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On an epic 3,000-mile journey through the most pristine backcountry of the American West, four friends rode horseback across an almost contiguous stretch of unspoiled public lands, border to border, from Mexico to Canada.
For their trail horses, they adopted wild mustangs from the US Bureau of Land Management that were perfectly adapted to the rocky terrain and harsh conditions of desert and mountain travel.
A meticulously planned but sometimes unpredictable route brought them face to face with snowpack, downpours, and wildfire; unrelenting heat, raging rivers, and sheer cliffs; jumping cactus, rattlesnakes, and charging bull moose; sickness, injury, and death. But they also experienced a special camaraderie with each other and with the mustangs. Through it all, they had a constant traveling companion—a cameraman, shooting for the documentary film Unbranded.
The trip’s inspiration and architect, Ben Masters, is joined here by the three other riders, Ben Thamer, Thomas Glover, and Jonny Fitzsimons; two memorable teachers and horse trainers; and the film’s producers and intrepid cameramen in the telling of this improbable story of adventure and self-discovery.
About the Author
BEN MASTERS is CEO of Fin & Fur Films, LLC. He is an avid horseman, angler, hunter, and packer; an accomplished photographer; and a dedicated advocate for conservation. Masters is from San Angelo, Texas, and lives in Austin, Texas.
"I can't think of a greater adventure than traveling horseback through the grand American West. Saddling up with plenty of courage, fortitude, ingenuity--and maybe a little bit of lunacy--the Unbranded crew completed a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Fortunately, they have allowed us to ride along through the pages of this book."—Ross Hecox, Editor in Chief, Western Horseman
— Ross Hecox
“The 188-page book, loaded with 165 stunning photographs, documents the journey taken by Masters, Jonny Fitzsimons, Thomas Glover and Ben Thamer. The men encountered breathtaking scenery and just as much danger. The book describes the entire journey, including adopting and training the Mustangs, plotting the course, and riding through beautiful and treacherous landscapes. It also details a number of hardships, such as bouts with heatstroke and dysentery, injuries to men and horses, bad weather, runaway horses and sketchy grub. The photography captures the landscape of the American West at its best.”—Western Horseman, April 2015
— Western Horseman
“Thrill your adventurous soul with Unbranded, a new book by architect Ben Masters, with spectacular photography that documents a journey taken by four riders through the backcountry of the American West.”—BeautifulNow
“Superbly illustrated with flawless production values throughout, Unbranded is an inherently fascinating and informative read providing a true ‘insider’ perspective and background information.”—Midwest Book Review
— Midwest Book Review
“Ben Masters, the trip’s instigator and architect, is joined by three cowboy friends—Ben Thamer, Thomas Glover, and Jonny Fitzsimons—plus two horse trainers and teachers, and the film’s producers and intrepid cameramen in the telling of this improbable story of adventure and self-discovery. This colourful companion book takes you along for the ride from the comfort of your own easychair.”—The Rider
— The Rider