TRISH LARSON CLAYBURGH - Horsewoman & Artist
Name: Trish Wild, PhD
Horses names and breeds:
Northerly Magdalena (Maggie), Morgan Mare (Purebred), 17 years old.
Magic, Moresian (Morgan/Fresian), 15 years old.
Midnight, Moresian (Morgan/Fresian), 14 years old.
I grew up a horse crazy girl! My earliest memories are of horses. I started riding at age 5, on my Uncle's Retired Standardbred Race Horses in North Dakota, and got my first horse, a Palomino grade mare named Shawnee, when I was 14 years old. I bred her to an Arabian, and was delighted when the colt was born a beautiful Palomino as well. I rode and trained both those horses myself while in high school in North Dakota. So to answer to this question ofhow long I have been riding horses? The answer is ... I have been riding almost all my life!
Who knows what gives certain women that horse crazy gene? They have just been a central theme throughout my life. What inspires me is the emotional connection and the relationship that can be achieved through gentle training methods and communication. There is an unending volume of more to learn when it comes to horses. I have trained my horses to Western and English disciplines, Liberty Work, Dressage, and Hunter Jumper. They have all ridden thousands of miles of trails as pack horses with me.
In 2010, I was driven to undertake a life long dream, having raised my three sons and sent them into the world. I took a leave from my Nursing Career, sold my home, and began to travel with my horses, writing a blog called "The Equine Nomad". My first endeavor was to ride a 500 miles solo pack trip with three horses and a dog, completing the Colorado trail from Durango to Denver. It was a life changing experience, and way better than I imagined it would be. I had many adventures, lost and found my horses three times, and lost and found my dog 13 times! It was spectacular journey, through some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain on earth.
After I completed the Colorado Trail, I put the horses in the trailer and went cross country - riding an additional 3,000 miles in 8 states! For most of this I was alone, but for the trip to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, my son came along and we had the chance to create lifetime memories together on the trail. I enjoyed these two years of travel with my horses, and the biggest thing for me was that the horses enjoyed it too! We even rode part of the Pacific Crest Trail! I realize now that I could have written that book "Wild". She stole my title!-lol but my book would have been better because it has horses in it, right?
My journey as an Equine Nomad came to a close after two years, when I eventually ran out of funds. I went back to Trauma Nursing and continued to have excellent adventures in the Bay Area, working at Stanford and riding the open spaces and remote wilderness areas of California on my time off. I even joined the Los Altos Hounds and had wonderful times riding with the hunt. I leased my horses to fellow horse lovers who were looking for mounts, and I am thankful that I was able to afford my room and board at Page Mill Pastures in Palo Alto by doing that. I met many wonderful friends who leased with me. Some of them went on to buy their own horses, and some rode with me the entire 4 years I was in Palo Alto. We went on excursion to the beach, rode a lot of trails together, and even did a week of camping in Pt. Reyes. I feel like I have a group of daughters in the Bay Area now, and we keep in touch on Facebook. I decided eventually it was time to leave the Bay Area and return to Montana in May, 2015. I wanted to go back to my homeland and find pasture for my aging horses. My days as a Nomad are over now, but I'll never stop riding or traveling. I just yearned for a ranch home in this beautiful land of mountains and wilderness. I felt it was time to "Settle down" at last. After all, I had my 60th birthday in October of 2015.
Montana or Bust!
After moving to Montana and beginning my search for "home" I boarded the horses, went to work for an Outfitter, and lived in a tent on the Yellowstone River. Camping was free, and the horses were in a good place. However winter was coming and I was looking for a roof over my head. I found the darling town of Livingston, population about 8,000. (It's the setting for "A River Runs Through It" and Jim Harrison, author of "Legends of the Fall" made his home here.) I found a community of artists, authors, and creative energy that inspired me to return to my own art and the burning desire to paint images in my head of the horses and wildlife I was seeing EVERYWHERE. Which is whereI met Kevin Spriggs a Civil Engineer, he's also an artist and has a huge following on Facebook of his images from Yellowstone. I fell in love with his photography (I'm a photographer also) and approached him with the idea that I would carry him and his gear into Yellowstone in exchange for him "showing me around". We met to discuss this idea, and found ourselves falling in love at first sight. Within a short time we were living together, exploring places of my dreams and memories.
What's next for Trish wild?
With Kevin's help, I gained studio, and as a gift for Christmas last year, my sons supplied me with materials. This has allowed me to start painting again, which I do daily, and has been a delight (As well as the supplemental income from paintings sales go straight to the support of the horses!)
I'm teaching Nursing now at Montana State University (go Bobcats) in Bozeman. It's a part time position, and the rest of my time is spent playing with horses, painting, and cooking awesome food with Kevin at home. Recently, we started woodworking projects together! ( I am adding that to my lists of loves!) My dream is to buy a ranch and provide a rescue organization for older, troubled, or unwanted horses and mustangs. What's next for Trish Wild? Well this July, Kevin and I are excited to be able to tour the Ring Road around Iceland and plan to ride the Icelandic horses while we're there!
Trish Wild, RN, PhD