of my endurance—the only way I know to put it. We were approaching a couple’s home in rural Vernon County, Missouri. Harmon and Lanie would graciously put us up for the...
Join in the Journey
Lisa’s motivational presentations remind listeners of two radical truths — the world is safe, and people want to be of help. Invite her to speak speak to your group or organization’s next event. In person or online.
Lisa speaks to and shares from her experience and expertise with horses, people, her rural roots, and her passion for the inner-city of Kansas City, whose residents remind me so poignantly and comfortingly of the people she grew up with in the country.
She speaks to audiences from all walks of life about the healing, horse-human connection and that the same healing connection is available between us and strangers — if we just know it.
Lisa’s presentation wowed me. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Read her book and invite her to speak at your next gathering or conference.