Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Team 70 - Follow Your Dreams **

My name is Marvel Rahn and I live near Wayne, Nebraska with my husband, four horses, and a pony.  This is my third year in the Distance Derby and I have found that even with a reasonably ambitious goal of 520 miles in 2013 that God had drastically different plans for me.  My favorite saying is, “Life is what happens when you’re making plans.”  The Bible says it better in Proverbs 16:9 … “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

I rode just under half as many miles in 2013 (142.63) as I did in 2012 (321.28).  The greatest 2013 riding achievements were on Twister during a week-long camping trip to Fort Robinson State Park, Mount Rushmore, and Big Canyon.  I planned a week off afterwards for me and the horse before resuming riding and then, despite some wonderful experiences (new granddaughter, bumper hay crop, vacation with hubby, etc.), my intended riding just never got back on track.

On October 4th an E-F4 tornado destroyed much of Wayne’s industrial park including severe damage to my dad’s businesses and home.  He miraculously survived, as did everyone else in the tornado’s path.  One cannot describe what it’s like to see 45+ years of work leveled unless you’ve seen it for yourself.  Despite the destruction, many blessings have come from the experience that only God fully understands.  With that being said, I start the 2014 Distance Derby with many lessons learned,  no goals set, and no specific expectations.  I simply want to ride as I can and intend to enjoy life and all He has planned for me.  Ride on!

Horses: Star, Twister, Rain, and Sandy Fox  (and Katie the pony)


Me riding Twister (on right in photo at Mount Rushmore) and my best riding buddy, Tammy, riding Apache. 

There is too much tornado damage to be shown in one photo so I chose this from north of the office at Dad’s.  The bear was painted on the building by my older sister in the 1970’s and has never been repainted.  Memories remain even when “things” are taken away.


2012 / 321.28 miles / 29th Place
2013 / 142.63 miles / 67th Place 


  1. No miles yet ... just reminiscing ...

    Thinking back ... Jan. 5, 2012 it was 70 degrees! Sam, Lisa, and I rode 6.09 miles at Willow Creek near Pierce, NE in shirts and light sweathshirts that day. Jan. 5, 2013 it was cold but I rode three cutting horses a total of 2.77 miles indoors. Jan. 5, 2014 ... I will feed the herd and then just admire them out the window and dream of warmer weather. (sigh)

  2. READY ... (groomed horses and pony on January 11th) ... SET (weather is finally warming up) ... RIDE!!!!!


    .30 mile on Rain in 20 minutes at home in the round pen. Very fitting that I rode her first in 2014.This is RAIN's year to shine! (1.5 mph moving average, 2.5 mph maximum, .9 mph overall) Terry was gracious enough to help me since Rain hadn't been ridden since May 15th of last year. She did just fine. Sometimes I wonder why I am not more confident on my own green horses but perhaps it's self preservation. Nothing wrong with that. :-D (NOTE: She's been ridden since 2010 but just not enough.)

    2.59 miles in 1.00 hour on Star at home. (2.9 mph moving average, 6.4 mph maximum, 2.5 mph overall) Always an awesome horse!

    2.89 MILES YEAR TO DATE ... I am more than content with today's accomplishments!

  3. Thanks for sponsoring the photo contest! It sounds like a fun way to get to know people better.

    1. Hi Sandy,

      You're welcome! I agree totally!


  4. 1.35 miles in half an hour on Star at home. (2.5 mph moving average / 5.5 mph maximum / 2.3 mph overall)

    Hard to believe I hadn't ridden since January 12th and that this was only my second ride of the year. Shouldn't be so surprised that every year is so different. Guess I just have to get after the miles more. ugh

    Had intended to go to Powder Creek for the first Platte River Riders trail ride but had to change my plans. Still hard to believe it's April already but still lots of year left.


    1. YEAR TO DATE Miles here should have read 4.24.

  5. Any ride is a good ride. Finally enjoying some nice weather. Lost access to the bean field just east of our place because they planted it today. ugh Thankful that the riding arena ground work is progressing plus I can ride elsewhere on our place too. Thankful for the rains. More trail riding opportunities will arise soon. Off to a very slow start this year but at least I've started. Counting my blessings.

