Jackie Parry – author


5 young horses, 2 old people, and 1 new tent!

A Standard Journey

The day I galloped down a steep incline to find a gun to shoot one of our horses, was the day I realised that I may have bitten off more than I could chew.?????????????????????? It was Noel’s idea. Not shooting the horse, but living with horses 24/7 while trekking along part of the Bicentennial National Trail in Australia. When he mentioned the trail for a second time in one week, I knew we’d be doing it. We’re nomadic folk. During our seventeen years together we’ve sailed around the world one-and-a-half-times, become professional skippers and now live on a Dutch barge in France. Amid this mayhem we rescued five scatty, scared horses and slowly transformed the seven of us into a team. ???????????????????????????????There were elements of success and elements of failure. The initial realisation that I hadn’t ridden for twenty years and Noel hadn’t ridden for fifty was quite sobering. The stark comprehension that we were now middle aged was a painful one – literally. The joy of transforming those lost boys into strong, confident ‘war-horses’ was sometimes overwhelming. At the start the boys wouldn’t step into a puddle – imagine the emotions when they tackled steep ravines, faced-off bolshie kangaroos and plowed through deep rivers.?????????????????????? I sometimes indulged in the enormity of my responsibility. The desolation of our failure still punctures my heart. The yet unanswered desire to return and make the journey a success is still vivid. The heart-break of saying farewell to our boys, our family – will never leave me. There are plans that are slowly unravelling in my mind – we will tackle this once more.?????????????????????? The growth and realisation that – actually – we did succeed; we survived (at times it was an extremely close thing), we turned those boys into useful, brave animals by loving them and giving them a chance.?????????????????????? And, did we shoot the horse? Well there’s a story; a story that will help rescue more of these incredible animals. In June this year I will publish our escapade, warts and all – a percentage of proceeds will be donated to saving more horses-lives. Come join me on a thrilling ride! Up to date information our FB page ‘For the love of horses’.???????????????????????????????In the meantime, read more about our watery adventures here.


Make it happen – just do it!

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done!”

An old friend (‘old’ as in long-time, not years – right DD?) inspired this blog. She has a lot to offer the world but doesn’t believe it.

So, I’ll say again…

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done!”

I wanted to publish a book; I had to become an author, a publisher and a marketing expert (still a way to go with that last one!) It was tough, very tough (and still is), but I wanted it that badly I made it happen.

I now want to help rescue Australian Standard-bred horses. But how, on earth, do I do that from a boat in France?

I love these boys with all my heart

I love these boys with all my heart

I’ll keep writing. My next book is about two very sore bottoms, five ‘four-legged’ friends, one tent and a heart-warming, hysterical story.

Noel and I spent a few months riding along the Bicentennial National Trail of Australia. We adopted (rescued) five scared, scatty horses and set off with a tent and not much else.

A percentage of proceeds, from this story, will be donated to the SPPHA (The Standard Pleasure and Performance Horse Association), who do a fantastic job in re-homing retired trotters that are otherwise, set to be put down. Trotters which are usually young, worn out, badly treated and have so much to offer.


Whether it is something close to your heart, naked cartwheels (see previous blog!), or taking those first tentative steps to putting yourself out there and earning money with work you are in control of … take those steps…. if you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done…


In the meantime you can read of our adventures on the high seas here.

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A Standard Journey – Part 3

We are now at Hall (Canberra) – we trucked part of the way here as little Dom has bruised his back. He is much better and we are leaving soon. Since being here, we’ve had the boys vet checked (part of the adoption deal) and their teeth rasped. We’ve finished the road part of the journey – so on Monday (after a 6 lane road crossing!) – we will actually be on trails. I am asking the Police to help us cross the busy road! All is well, a few scrapes and bruises all – round – but generally all is good. The boys passed their vet check with flying colours -and the residents of Hall are spoiling us silly! Great Stuff!

See our FB “Noel and Jackie’s Journeys” for pictures and more news! – we’ve re-packed the boys with a much better system!


