Filipe Leite

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Filipe Leite is a cowboy, journalist, adventurer, and long rider. He was born in Brazil and raised in Canada, where he obtained a journalism degree from Ryerson University. In 2014 he completed a 16,000-km ride from Calgary to Barretos, Brazil, and is currently riding 8,000 km from Barretos to Tierra del Fuego.

Riding Alone across the Continent: Therapy on Horseback

On July 8, 2012, when I jumped into the saddle to ride horseback from Canada to Brazil, I had no idea the journey of solitude I was about to undertake. There were times during the 803 days I spent on the road when family and friends met me, but for the majority of the trip, it was just my horses and me. Some nights I met generous people who kindly hosted me in their homes, while other nights were spent camping in the wilderness. But every day, while I rode, I spent eight to ten hours alone. Without saying a word. Or hearing one. Some days my voice hardly came out in the afternoon. And on some stretches I went days without seeing or conversing with another human being. Being left alone with your thoughts for such long periods of time, away from your family and loved ones, is not…

16,000 Kilometres, 805 Days, 10 Countries, 3 Horses, 1 Crazy Adventure

At the age of 25, I undertook one of the longest horseback rides in history. Inspired by Aime Tschiffely’s 1925 long ride from Argentina to the United States, I rode from the Calgary Stampede to the rodeo capital of Latin America, Barretos, Brazil. With my three horses—Frenchie, Bruiser, and Dude—I trekked 16,000 kilometres through ten countries over 805 days. I know what you’re thinking: “This guy is crazy.” I have heard this at least a thousand times, from the point I said I would do it until now, so no hard feelings. But to me, crazy is spending your time on this earth in a cubicle staring at a computer screen. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Everyone’s happiness comes from a different place. And mine happens to lie in the wide-open spaces. During my long ride from Canada to Brazil, I saw the sun rise and set almost…