Yes. Yes. We are starting off with a Lord of the Rings reference! (Last chapter of the Fellowship of the Rings, if I must be specific.)
To my fellow Limitless riders, the Lord of the Rings shall never leave us. For those joining in on our journey, let me inform you that it was an unspoken expectation for someone to bring up the Lord of the Rings at least once EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE TRIP. We couldn’t help it!
Now to the start of our journey – which did not start on July 1st when we took our first steps on the Colorado Trail. No, no! This journey began way before then.
The Limitless group was formed near the end 2015. Ragan was the person who got everyone in the group together. She knew Devan and myself from endurance riding. Then was able to get Lissa and Annie to join in on the craziness, but my own dream of riding a long distance trail started before the thoughts of this group was even formed.
I first became interested in a long distance trek back in 2014 when I heard of a trail that ran from the border of Mexico in California and traveled up through Oregon and Washington to Canada. The one and only – Pacific Crest Trail. Approximately 2,700 miles of trail that was open to hikers AND horses.
HORSES. The whole trail was open to horses!
I was excited, amused, curious, and instantly obsessed about this new type of adventure. The idea of completing a trail of this length on horseback was captivating and inspiring. I needed to learn more.
So it began. I started researching anything and everything about this PCT. But not just the PCT – I looked up many different trails while learning of people who embarked on many different long distance treks including the Colorado Trail. My main focus at the time stayed on the PCT, though. I quickly found out that there are only a handful of equestrians that have finished the trail, and there is very little information for equestrians wanting to find out more about this trail. It is a tough trail, and it is more common for foot travel than hoof.
I found every single website, article, blog – everything – that even hinted the idea of horseback riding on the PCT. The most recent information I could find about the trail was from a girl named Gillian Larson. (check out her amazing blog – Pacific Crest Quest!)
Gillian had ridden the PCT in 2014 with her two quarter horses, Shyla and Takoda. I studied her blog posts back and forth over her ride on the trail and eventually got in contact with her through email. She was extremely helpful and supportive with all information for long distance treks. I cannot thank her enough for taking the time to give so much advice.
And let me just add… Not only did she ride the PCT in 2014, but she also rode it again with her horses in 2016. Oh! And let’s throw in some more info. Gillian completed a thru ride on the Arizona Trail this year and is currently tackling the Colorado Trail. She and her horses are thru riding beasts.
Now back to the story…
After my new found obsession on the PCT, I began plans for my first thru ride. The idea of riding by myself was not worrisome to me… My parents on the other hand were not too thrilled about the idea. But a ride like this would not have been possible for me until a few more years, so I put most of the plans on hold.
Even though I put the ride on hold, the thought never left my mind. I have notes from 2015 about the whole 2,700 miles of the PCT. Looking at logistics for camping, mileage per day, equipment and so on.
Fast forward about a year to September of 2015. I remember distinctly when I first found out about Unbranded. My first thought was, “No! They stole my idea of a documentary of a long distance equestrian trek.” But my second thought was excitement. I was excited to hear about them, watch the documentary and read about their journey. I met Ben Masters at the Fort Worth 2015 Extreme Mustang Makeover, where I was competing as a trainer. I received the Unbranded book from him and spoke a few words about his ride and my plans for a ride of my own. As I traveled back home the next day with the book in my lap, the idea of a long distance trek was sparked back into full throttle.
I contacted Devan “Shawty” Horn that day. She was the craziest person I could think of who may be interested in riding with me on a trek like that. Her adventure resume is intense. If anyone would be gritty and crazy enough to do a ride like this – it would be Devan. We messaged back and forth a few times and pushed the dates to the years to come. I was to contact her if I went forward with any further plans to see if she was still interested.
But only a few months after our first conversations, Ragan “NuNu” Kelly contacted me. She had recently spoken with Devan about a long distance trek. Shawty referred NuNu to me. And the rest is history. Limitless was formed along with Annie “WALNUT” Stokes and Lissa “Sundowner” Rabon. Five crazy, crazy women with a plan to tough it out with their horses on a trail… you know – in the middle of nowhere.
Now obviously we did not chose a PCT length trail for our ride together, but instead settled on the beautiful, 500 mile Colorado Trail. It was a good trail to get a feel of a long distance ride.
From the end of 2015 to July 1st of 2017, we spent our time planning and preparing for the ride. One and a half years to plan, find our mounts, and prep.
We planned to ride for 30 days of riding including zero days (rest days).
The Road Goes Ever on…
Jess “Rain Dance” Goodlett
Here is a little info about myself.
I have been riding horses since the age of ten. In 2013, I found my way into the Endurance Riding world. I also enjoy training horses and found a love for Mustangs after competing in the 2015 Fort Worth, TX – Extreme Mustang Makeover. This is a challenge in which trainers have approximately 100 days to train an untouched mustang.
My horse for the trip was a BLM mustang from the Little Owyhee HMA named Makani. She is 7 years old and a tough, little roan. I adopted her untouched and was very proud at how well she handled the trail! She was my “Rebel Rockstar.”
A few more facts about me:
Outside of the equestrian world, you may find me
- Playing music around Texas. I am a singer-songwriter and love love love music!
- Training and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because it’s the best.
I also enjoy photography, which I hope to share many of the pictures I have taken during the trip.
I am excited to be sharing this adventure with everyone! Stay tuned for more detailed posts from the Limitless ride in Colorado!