Growing up in the canyons of Southern California, Gillian Larson, developed a passion for exploring the outdoors via the back of a horse.
Over the years, she has pursued this passion with relentless vigor and was able to build up her stamina to ride journeys like the Continental Divide, Pacific Crest Trail, Arizona Trail and the Colorado Trail all on her own, with only the company of her horses.
To date, she has accumulated over 10,000 miles in the backcountry with the same two horses.
When Gillian is not riding her horses and tackling the backcountry on her own, she leads trips through the mountains and canyons or trains horses to be able to take on feats like these.
Back in 2019, a then future client reached out to Gillian and expressed a lifelong dream of riding across the United States. However, he lives in Israel and needs a local to help with the logistics of this ride. As Gillian did not have enough horses for her client and his friend to make the trip, she spent the past year finding, training, and logging miles on three brand new horses: Newt, Shasta and Nico.
One of the training trips she took these horses on took place recently, and she brought along fellow adventurer and Firestone Walker Ambassador, Dylan Gordon, along with to document and lend a hand.
They took the horses to the backcountry of the Santa Ynez Valley, only a few miles from our original brewing facility. They spent the day riding out to a campsite in the Los Padres National Forest. Being that Dylan was involved, they found a spot with a sweet little swimming hole and set up camp.
Though this trip was an overnight strike mission, it helped Gillian to know what she can expect from these horses when it comes to her client’s big trip. She will not be going on the ride but will be on the road with them as a fulltime support crew.