    1.26 miles in half an hour on Star at home. (2.6 mph moving average / 6.1 mph maximum / 2.3 mph overall)

    Just realized my 4-10-14 YTD miles should have been 4.24. (I added correctly in my book but posted it incorrectly on here.) Sorry!

    5.50 MILES YEAR TO DATE (as of 4-25-14)

  6. 05-15-14 ... First trail ride away from home in 2014. First ride on Twister for the year. She did just fine. PRR ride at Turkey Creek which also served as a great way to celebrate Tammy A's birthday! Food, fun, and memories for all.

    1.64 MILES in 41 minutes - Early ride on Twister at TC with Dee Cross and Owen Kelly. (2.9 mph moving average / 6.3 mph maximum / 2.4 mph overall)

    3.56 MILES in 1.5 hours on Twister at TC (PRR ride) with Dee, Owen, Tammy A., Terri, and gal on pony. (Missed riding with Mark S., Harder family, Pepper, Ann, and Kristy H but happy to see all of them. Fun seeing everyone's "new" or "new-to-them" LQ trailers!) (Saw 3 deer ... Twister spooked briefly at the first one.) (3.0 mph moving average / 7.5 mph maximum / 2.4 mph overall)

    10.70 MILES YEAR TO DATE (as of 05-15-14)

  7. 06/05/14

    7.33 miles on Star at Willow Creek SRA near Pierce, NE in 2.5 hours. (3.3 mph moving average / 6.7 mph maximum / 2.8 mph overall)

    PRR with four riders (Mark S. on Dunny, Pamela Willers on Sophie ... Pamela's first trail ride away from home ever and she did very well ... Sophie is a great horse for her, Peg Niewohner on Lottie ... great making a new friend, and me on Star). Great ride, perfect weather, four deer, etc. All equals = Fun!!

    18.03 MILES YEAR TO DATE (as of 06/05/14)

  8. 6.73 miles on Star in two hours north of Wayne, NE. (15 minutes from home)

    We started at Mark Sorensen's place and rode to a nearby wildlife area donated to Pheasants Forever (State of NE) several years ago by Levi Thompson. Gorgeous evening for a foursome ride with Mark S., Joan S., Peg N. and myself. It was also great getting home before dark! We did see one pheasant and a deer.


  9. 06/14/14

    6.30 miles on Twister near Yellowbanks WMA a few miles north of Battle Creek, NE (west of Norfolk). (3.0 mph moving average / 6.0 mph maximum / 2.5 mph overall)

    A caravan of 13 trailers, 20 riders, plenty of pastures, trees, lots of smiles, a "cream can" supper, and nice weather made for a great Allen Golden Spurs Saddle Club ride. As I got up from the picnic table to go and load Twister in the trailer I heard thunder. I was thankful to make it home in plenty of time to unload and get indoors before the storm started. Whew!


  10. I could find absolutely no reason (or poor excuse) to not get out and ride today so I did and had a great time.

    2.64 miles on Star at home (rural Wakefield, NE in Wayne County) in one hour. (3.0 mph moving average / 8.7 mph maximum / either 2.4 or 2.6 mph overall ... I am blind and forgetful ... ugh)


  11. 07-10-14: PRR trail ride at Turkey Creek near Newcastle, Nebraska

    1.12 miles in 1/2 hour on Star by myself. (It was one of those "everything that could go wrong did" days ... glasses broke, flat tire, etc. so I arrived a little later than planned but still got on and rode Star close to camp before supper.)

    5.75 miles on Star in 2.5 hours with the PRR group (9 riders) (then a short ride with three others). Great potluck meal before the ride and a surprise birthday party for Lisa Harder afterwards. Peggy Ann Strupp (Team 60: Montana Spots) arrived on time for the party. I wish I could have stayed overnight and ridden with everyone on Friday.

    07-12-14: Chicken Show Parade in my home town of Wayne, Nebraska. Theme: "34 Years of Cluck Dynasty" (Costumes included a variety of camo items, beards, and assorted chicken items. BTW: At first Star was afraid of feathers. Silly horse.) Special thanks to Lisa's son, Hans (in cognito as a member of the Cluck Dynasty family), for assisting as the official "pooper scooper" behind the horses in the parade.

