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February 17 , 2009

Dare to Dream


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'Dare to Dream' is based on the true events of Stevenson's four-month trek of self-discovery, and rehabilitation with his newly acquired equine companion Colina (Murphy). Stevenson's trek took him through remote parts of Western Andalusia, over the Portuguese mountains, along the Camino de Santiago trail, over the Pyrenees into France, Brittany and finally Cornwall. The driving force behind this trek was Stevenson's wish to live a dream he had held all his life, to travel with a horse. For Stevenson, a manic depressive, this was a voyage of discovery and catharsis, a means to come to terms with his condition. This is an excellently written and often emotional book which takes the reader through the ups and downs (both literally and metaphorically) of Stevenson's adventure!

About the Author

When I first broached the subject of the trek that this book is based on, the mental health team that were working with me were very doubtful that I would be able to cope with the stress and strain involved in such an arduous adventure. Over the period of a few months I persuaded them that I could cope, even though I had many doubts of my own.

I am lucky to be here to tell you this story; in October 2000, I was admitted to a mental hospital during a serious bout of manic depression in which I almost ended my life. Whilst in hospital I was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder. For the first time in my life I had a diagnosis, I got the help that I needed at that time.

When I started to write this book back in 2003, I never thought that it would turn into a memorial for my trusty steed Murphy! He suddenly passed away on the 27th of December 2005, diagnosis Colic! I expected us to go on together for many years, we had unfinished business in Ireland to do with our trek in 2003.

Now this book is to serve as a memorial to a unique equestrian companion, to a bond that can only be forged by living day by day with a horse as you meet the challenges thrown up during a long trek together, over unfamiliar terrain.
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