Lisa Preston pauses with her horse

Lisa Preston pauses with her horse

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ PENINSULA HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Rider prepares for dream competition

IN MY LAST column, I mentioned my neighbor, Lisa Preston, recently authored a book, Natural Healing for Cats, Dogs, Horses and Other Animals. It gives readers an in-depth look into non-traditional therapies and treatments for animals. What I failed to mention is Lisa is a fitness buff.

She frequently passes by my home to run in the Cassidy Creek DNR land, enjoy a leisurely walk with her husband, Barry, and dog, Jak, or to ride a trail with one of her horses.

On Monday, I waved her down as she led her newest horse, Sav, past my house. They’d recently competed in Sav’s first 50-mile endurance race, the Bare Bones Endurance Race in Little Rock, Ark. I asked how it went.

“I was babying her because it was her first 50-mile ride, and she’s just barely 5, so I’m not pushing her,” she said.

Horses have to be at least 5 to compete.

As a little girl, she dreamed of competing in the Tevis Cup Ride, a famous endurance ride covering a 100-mile course from Tahoe, Calif., to Auburn, Calif., all within 24 hours. She hopes to fulfill that goal with Sav.

Lisa also competes in Ride & Tie, a back country trail race that combines running and riding with a distance of 20 to 35 miles.

I’ve considered 25 miles to be an endurance race, but Lisa explained it’s not called an endurance race until it’s 50 miles or longer.

“To endurance riders, 25 miles is considered a distance riding and not endurance,” she said. “It’s sort of like a marathon runner . . . someone might say, ‘Well, I ran 10 miles,’ but to a marathoner it’s not a marathon it’s 26 miles.”

Interestingly, she doesn’t keep in shape by working out hard every day. She keeps a varied workout schedule for both herself and Sav, perhaps working out hard one day followed by a day of rest.

She said most endurance riders condition their horses with shorter rides, preferably with hills, and do a good hard ride of maybe 25 miles once a month.

To build up her own endurance, she frequently runs with a neighbor of ours, Alecia Smith.

Alecia recently ran the 100-mile Lumberjack Endurance Run in Port Gamble, finishing seventh out of 17 with a time of 25:03:00 (yeah, that is 25 hours of running!).

Lisa said she was one of Alecia’s pace runners.

“I ran with her from about 9:30 p.m. to

1:30 a.m.,” said Lisa. “It was quite the experience because I’ve never run in the dark before. It was a single-track trail and completely pitch black.”

It sounds grueling. I give those gals a lot of credit for having such fortitude, drive and, well, endurance.

To find out more about Lisa and her book, visit

On Sept. 8, I hope to attend the upcoming Wild Horse Adoption at Spirit Horse Ranch owned by Becky and Dave Seibel.

The adoption features 10 Oregon mustangs, ages 5 months old and older. The day includes a demonstration on wild horse gentling, training on a gentled mustang, hoof trimming and rider’s core development demonstrations.

This is the one time of year folks are welcome to bring their own horses to ride the 5 miles of trails adjacent to the Elwha River.

Camping is $10 for

the weekend.

There will be a potluck dinner Friday and Saturday night around a camp fire.

Spirit Horse Ranch is located at 207 Mountain Valley Lane, 10 miles west of Port Angeles. For more information, phone Becky at 360-670-1550 or visit


— Thursday through Sunday — 4-H Horse Show at Clallam County Fair.

— Saturday — Michelle Grimmer Dressage Clinic at Freedom Farms, 493 Spring Road, Port Angeles, 1 p.m. to

3 p.m. Phone Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

— Sunday — Cow Working Fun Day at Freedom Farms, 493 Spring Road, Port Angeles, noon to 3 p.m. Phone Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

—   Aug. 23-25 — OPPH Adult Horse Camp, Riding Clinic with Sara Richerts at Olympic View Stables. For more information, phone 360-775-5084 or visit www.olypen

—   Aug. 24-26 — Peninsula Junior Rodeo at Clallam County Fairgrounds.

—   Aug. 25 — BCH Peninsula Chapter Ride on the Olympic Discovery Trail starting in Joyce, 10 a.m. rideout. Phone Margaret at 360-928-3770.

—   Aug. 25 — Freedom Farm Jumper Clinic,

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

—   Aug. 27-Sept. 1 —Advanced Horse Camp and riding clinic with Richerts at Olympic View Stables. Phone 360-775-5084 .

Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears every other Wednesday.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

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