Sequim author and endurance trail riding competitor Lisa Preston on one of her Akhal-Teke horses. —Photo by Karen Griffiths/for Peninsula Daily News ()

Sequim author and endurance trail riding competitor Lisa Preston on one of her Akhal-Teke horses. —Photo by Karen Griffiths/for Peninsula Daily News ()

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ PENINSULA HORSEPLAY: Miles of smiles for endurance rider

Upon meeting my mild-mannered and friendly neighbor, one wouldn’t know she’s a fiercely competitive woman who, I think, excels at everything sports — be it running, racquetball, swimming, rowing or endurance trail riding.

Almost daily, I see Lisa Preston pass by my house to either run or ride throughout the state’s Cassidy Creek trail system.

I recently joined her on a leisurely trail ride during which she shared one of her current passions: taking part in the Washington Trail Riders Distance Derby.

The group uses GPS devices to track miles ridden each year.

Lisa is rider No. 24, and her team is called Two Half-Tekes.

“It’s really great,” she said, “because I can use either of my horses. The three of us are considered one team.”

With the mileage based on her riding and not the miles she has on one horse, she doesn’t have to worry about overworking one animal.

“I am gentle with the girls’ fitness. I seek the lowest number of miles I can put on them that still gets them 50-mile-fit,” said Lisa.

An endurance ride is at least 50 miles long.

She has two Akhal-Teke horses, Savvy and Juno.

Lisa wears a Garmin Forerunner GPS watch given to her by her husband, Barry. Both are former Alaskan police detectives.

She also uses her watch to track her personal distance running lengths and times.

According to her GPS watch on that day, we rode 4.94 miles in exactly one second shy of 1 hour and 36 minutes.

Our pace averaged 19.25 minutes a mile, with an elevation gain of 299 feet.

Pretty amazing technology, those GPS watches are.

Two days prior, she rode a bit more strenuous length of 15.32 miles in 2:53:46 with an elevation gain of 1,960 feet at a pace of 11.21 miles a minute.

It was a typical conditioning ride for Lisa and her horse.

“I just really love riding,” she said.

“We have spectacular trails, and I’m fortunate to have two really nice backcountry horses.”

The author of several books, including Bitless Bridles: How to Make and Use Inexpensive Bit-Free Bosals, Chin-Slips, Cross-Jaws, Indian Hackamores, Halters, Neck Loops, Side-Pulls and More, she’s currently working on another about horse nutrition.

For more information, visit her website at

Check out her derby riding miles at

Star show

The third annual Star Spangled Horse Show will be held June 20-21 at the Clallam County Fairgrounds.

This performance horse show with a Fourth of July theme is a huge draw for competitors from all across the state.

Show organizers Kyle and Sherri Ellis receive lots of help from Olympic Peninsula zone members; thus the show has an outstanding reputation as being well-organized and strongly backed by local sponsors, which makes for some thoroughly sterling prizes.

Entry forms are available at local feed stores and at Cowboy Country at 923 E. First St.

For more information, phone Kyle at 360-461-0006 or Sherri at 360-460-8481.

Special needs

Horse Partners is offering therapeutic riding classes at Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Port Townsend.

Classes will be taught by PATH-certified riding instructor Mary Craft Nepute.

Ride dates for young riders ages 8-17 are June 16, 18, 23, 25 and 30.

Adult rider classes are Aug. 18, 20, 25, 27 and Sept. 1.

Volunteers are needed o help. To enroll or volunteer, contact Mary at or phone 713-0449-7418.


■   Today: Jefferson County 4-H Horse Committee Horse Show, Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Phone Glenda Meek at 360-385-0195.

■   June 19-21: Trevor Carter Snaffle to Hackmore and cow work, clinic at Freedom Farms, 493 Spring Road in Agnew. Register with Bill Avery at or phone 360-601-5040.

■   June 20, 10 a.m.: Back County Horsemen Granny’s Kitchen ride. Meet at the Dan Kelly Road trailhead. Phone Kris Phillips at 360-683-7629.

■ June 22-26: Summer Camp I for young equestrians, ages 5 and up. June 29-July 3: Summer Camp II for more experienced campers ages 7 and older.

Other camps in July. Phone Phone Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or visit

■   June 27-28: Patterned Speed Horse Game Show at Crosby’s arena, 122 Franson Road in Agnew. Phone Pam at 360-670-3906.

■   June 28: County Mounty’s Horse 4-H Club Fun Day Show, Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Phone Glenda Meek at 360-385-0195.

■   July 9-12: Jefferson County 4-H Horse Camp (open to public). Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Phone Glenda Meek at 360-385-0195.

■   Aug 1-2: Jefferson County 4-H Pre-Fair Horse Show, Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

■   Aug 13-16: Jefferson County Fair.

■   Aug 28-29: Back Country Horsemen’s Buckhorn Range chapter prize ride and camp-out at Layton Hill Horse Camp. Potluck after Saturday ride followed by a pig roast. Contact Nicole Short at 360-301-5139 or

■   Sept. 5: Layton Hill Horse Camp second annual Cowboy Race.


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

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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