A Standard Journey – Part 1

All our boys are Standardbred, hence “A Standard Journey”  (The Standardbred should be of good athletic type with a robust build. They should have strong, straight legs, a long sloping shoulder, a croup that may be as high as the wither, and broad, sloping hindquarters. The Standardbred should stand over a good amount of ground, and therefore tend to have some extra length to the back.  They should also have a long underline, strong neck and a wide brow.  The Standardbred should have a noble, honest head with a kind eye.)http://www.standardbred.org.au/page3.php

We have embarked on the Bicentennial National Trail www.bicentennialnationaltrail.com.au/So far we have travelled from Taralga to Crookwell, just 44 kms, which took three days. The boys are doing fabulously, although we will be glad when they are more used to Kangaroos!

Follow us on FB (Noel and Jackie’s Journeys) and regular (we hope) posts here!

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Like our FB page “Noel and Jackie’s Journeys” for your chance to win a copy of Cruisers’ AA.

The draw takes place end of November – two signed books to be won!

Good luck!

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Count Down Begins!

Count down begins – Departure date for the Bicentennial National Trail is 14th October.

With a few hurdles to cross – bruised foot, sore cut and grumpiness (and that’s just us  😉  ) – we are  . . .almost . . . ready.

We are amazed at the similarities in organising five horses and all the gear, and getting a boat ready for cruising . . . basically you just keep throwing money at people until you are sick of it – then just leave!

Our five gorgeous boys having an easy day.

Our five gorgeous boys having an easy day.

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Book Launch a Success & Cruisers’ AA available now!

Thank you to everyone who came along to our book launch and presentation, you were a fantastic audience (laughing in all the right places!). We enjoyed ourselves as much as you all seemed to – thanks so much for your support.

Cruisers’ AA is now available – follow the links on this website.

And don’t forget to write – we’d love to hear from fellow sailors/adventurers. Of course, if you purchase a copy of Cruisers’ AA – do let us know if you enjoyed it.

Cruisers' AA Launch Cruisers' AA launch

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Horse number 5!

Dom completes our string of 5, YIKES! 5 horses.

I sat in the paddock and cried. Five horses, how on earth are we going to cope with five horses? The responsibility weighed me down and crumpled me into a heap. While Noel had had previous experience with horses and was now turning into a horse whisperer, with more experience I felt more responsibility. (It had been an emotional time one way or another!)

Yesterday we’d picked up Dom, number five of our string. The episode was emotional in itself, we’d gone to collect Beach Buggy, supposedly a 15.1hh bay. He was 16.2 – far too big for us. I would bring them all home but I had to really urge my governer (my head) into action and still my heart.

We now have five Standard Breds (ex trotters/pacers):

Charlie: too big at 16hh and underweight and quite stubborn

Ned: Nervous, jumps at leaves let alone saddle packs

Spirit: So cool and laid back we can hardly wake him to make him move

Stevie: Who’s great at everything, but detests leg aids and gets really grumpy if you urge him on

Dom: around 3.5 years old, incredibly young and silly and has not yet been backed.

With these thoughts I cried a bit harder and hoped Charlie, who was watching me, would come and give me a hoof hug. Charlie’s stomach is more important so he carried on munching the grass. I stood up and mentally and physically dusted myself off and tidied the tack room. This job is good for the soul, it helps sort out the days muddle in the room and in my head. Lunging and schooling Dom was all I could think of. Dom was going to have a surprise in the morning.


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Pack Saddle Adventures

Well, we have “packed” two horses. Our brave-boys Spirit and Stevie have accepted the packs with a yawn and not much else! Two down two to go.

Ned and Charlie snort when they just look at the pack saddles – leaves blowing in the wind make them jump and as for those strange tree stumps that they walk past everyday (that ARE tree stumps! . . .) well! So, some careful training will take place:

Lesson 1: Patience!

Lesson 2: More Patience

Homework: Practice patience.