Episode 62 Thru Riding with Gillian Larson

We’ve covered a lot of topics on this podcast over 61 episodes, but this one might tip the scales into a new realm. Gillian Larson is a Thru Rider which means she rides her horse on long trails from start to finish covering thousands of miles in the process.

Yes, you read that correctly. She rides her horse thousands of miles over some of the most incredible landscapes this Nation has to offer. To date, Gillian has ridden the PCT twice, the CDT, and the Arizona Trail in their entirety, not to mention the numerous trails in between.

On this episode of The By Land Podcast, we get to know Gillian and how she is able to manage riding a horse for such long distances, the logistics behind it, and what it’s like to even do such a thing. She discusses how she got into Thru Riding and why she continues to do it time and time again.

For me, after having lived on the PCT for a season, the most fascinating element of the story is the management of the horses and how she’s able to supply them with what they need while on trail as well as getting them around various obstacles on the trail.

Even if you’re not into riding horses, you’re going to love this episode. Gillian is a wonderful guest and I’m incredibly honored to have had the opportunity to pick her brain on what it takes to Thru Ride.




By Land,

Emory R. Wanger



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Show Notes

  • Introductions

  • What made Gillian get into Thru Riding

  • How it all began

  • Dealing with trail reports being inaccurate

  • How horses deal with obstacles on the trail

  • Gillian’s experiences prior to Thru Riding

  • Prepping for the PCT

  • PCT kickoff

  • Learning to Thru Ride

  • Supporting a Thru Ride - talking logistics

  • Lessons learned after over 9 thousand miles of riding

  • Why Gillian re-rode the PCT

  • Answering the question of “why not just hike?”

  • Seeing the trail through the eyes of a horse

  • How to learn more about Gillian

  • What’s next?