1. Introduce yourself...
Brie: I grew up in the Pacific North West, on Washington's Olympic peninsula. I was raised on a mountain and spent a lot of time riding and conditioning my horses on logging roads in the hills behind my house. My life has revolved around horses and the outdoors. My foundation in horses came from riding horses in United States Pony Club, Patterned Speed Horse, and 4-H. I competed in jumping, barrel racing, 3-Day eventing, western pleasure, dressage, and equitation throughout my "career" in showing. I always had a love for the outdoors and as I grew up and found more freedom, I found myself in the mountains more and more. My focus shifted from competing in the show ring to riding and hiking in the mountains. These days I don’t do much hiking, but there were good 4 years where I had no way to get my horses into the mountains, so I was out hiking and backpacking every chance I got. Landon finally came into my life three years ago, and we spend every second we can with our horses in the mountains.
Landon: I am a 4th generation farmer on my dad's side. I grew up working on my family farm raising onions, potatoes wheat, and a personal plot of hay in the Eastern Oregon high desert. As a kid, I enjoyed participating in judo and sports. My grandpa started my love for the mountains and wild places by taking me along on hunting trips when I was a kid. He would put me on the back of one of his horses and tag me along. This started my affections for horses and riding in the mountains. After my grandpa passed, I didn't have horses again until my 20's when I got my first horse.
2. What is the craziest adventure you have had?
Brie: Ohh, they're all crazy if you ask me! We've had trips where we get nothing but bad luck and bad weather! But the craziest adventure was Landon and I's "first date". He drove 7.5 hours with his horse to pick me up, then go pick up my horse, Pippin. Pippin was 3 hours away from where I was living, he had to be quarantined because of a highly contagious and potentially fatal virus he picked up at a guest ranch we were working at…he was FINALLY cleared and able to come home.
After picking up Pippin we had another 2 hours or so to the trailhead, but we added an extra hour on because I got us lost. We took a wrong turn, at the wrong fork in the road (trailhead directions are often the most challenging part of a trip!) and ended up in what could’ve been a really bad situation with truck and trailer, but luckily Landon is a very competent driver and got us all turned around safely…back on the main road we drove a little further and came to "the right fork" in the road and found our trailhead.
Between the two of us, we had no gear. I brought both of my lightweight sleeping bags, but we had no tent, no sleeping pads. I didn't know how to Highline, so we tied the horses the trailer. We cowboy camped around the fire and froze our butts off. We saddled the horses around 5 am and hit the trail, it was incredible and super gorgeous out there, we definitely got lucky on the sights with this trail. Mid-morning, I was hungry and ready for breakfast, so I broke out my jetboil and was going to make biscuits and gravy, Mountain House Style. Well, Pippin untied himself and started off down the trail, and when I got up to catch him, I kicked my jetboil over and it self-ignited….luckily Landon turned it upright, we got it turned off, and nothing caught on fire (besides the jetboil itself).
The jetboil was ruined, I had to buy a new bottom component and scrape the sleeve cover that had melted onto the cup part off. The rest of our ride was relatively calm, we passed into Idaho from Washington at some point, the crossover marked by a small wood sign. It was a fun and memorable adventure. We got back to where I lived at around 5 or 6 in the evening, I thanked Landon and sent him on his way home back to OR, on a 7.5-hour drive by himself! He got home at like 2 in the morning.
Landon: Any adventure with Brianna is crazy. Our first date should've been an indication of that. But before her, the craziest adventure I had been on was as a kid I had a bobcat sitting in the tree above me watching me eat lunch. We didn't know it was there until it hissed and jumped and jumped out of the tree and ran away.
3. Who is your biggest source of inspiration?
Brie: I think for me it's not a who, it’s a 'what'. I'm constantly inspired by the outdoors and nature around me, whether it's the desert, the forest or high country in the mountains. How can something be so perfect, so perfectly matched and contrasted and so vast and wonderful all at once? Many of the color schemes I use in making mohair cinches and painting are inspired by the world around me. I try to live my life in such a way that I can take time to appreciate all the beauty and wonder that world has to offer me, and also try to be as self-sufficient as possible. I run a few dairy goats and make my own soap, goat cheese, goat milk ice cream. I also have a small garden; I would like to do more canning and preserves in the future.
A person who inspires me is Truman Everts. In 1870 Everts was separated from his party and then his horse, in early Yellowstone country. He survived 37 days in the wilderness by himself with no supplies in the fall. He faced maaaannny challenges, including severe body burns, snowstorms, and an encounter with a mountain lion. He was found in mid-October and was in such rough shape he was mistaken for a wounded bear. I can only hope I would be able to survive 37 days with no supplies!
Landon: My grandpa Tom is my biggest inspiration. He was a gunsmith, a hunter, a fisherman, and an entrepreneur. Tom moved here to Idaho from Kansas for the mountains, he spent his days hunting off of horseback and exploring new countrysides and definitely sparked my interest in horses.
4. In another life where would your dreams have taken you?
Brie: I think in another life I would’ve been an explorer on horseback, no one gets lost as frequently as I do and still hits the backcountry without an explorer bone in their body. I'm always pouring over maps, guidebooks, trail reviews planning adventures and trips. I would have loved to have gone on an early expedition (like the one Evert was on) into a new country and seen things that had never been documented before
Landon: Live in the mountains with my horses living a self-sufficient life off the land.
5. What is your dream adventure?
Brie: Miles and miles and miles of beautiful country with my horses, Landon, the dogs, and good pack stock, on cleared trail. I would love to go out for a month, or more (with resupplies) and just travel around the mountains with my horses. Maybe one day we'll be able to do something like this, but for now, neither of us can leave our jobs for more than a week or so.
Landon: My dream adventure would be to do a thru ride and enjoy the land that I was riding through. To make my trip enjoyable I would want to have good pack string, good gear (including outback gear), dogs, my horses, my girlfriend, Brianna, and clear trails with endless meadows and mountain views.
5. What is your favorite piece of Outback gear?
Brie: I love ALL of my gear; it is ESSENTIAL on every trip. I love my Ladies Quilted vest, it's perfect for protecting the lightweight shirts that I ride in when doing camp chores and for an extra layer on a chilly morning or evening around camp.
I have my women’s Round-Up Oilskin slicker tied to the back of my saddle for EVERY trip. It always comes with us, no matter the weather. It is an absolutely essential piece of gear for us. Not only is it waterproof it is also warm. I've worn it snow, rain, and torrential downpours. I'll also throw it on to feed in the mornings at home because hay comes right off it and it easily fits over my sweaters.
Landon: My favorite piece of gear is my Outback Oilskin slicker. The jacket I have is the Deer Hunter, I like that it doesn't get stiff when it's cold, it's easily re-waterproofed, it looks good, feels good ad has a concealed carry pocket for my pistol on the trail. I also really my Clyde Big shirt, it's comfortable and low profile and is perfect for a night around the campfire in the backcountry.
Follow Brie on Instagram @loki_toki and Landon @landon_ts