Lifestyle & Human Interest

Man Quits Six-Figure Tech Job to Attempt 2,300-Mile Journey on a Craigslist Horse: 'It's My Destiny'


Cyril Bertheau, a 24-year-old from Texas, had a stable job in tech and was making a six-figure salary — something many would be happy to have. But Bertheau claims he had some unfinished business that led him to quit his job and take off on a grand — and what looks to many like an unwise — adventure.

“In my family, there’s a tradition that the eldest son of each generation does a great, big adventure,” Cyril Bertheau, an eldest son, said, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.
“It’s kind of my turn.”

His grandfather traveled a desert by foot. His father backpacked his way around the world. And now, in the middle of what appeared to be a lucrative career, Bertheau is answering the call by plotting a route from Austin to Seattle — on horseback.

The undaunted young man told KXAN-TV that he rode competitively for years and is an experienced rider, something that would definitely be necessary for the success of such an undertaking.

The journey is around 2,300 miles long, and the enthusiastic rider plans to go through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and then Washington to get to Seattle.

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Bertheau said he plans to avoid railroad tracks and highways and stick to trails, where he’ll camp along the way.

And he plans to do it in 100 days, traveling five full days a week and resting at least one, sharing his journey on social media as he treks across the country.

As of March, though, he was still looking for a horse up to the challenge. While many people train for months or years alongside their favorite horse for grueling endurance rides, Bertheau was still scanning Craigslist with a $3,000 budget a month before planning to set off on his big trip.

In a video on TikTok, he listed the qualities he was looking for in a suitable trail companion: Brave, courageous, and comfortable.

“I’m going to have my a** on the saddle about 10 hours a day,” Bertheau said in one TikTok video. “I want to be in comfort.”

He eventually secured a 13-year-old Tennessee Walking horse, a striking black-and-white horse with one brown eye and one blue eye that he named Shiok.

WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.

@2raw2ride Horse shopping in Texas. Seventh horse in craigslist-Facebook saga #fyp #texas #horse ♬ Trap Money so Big (Remix) – Iqbal12
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On April 9, he set out with friends and family wishing him good luck.

In the first few days, he’s already encountered several obstacles. While picking rocks out of Shiok’s hooves,  he slipped and spooked the horse, who took off running.

A driver passing by in a MINI Cooper spotted what was happening and gave Bertheau a lift to catch up to his horse, according to what he told Fox News.

A pit bull also broke off its tether and lunged at Bertheau and Shiok as they traveled down one street. The 24-year-old caught the encounter on video, and it was a very close call.

Many people have commented pleading with him to lay off the publicity stunt, saying that his horse isn’t fit for the sort of journey he’s planning on taking and that forcing it to travel that far with little to no real preparation is animal abuse.

Many comments also pointed out that in some photos Bertheau had placed the bit upside-down, adding to the general concern for Shiok and opinion that Bertheau is unprepared and foolish. Many questioned his “experience,” and some have dubbed him a “Cosplay Cowboy.”

A post from Thursday showed that Bertheau is still on the road, making new friends and needing to purchase a new pair of jeans as his got ripped.

Whether or not he makes it to his goal, there will certainly be people following his journey. He said his mother was “scared to death,” but that his dad understood why he had to try.

“It’s my destiny,” he said. “And I had to do it.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking