Action Rider of the Month – Trish Terry

Trish Terry on a trail ride with her mustang mare, Star.

Trish Terry is married with four kids and lives in Brighton, Colorado. Her horses are kept at her home. She works for the City of Boulder full-time,  and also has her own business called 100% Mohair Horse Tack, where she hand makes custom mohair western cinches, English girths, and breast collars. All of that keeps her busy, but she makes the time to go out on trail rides every weekend. She rides in the surrounding areas of Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville, and Adams County. Colorado offers many beautiful places to ride that are horse friendly, so Trish never runs out of new adventures.

Star is Trish’s 11-year-old domestic mustang mare that has been part of her family for the past six years.  

“Star is an amazing trail horse and she has a silly pony type personality. I ride her in my Barefoot Cheyenne with an upgraded sheepskin seat, and a bitless bridle. TrishSlingwineSmithTerry,Star,BFCheyenneShe is also barefoot herself, because I try to keep my horses as natural as possible, and I use the kindest tack I can.  No bits for me, and definitely no treed saddles, and mohair all the way.

“She was a very hard horse to fit in a treed saddle, due to her barrel shape. Star is 15 hands and 1,250 lbs, and quite the easy keeper. I tried a variety of treed saddles, which she always balked at, until I finally went treeless. The Barefoot is actually my first new saddle ever! I just love it. I can mount from the ground, it doesn’t slip, and it is the most comfortable saddle I have ever used. I use a Diamond wool pad with cut out spine with it too.”

Trish continues, “Our older mare, Silky, was 38 and she just passed away last November. So we recently acquired a two-year-old black and white pinto filly named Indie. TrishTerryShortyBFCheyenneShe is in the training process right now, being ponied and saddled, and one day she will wear a Barefoot Treeless saddle too!

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.”

Action Rider Stacy Motschenbacher and Jim on the Road to Tevis

Stacy riding her Mustang, Jim.
Photo credit: Jessica Wynne

Stacy Motschenbacher and her Mustang gelding, Coyote Jim, are sponsored by Action Rider Tack in partnership with Toklat, Inc, on their road to the Tevis Cup 2015. They have been working hard toward their goal of participating and completing the Tevis 100-mile ride, and have completed the Nevada Rides of March 50-mile ride in March, and the Oregon Grizzly Mountain 75-mile ride in April. In May, they completed the Oregon Outback Hallelujah Trail Pioneer Ride which included three 50-60 mile rides in three consecutive days.

Stacy explains, “Jim is a 10-year-old BLM Mustang. I purchased him in 2011. I wasn’t looking for another horse, but the ad said ‘Forward mustang’. I had never been on a ‘forward mustang’ and I was intrigued. He is my 3rd mustang, and my husband has 2 mustangs. None of the others could really be described as ‘forward’ unless they were on the wrong end of the pasture when their mash came along.

“Jim’s previous owners gentled him and started him under saddle. I told them I wanted to do endurance on Jim, and my long term goal was to do this 100-mile ride called, Tevis. They had others looking at him, but figured that I would be the best fit, mainly because he was so forward.

“Well, they were right. The first three out of five rides we did together he took off on me and I couldn’t stop him. The last time he ran off with me, when he first stepped onto pavement, he slowed to a walk on his own and calmly walked the rest of the way home. This was quite reassuring. I figured if I could stay on top, I would survive. That afternoon I took the snaffle bit off his bridle and bought a Myler Combination Bit that gives him several warnings, then, puts the brakes on.

“I needed this Myler bit at 67 miles out on our last ride. Apparently turning on a headlamp while riding, when it is pitch black, isn’t quite the same as wearing one when delivering hay. Not in the eyes of a Mustang. I didn’t know a horse could buck, fart and start running in mid air. But I was pretty darn happy with his energy levels for three reasons: 1. It was 67 miles into the ride. 2. I stayed on. 3. Even though we were about 300 yards from the Vet check he still pulsed down.

“Don’t get me wrong, he is still a Mustang. Wasting energy isn’t his thing. Well, unless he is heading toward camp.

“He is big, has legs like an Angus bull, and a head that mocks those little Arab-sized halters. However, considering his size, he has decent heart rates and he is extremely sure-footed and very light on his feet. When we come to rocks, I stop looking at the trail and just focus on staying balanced on him. I have no idea how he is going to get through them, so I just concentrate on not screwing up his balance.

“What is he going to think of Tevis?  Well, I am sure he is going to think this is the dumbest thing I have ever done to him, but I think he can do it.  Are we ready?  Gosh, I have no idea. But he is freight-train strong, and will keep going down the trail. I am pretty proud of him.”