The 2008 Frequent Rider Award winner has completed more than 55 AQHA trail rides.
By Kristin Syverson | May 24, 2009
Last year, Janice Tramel rode through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Colorado. Her four-state horseback tour netted Janice a total of 12 AQHA rides, enough to earn her the title of AQHA’s 2008 Frequent Rider.
This Locust Grove, Oklahoma, resident is no stranger to the Frequent Rider award. She also won the title in 2004, the year of her first AQHA ride.
What made Janice decide to hit the trails for her very first ride in Sayre, Oklahoma?
“After many years with American Quarter Horses, I was looking for something less stressful than competitive activities. I also wanted to see America. The Ride Program has made both of those goals possible.”
See America she has. With more than 55 official AQHA rides under her belt, Janice has traveled through more states via horseback than many Americans have in a car.
Even if you're not up for 50-plus rides, you can still find many ways to enjoy the view atop your American Quarter Horse. Get your copy of AQHA's Recreational Riding report for a list of new and exciting options for your next ride.
Of course, Janice credits several others for making her journeys possible.
Trekking through the countryside along with Janice was Ghost One Gray, whom Janice acquired in 1999.
“I tried her out, and it was a match made in heaven. She is extremely laid back and usually winds up with a group of nervous youngsters following her on the rides because she is so calm.
She loves apples and will bow to get one. She is obedient to a fault. She always tries to do anything you ask of her. She never grumbles or kicks at other horses. She is a great horse to be around.”
Proving that you can do just about anything with an American Quarter Horse, "Ghost" also cuts, pens, trail rides, has been on a drill team, carries a flag, does tricks and competes in trail.
A heavy trail riding schedule means lots of time on the road. Janice knows she is lucky to have several special people in her life acting as “home managers” while she is away.
“You must have someone to take care of things at home while you are gone. My husband keeps the truck and trailer in working order so that I can go. My neighbor, Deeana Vaughn, takes care of the dogs, horses, llama, calves and goats when I am gone.”
AQHA's Recreational Riding report gives you so many ideas for fun activities that you'd better start looking for your very own Deeana Vaughn. You'll want to hit the road with your horse constantly for trail rides, vacations with your horse, trail trial competitions and more.
Janice also gives a nod to her farrier, Mike Kirk.
“He has shod my horse faithfully for 10 years, (sometimes by truck light) to get me off to a ride on time and has been the only one to put shoes on Ghost for the 10 years I have owned her. He must be great because we have never lost a shoe while on a trip!”
Throughout her many years of serious trail riding, Janice has seen beautiful countryside and experienced countless memorable moments. Still, none of the other rides quite match her trip to The Barefoot Ranch, in Haskell, Oklahoma.
“It was one of the most unique rides I have been on. The Oklahoma School for the Blind brought their students, and we assisted them in riding our horses. Many of the students had never been on a horse. By the end of the day, we were even leading the teachers and helpers on the horses. It was just a very special event to be involved with.”
Even after having surpassed the 50-ride bench mark with room to spare, Janice is not content to rest on her laurels. Instead she says, “I hope to continue seeing America on horseback and perhaps venture into the Versatility Ranch Horse competition.”
Janice’s Winning Words: “I feel so honored to have won this award! The rides are so much fun, and you meet so many wonderful people. To win an award for doing something you love is just the icing on the cake. Thank you so much for creating this program for the people who just want to go ride and enjoy this beautiful country on a good horse.”
To start your horseback adventure, take a look at AQHA's Recreational Riding programs.