On the Hoof

Pacific to Atlantic, A 3,800-Mile Adventure

Jesse Alexander McNeil



The true tale of a voyage that broke a man down and built him back up, with the help of one special horse.

At 36 Jesse McNeilat times carpenter, commercial fisherman, dabbler in real estatedecided to buy an untrained horse, make himself into a horseman, and ride all the way across the United States, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.

A fiercely independent traveler, Jesse had navigated previous coast-to-coast tripssolo journeys by moped, bicycle, and small airplane. This time, however, he had a partner: a five-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse named Pepper. An inexperienced horseman with an equally inexperienced mount, Jesse would quickly discover the immense challenges of his new undertaking. Over the course of eight months and fourteen statesbeginning in Oregon and ending on a beach in New Hampshirehe would be tested many times over as he learned not only what it took to keep Pepper safe and healthy, but the true value of qualities that he had once easily dismissed: patience and companionship.

The generosity of strangers, from helpful ranchers and storekeepers to suburban families, shaped the pair's journey east. And while at some points the miles didn't unfold as Jesse hoped, others yielded unexpected events that changed his perspectiveand quite possibly, his future. Written with honesty, grit, and grace, On the Hoof captures an arduous voyage that broke a man down and built him back up, with the help of one special horse.

Additional Information

Author: Jesse Alexander McNeil

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 416

Illustrations: 64 color photos

ISBN: 9781570769771

By Jesse Alexander McNeil

Jesse Alexander McNeil grew up exploring the mountains and rivers of New Hampshire, which kindled his adventurous spirit and inspired later long-distance journeys, from thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail to coast-to-coast trips by bicycle, small airplane, moped, and then, horse. McNeil and the Tennessee Walker, Pepper, who traveled from the Pacific to the Atlantic with him, live in the San Juan Islands of Washington State where they continue to explore hills and fields and daydream of new journeys ahead.

Oregon Coast Magazine Says:

“A huge standout.”