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On a Hoof and a Prayer: Exploring Argentina at a Gallop

3.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  104 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
The stampeding true story of one woman’s journey from timorous equestrian novice to wildly whooping cowgirl—a madcap ride through Argentina that will fascinate horse lovers, travelers, and armchair adventurers alike.

As a girl, Polly Evans dreamed about learning to ride—and in her mid-thirties the obsession returned. Determined to finally bite the bullet and saddle up, she
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Delta (first published March 1st 2007)
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Holly Booms Walsh
Interesting subject, and some of the anecdotes were interesting, but it was mostly lackluster and I kept skimming.
Feb 08, 2009 Barbara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: travelers, horse-lovers, anyone interested in Argentina
Recommended to Barbara by: my brother
Polly's always fun! And while I did stall out about half-way through, it wasn't her fault. I got distracted.

Ms. Evans always works some personal challenge into her travel. This time it's learning to ride horses and then doing all sorts of riding while exploring Argentina. It's colorful, descriptive, entertaining and touched with humor along the way. I enjoyed the journey; she's so good at weaving in bits of history, what others have observed, then topping it off with some wry or comical observa
Kimberly DuBoise
Aug 27, 2014 Kimberly DuBoise rated it it was amazing
This book does a great job blending history with adventure; I enjoyed the author's style of writing and reflection. Very descriptive and informative. I see this book as a journal and memoir in one. Enjoyed this book!
Andres Carter
Feb 04, 2016 Andres Carter rated it it was amazing
Very fun to read and full of interesting facts and stories. Loved seeing familiar sights through a strangers eyes as well as places and experiences I would never try for myself.
Russ Kennedy
Aug 10, 2015 Russ Kennedy rated it liked it
Amusing read. Not as many hooves as might be expected from title.
Aug 23, 2009 Phair rated it liked it
Shelves: travelogue
This is my third time following Polly's adventures. I liked the first half quite well. This time the weaving in of historical background did not seem as jarring and pedantic as in previous books- perhaps because I am less familiar with South American history. By 3/4 of the way I was getting tired of the journey which started to feel rushed and forced. I had really hoped for a bit more of a horseback adventure but Argentina is a big country so I guess she did have to get on other modes of transp ...more
Jul 03, 2008 John rated it liked it
Recommends it for: horse people and travel lit fans
Shelves: travel, library_books
I've read an awful lot of travel narrative/lit/essay since finishing Evans' previous installment, so had forgotten that she's more laid back than many other writers in this genre, not a bad thing, but different. At first, not being a "horse person", I'd feared that I wouldn't be able to get into the book, but those episodes are well integrated; author does a great job of covering Argentina's regions - from Iaguazu Falls in the far north to Ushuaia in the polar south. Definitely recommended.
Jan 26, 2014 Grace rated it liked it
Shelves: own, horse
I had to read a travel narrative for my Social Studies class so I choose this one. This book started out really strong, but eventually it just got repeated. She goes to a town to ride horses, almost every town is out of horses, she rides the horse, she leaves. I did not like the writing style, how it swapped between history and her POV it made it very confusing to read.
Mar 22, 2012 Darlene rated it liked it
This is not a detailed guide but a light romp around Argentina. I particularly liked the thumbnail bios of Che Guevara and Evita Peron, and the quick sketches of voyagers's attempts to tame both Nature and Natives. Evans shares her communion with the variety of landscapes and weather in this long stretch of land east of the Andes.
Feb 25, 2012 Bronwen rated it really liked it
I was recommended this read by a local library. I've never been to Argentina but would love to go now and do some riding while I'm there. Easy read, it only took me a day and a half to read and gives you insights into areas of Argentina too. Very recommended, especially if you are a 'horsey-type'!!
Aug 07, 2008 Audrey rated it really liked it
An adventurous British woman travels to Argentina to learn how to ride horses while exploring the many beautiful regions of the country. The book was a great read while traveling. It contains detailed descriptions of Argentina and made me want to go back to see places I missed (which would be most of it).
Sep 15, 2008 Nora rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult
I wanted a Bill Bryson funny travel book (it was promised on the back cover.) Instead I got heavy, detailed history of every single area of Argentina. Let me summarize: "In Argentina there have been a lot of wars."
Jul 09, 2009 Lizz rated it liked it
This was my least favorite of her books. I've been to Argentina 3 times and some of the areas she visited. I don't think she really captured the feel of this country.
Keith Bennett
Mar 29, 2013 Keith Bennett rated it did not like it
Original adventure in Argentina this is not. One lady's holiday at a series of organised riding centres. Disappointing.
Michael Seeds
Jul 04, 2013 Michael Seeds rated it it was amazing
An insightful visit to the huge country of Argentina. Polly Evans is a pleasure to read.
Feb 07, 2012 Jackie rated it it was ok
A timely and enjoyable read. We leave for Patagonia the end of this week.
Diane Viall
Mar 21, 2011 Diane Viall rated it liked it
A fun travelogue through Argentina.
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