    3.65 miles in 2 hours on Star. (2.8 mph moving average, 7.2 mph maximum, 2.0 mph overall)

    We enjoyed having Peggy Ann Strupp and her national award-winning Dalmatians ahead of us in the parade. They won the Best Chicken Division prize. It was great meeting Peggy Ann and her horse and dogs. (There were a total of 26 horses in this year's parade representing River City Roundup, Peggy Ann's entry, and six for the Distance Derby ... Lisa on Pal, Rachel (wearing the cutest chick costume you've ever seen) on pony Holly, Peg Niewohner on Lottie, Mark Sorensen on Reba, Tammy Alexander on Apache, and me on Star.


  12. 1.09 miles on Star at home in 30 minutes (rural Wakefield, NE). Ponied Katie off Star for a few minutes first (included in above). They're both used to it (prior to here).


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  14. 07-19-14 I took Skyler on her first ever trail ride (away from my place).

    7.62 miles on Star in 2.5 hours. Golden Spurs Saddle Club ride starting and ending at the Allen, NE park in town. A nice road ride with little traffic and beautiful weather. (10 riders - Joan, Sid, Debbie H., Tom G., Todd T. Barb & Dwaine O., Don C., Skyler, and me) I ponied Skyler on her pony, Katie, off of Star. Skyler was all smiles and by the end of the ride was having a blast trotting on her pony!


  15. 07-23-14 Interrupted riding is sometimes a good thing ...

    1.15 miles on Twister at home in 39.13 minutes. (2.0 mph moving average / 6.7 mph maximum / 1.7 mph overall)

    I was just about to walk out the door to go and ride when I heard an airplane go overhead way too close to the house. I went outside and a crop duster plane came back around and right over the machine shed. I took advantage of the photo opportunity. The horses weren't too bothered by them (there ended up being two planes) but I waited until they moved south to dust another field before catching and saddling Twister. One was still close by when I saddled her but she just stood there. Sometimes it's nice having someone else desensitize my horses to loud noises even if it is only once a year. ha ha ha (Yes, they've been through this before.)


  16. 07-25-14 Parked cars on horseback at the Wayne County Fair, Wayne, Nebraska.

    1.75 miles on Star in 3.25 hours. (1.5 mph moving average / 5.7 mph maximum / 0.5 mph moving average) Not many miles for so many hours and very hot and muggy but I had a great time! Several riders packed in the cars then enjoyed a free BBQ meal and, as usual, good company. (Tammy A., Mark S., Peg N., Jake L., Todd L., Roger W., and a few 4-Hers)


  17. First ride on Sandy Fox (QH Buckskin mare) in a very long time. Had a great ride and looking forward to more.

    2.64 miles on Sandy Fox with Dale Henrich in 1.17 hours (road ride near Dale and Melissa's acreage near Wisner, NE). (2.8 mph moving average / 4.6 mph maximum / 2.0 mph overall)


  18. 4.67 miles on Sandy Fox in 1 3/4 hours at Willow Creek SRA near Pierce, NE. (3.0 mph moving average / 9.4 mph maximum / 2.7 mph overall) PRR ride with Lisa, Rachel, Tammy A., Robyn A., Kristy H., Mark S., Peg., N. and myself. Most are camping so we ate after the ride and enjoyed a great meal and company. I should have stayed overnight but have plans at home. Maybe next time!


  19. At home (rural Wakefield, NE) in the round pen spending time with Skyler before school starts this Thursday.

    0.53 miles on Star in 1/2 hour ponying Skyler on Katie then letting go and riding side by side.


  20. 2.66 miles on Star in 1 hour at home (rural Wakefield, NE) a little bit in the round pen and the rest in the newly leveled and graded arena. Rode until it was dark so am glad I was at home. Nice to have cool enough weather to ride ... and no bugs! (2.7 mph moving average / 5.9 mph maximum / 2.6 mph overall)


  21. 9/14/14 Final North Platte River Riders' trail ride combined with the Allen Golden Spurs Saddle Club's September trail ride at Turkey Creek Ranch near Newcastle, NE. We all enjoyed an awesome potluck supper after the ride. (16 riders)

    6.89 miles on Star in 2.75 hours. (3.0 mph moving average / 6.1 mph maximum / 2.5 mph overall) Star and I had a great day!


