On the Road to Tevis – Training Strategies

Gina Rice and Biscuit finish 6th at Mt Adams 100-mile.
Gina Rice and Biscuit finish 6th at Mt Adams 100-mile Endurance Ride. Photo credit: Jessica Wynne

Gina Rice, sponsored by Action Rider Tack and Toklat Inc, continues working towards her goal to finish the 2015 Tevis Cup 100-mile endurance ride. Gina Rice and her chestnut mare RR Dymarree OT, aka Biscuit, who is sired by Dymoni RSI, have kept up their weekly training rides. On May 16, 2015, Gina rode Biscuit in the Mt Adams 100-mile endurance ride in Washington. It was Biscuit’s first 100-mile ride. They finished the 100-mile ride in 6th place and in great shape, with good comments from the vet. Gina comments, “I am so proud of my little red!”

“We just got back from pre-riding 45 miles of the Tevis Trail,” said Gina. “Good timing because we got some great heat training!” Gina trailered down to Auburn the second week of June to ride parts of the Tevis Trail with a friend who rode her backup horse, Tigger. It was hot, at times 105 degrees, and Biscuit’s heart rate was elevated more than usual on the ride. Gina made a quick call to a local veterinarian to see if the elevated heart rate was typical of a horse in the heat, and the vet reassured her that it was in the normal range.

This has prompted Gina to train in the heat in preparation for Tevis. In southern Oregon where Gina lives, there are not often temperatures above 100 degrees. Recent weather reports for the end of June have predicted some hot days, so Gina will take advantage of that to ride and train some in the heat, knowing that Tevis on August 1 will be hot.

“Biscuit and I are going to participate in one more 50-mile endurance ride the first part of July before the Tevis Cup, just to keep her edge. Then we will just continue our training rides of about 25 miles per week until Tevis.”

After riding sections of the Tevis Trail, Gina, who is a full-time farrier, decided to put rim shoes on Biscuit. The trail is very hard in places, and for the first time Biscuit had mild filling of her front legs from the hard surfaces. After icing, the filling returned to normal. There are also rocks and leaves, which are both slippery and Gina feels the rim shoes give Biscuit a little better footing than straight shoes.

June Action Rider of the Month – Karen House

Karen House riding Justin Trouble, aka Justy.
Karen House riding Justin Trouble, aka Justy.

Karen House is a true modern-day cowgirl. She owns four horses that she has trained herself to be successful all around horses. She bought Justin Trouble; a 15.2 hand registered APHA Black/White Tobiano when he was two years old, as a new horse for her husband to ride. She worked with him herself so he would be a trust worthy horse to ride.

“Justy has a mild temperament and has been ridden in horse shows, costume classes, parades, western trail classes and he is a seasoned trail trial horse,” states Karen. “We also enjoy horse camping, clearing trails, and have participated in several natural horsemanship clinics.”

Karen saddles Justy up several times a week to keep him in shape, and most of the time they ride on her own 40 acres and nearby BLM lands in southern Oregon. She states, “You’ve got to ride your horses on a regular basis to maintain their soundness physically and mentally.”

Karen has logged over 1,000 hours of riding time in the three years of being in the local horse club’s Hours in the Saddle Program. She is also a member of the American Trail Horse Association and has logged over 700 miles in that program.

Karen adds, “So, I guess you can say we like trail riding most of all.”