Joe Guy stopped in Aiken during his horseback trek across the United States. (July 30, 2009, WRDW-TV)
News 12 at 11 o'clock, July 30, 2009
AIKEN, S.C. --- He's not your average "Joe" by a long shot. Joe Guy has a dream of traveling to every state in America--except he's not doing it by car or plane. He's doing it all on horseback.
He calls himself "The Longrider" and he's a horse whisperer of sorts. Just how he ended up in Aiken, South Carolina is an amazing story. Joe Guy is from Australia and spending the next year here in America to fulfill his dream of traveling horseback through the United States.
I"d love to ride every state in America eventually," says the Australian horse trainer. "I came down through Alabama, I crossed Georgia to Savannah and now I'm heading back to Tennessee."
Guy's road trip began in Nashville but he ended up here in Aiken as the guest of Wayne Smith and Chuck Jordan. Guy met the two Aiken residents at a local store.
"I see this guy on a horse and I went, who's this guy?I don't know him!"says Chuck Jordan.
Wayne Smith, also of Aiken felt the same way.
"I turned my back I didn't know he was around, When I turned my back and saw him it kind of startled me," says Smith.
"Some people look at me like I'm an alien and some towns I go through they look at me like I'm an alien just to ride in town you know with a horse instead of a spaceship,"says Guy.
Guy is far from an alien - in fact - he owns a restaurant in Australia, has published a book, and has a CD of original music.
But his passion is horses; teaching others how to work with them.
"I call it an arrow of chance I can take any horse, unbroken, mad crazy whatever and be on its back in an hour, "says Guy.
Guy is not your normal house guest - he prefers to stay outdoors.
"I sleep on the ground as a rule. If it wasn't raining, I'd just sleep out there in that area with my horse," says Guy. "That's what I do. I use my saddle as a pillow and I'll use my coat as a rug over me and if it rains I get wet. But I try to find a shelter as much as I can. People offer me beds they offer me showers, I just sleep on the ground I hose under a tap and that's what I prefer to do because that's what I've conditioned myself."
"I figure if a man has rode a horse from Tennessee to almost Florida and then to Aiken, I figure he's okay,"says Wayne Smith.
Jordan and Smith both say they were glad to help the "Australian Cowboy " along his journey and look forward to seeing him again someday.
"I think anybody could look at him and tell he's okay," says Smith.
"You know most folks out here in the country we'll help anybody,"says Jordan.
"I think if he's on a horse, you can trust him!" adds Smith.
Guy says a lot of people are apprehensive at first when meeting him so often times he will show them his business card with his Internet site to prove he's legitimate. More information about him and his book can be found at www.joeguylongrider.com.
Guy's final destination is Tombstone, Arizona and after-wards he plans to then travel back to Australia and write his second book about his travels on horseback across America.