  22. 0.46 miles on Star at home in 18.51 minutes. (2.0 mph moving / 3.9 mph maximum / 1.4 mph overall)

    FINALLY got to ride (or should I say, TOOK time to ride) and wouldn't you know it would rain. Looked at radar before I went outside ... nothing ... so I figured the few clouds overhead would soon move out. Got on Star, rode out of the round pen into the arena and it started sprinkling. Rode around twice and headed up the lane. Headed back down the lane five minutes later and it started raining. By the time I untacked and put the horse back in the yard it was POURING buckets! ugh Oh well ... riding is riding is riding. Always better than nothing.


  23. 1.51 miles on Star at home in 32.41 minutes. (2.9 mph moving average / 6.4 mph maximum / 2.7 mph overall)

    I beat the rain this time! The sun was shining when I arrived home so I saddled up and started riding. I was going to ride a little longer but when I heard thunder I decided not to press my luck. It didn't start sprinkling until I was walking toward the house! Yeah!


  24. Two trail rides ... left home at 7:45 a.m. ... Got home at 7:15 p.m. ... 2 hours driving ... 7 hours in the saddle ... miles on horseback (BELOW). Oh my aching .... BODY. I do wonder if I'll be able to move in the morning. I DO know that Star will be avoiding me if I come anywhere near him. ha ha ha Okay, it will be Twister's turn to be ridden next. Beautiful Autumn day ... awesome horse ... great friends. (3 hours this morning at Turkey Creek with some of the Horsetales group - 12 riders) (4 hours at Ponca "Frosty Pumpkin" ride with both saddle clubs - 20 riders)

    7.02 miles at Turkey Creek near Newcastle, NE on Star in 3 hours. (2.9 mph moving average / 7.4 mph maximum / 2.3 mph overall)

    10.70 miles near Ponca, NE on Star in 4 hours. (3.2 mph moving average / 7.7 mph maximum / 2.7 mph overall)


  25. 1.17 miles on Twister in 30 minutes at home. It was an absolutely gorgeous Autumn day! I would have ridden all day if I could (including Star and Rain) but had too many irons in the fire including watching Skyler play volleyball this afternoon. (2.6 mph moving average / 4.5 mph maximum / 2.2 mph overall)


  26. 1.36 miles on Star in 31.35 minutes at home in the arena. Awesome weather .. rode until dark. Walked, trotted, and circled the tire flats (flat circles cut out of tires). Next time we'll work on gate opening and closing, and ride in the corn field. (2.6 mph moving average / 6.2 mph maximum / 2.6 mph overall)


  27. 1.44 miles on Twister in 34 minutes at home in the arena. She has always been a fast walker and tonight was no different. Too bad I don't do CTR. I spent most of the time holding her back and making her stop and stand still. Nothing wrong with that. She did very well. (2.9 mph moving average / 5.8 mph maximum / 2.5 mph overall)

    .92 miles on Star in 27.27 minutes at home in the arena. Attempted to pony Twister ... notice the word "attempted." ugh Did not get a chance to take Star into the corn field but that's okay. Rode until after dark. Crescent moon didn't give much light. ha ha Enjoyed another gorgeous day and evening. (2.4 mph moving average / 4.2 mph maximum / 2.0 mph overall)


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  29. 2.54 miles on Star in exactly one hour at home in the arena and corn stubble field. It was chilly late afternoon today and the newly disked corn field did not offer good footing, but it was a very enjoyable ride. (2.7 mph moving average / 4.5 mph maximum / 2.5 mph overall)

    It may not seem like much of an accomplishment to some but I finally passed the 100-mile mark. All things considered (life, health, family, and work schedules) it's monumental for me. I am thrilled and proud of my accomplishments. I'm not done riding for the year, Lord willing, and hope the weather cooperates at least a few more times. Skyler managed to ride more this year than ever before. The number of miles means nothing. The quality and accomplishments are priceless and the future is ahead of us. It's been a wonderful, memorable year.


  30. congrats on getting over 100 miles :-)

  31. 2.37 miles on Star in one hour at home in the arena, corn field, and up and down the lane. This was after I helped Terry finish installing a new water hydrant for the horses and fill in the hole. Who wouldn't have loved to have ridden all day on a 70+ degree day in late November? Just thankful for the ride and super thankful for Terry and a new hydrant! I am not competing for miles with anyone this late in the year ... just riding while I can. I think this might be just about the latest in the year I've ever gotten to ride. (Weather report just said it was 77 degrees in Norfolk today!)