Action Rider of the Month – Linda Riley

Linda Riley and Squire. Photo credit: Larissa Allen Photography

Linda Riley’s Arabian gelding is a great example of the versatility of the Arabian breed. She has adjusted her goals and activities to what was best for her horse, and fortunately he was a willing partner to her many fun adventures.

Linda explains, “Squire has been with me since 2001. His registered name is Canterbury’s Squire. He is a purebred Arabian gelding that was born in 2000. I am a young 63 years old and have been riding since I was 6 years old.

“We started out with the intentions of Squire following in the hoof prints of my last half-Arabian and become a Hunter/Jumper. It was not to be. At two years old, Squire ended up having surgery on his hocks from growing too fast. We instead decided to pursue the avenue of parades, drill team, and trail rides.

Linda Riley and Squire on parade. Photo credit: Larissa Allen

“The Red Hats and Purple Chaps provided the ideal opportunities for that. Squire was on their original drill team and performed at the Kentucky Horse Park and many other venues during his Drill Team career. He also paraded with the Red Hats and Purple Chaps group in a number of parades including the Pegasus Parade in Kentucky and the Chicago McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

“In 2009, right before one of the big parades, Squire was diagnosed with Neurosarcoma Cancer. He underwent surgery and chemo treatment for this and has, so far, been a cancer survivor.

“We decided to settle our lives down and joined The American Competitive Trail Horse Association. This was the opportunity to compete on six miles or so of trails with judged obstacles about every mile. We earned points to qualify for certain prizes, but unfortunately, I had an accident with my shoulder that side lined that goal.

“Currently, after a couple of years of surgeries and physical therapy, Squire and I are going to just enjoy some peaceful trail riding. Thanks to Action Rider Tack we have a very comfortable saddle to do this in. Great tack that is a breeze to keep clean, and clothes from them that keep me comfy too. We might change the way we ride, but hopefully we will continue to ride until we cross that rainbow bridge.”

Stacy and Jim’s Training Strategies On the Road to Tevis

Stacy Motschenbacher riding Coyote Jim, her Mustang gelding. To her left is Gina Rice, riding Biscuit. These two teams are both training for Tevis and sponsored by Aciton Rider Tack and Toklat, Inc.
Stacy Motschenbacher riding Coyote Jim, her Mustang gelding. To her left is Gina Rice, riding Biscuit. These two teams are both training for Tevis and sponsored by Action Rider Tack and Toklat, Inc.


Action Rider Tack and Toklat, Inc., are sponsoring Stacy Motschenbacher and her 10-year-old Mustang gelding, Coyote Jim, who are on their way to the 2015 Tevis Cup. On June 15, 2015, they participated in the Limestone Challenge near Selma, Oregon, as part of their preparation to ride the Tevis Cup, the 100-mile endurance ride.

Stacy’s comments, “The Limestone Challenge was a great 50-mile training ride. The elevation profile showed that in 50 miles, the trail went up 10,000 feet. Tevis goes up 19,000 feet in 100 miles, so this really was a good example of what that kind of elevation change looks like.”

“Jim did well,” continues Stacy. “Only comment the veterinarian at the vet check, Dr. Benson, said was he could lose a little weight! Sheesh, never had a horse that I have ridden this hard that needed to be on a constant diet!”

“I think what will be much harder about Tevis is that the trail itself is harder and the heat will be over 20 degrees hotter during the day. Plus add the stress of 200 riders at the start. Plus hour after hour of riding takes its toll. Problems that you can get away with on a 50-mile ride start to become an issue with longer miles.”

“Next on my training schedule is a ride in the heat with Gina Rice, also sponsored by Action Rider Tack and Toklat, Inc, on their rode to Tevis. I will also go to The Tevis Educational Ride, to get some tips from others who have ridden it before.”

“I am trying to give Jim some time off, but we really do need to do some rides in the heat. After the Tevis Educational ride, which will be two tough days of riding, I will be doing more heat training, while trying not to over ride him.”

May Action Rider of the Month – Carleen Neves

Carleen Neves out on trail on her Walkaloosa, Nakota.
Carleen Neves out on trail on her Walkaloosa, Nakota.

Carleen Neves is an avid trail rider who has covered many miles out on some of the most beautiful country in the northwest United States on her horse Nakota, a 15-hand Walkaloosa. Carleen is also a breeder of the Walkaloosa horse, a breed she finds perfect for trail for their size, the comfortable gait, surefootedness, and great temperament.

Carleen comments, “Nakota is 7/8 Appaloosa from Indian Shuffler bloodlines and 1/8 Tennessee Walker.  He does a foxtrot, stepping-pace, and a singlefoot. He is a total goofball of a horse with a super playful personality.  Loves to do tricks and steal my hat.”

“I fell in love with the Walkaloosa breed 30 years ago.  In over 50 years of riding horses, I love and trust my sturdy, thinking, smooth-riding Walkaloosas more than any other breed.  I ride and camp all year long with our horses and have about 60 rides in so far this year.  My longest ride last year was an 8 hour day of riding from Kelsay Valley Horse Camp near Diamond Lake, Oregon.  And yes, I did ride again the next several days we were there!  My motto is:  I will ride until I cannot walk.”

Carleen camping with her Walkaloosas.
Carleen camping with her Walkaloosas.

According to the Walkaloosa Association, The Walkaloosa was preserved through selective breeding by the Nez Perce Indians who valued their color and smooth gait. These horses became valued by ranchers, and called their gait the Indian Shuffle. The Walkaloosa Association was formed in 1983 to preserve the pedigree and history of the breed.

Action Riders on the Road to Tevis!

Gina Rice and Biscuit on their first endurance ride. Photo Credit: Gore-Baylor Event Photography
Gina Rice and Biscuit on their first endurance ride.
Photo Credit: Gore-Baylor Event Photography

Action Rider Tack, in partnership with Toklat Inc, is sponsoring two Action Riders heading for the famous 100-mile Tevis Cup endurance ride this year! The two endurance riders are Gina Rice and Stacy Motschenbacher, who ride and train together in southern Oregon. Action Rider Tack and Toklat admire their dedication to the sport of endurance, and the commitment it takes to make the journey to the Tevis ride.

Gina Rice is preparing and training her home-bred chestnut Arabian filly, Biscuit, for the Tevis Cup this August, 2015. Biscuit is now 7 years old and approximately 14.3 hands.  Gina started her under saddle gently as a 3-year-old. Gina made the commitment in January that Tevis would be her goal in 2015 and started conditioning and training that same month. She averages 20 miles a week on Biscuit. Gina also owns Biscuit’s mother, a grey Arabian named Fanciful Figre (Tigger) and she is her back-up horse for Tevis. Tigger is a 15.2 hands, 13-year-old Arabian mare bred for racing with Tiki lines – pure Polish – at Darley Arabian in Kentucky.

Over the April 18-19 weekend, Gina and Biscuit completed their first 75-mile ride. Biscuit still had energy at the end of the ride, and passed the vet checks with flying colors. At the end, the only comment from the vet was that the long billets on Gina’s Specialized saddle caused a sore spot on Biscuit’s side. So Gina is switching to a Toklat Matrix English Endurance Saddle Pad that extends down past her saddle skirts a bit more to provide protection from the billets. They finished the 75-miler in the dark and Gina had a chance to use her headlamp. It spooked Biscuit, even after 60 miles, so she recommends practicing with one before you really need it.

Gina commented, “Biscuit’s sire is Dymoni RSI and she was so lazy I never thought she would make an endurance horse. But these days, I’d like to have a little of that lazy back!”

Stay tuned for more updates on the two Action Riders on the road to Tevis!