Reno woman undertakes 450-mile solo trail ride to raise awareness of wild horses in Nevada

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Erin Breen | RGJ.com | May 4, 2013

Samantha Szesciorka and Sage will embark on a history-making trip across Nevada later this month. / Courtesy of Jenny Scanland

Samantha Szesciorka and Sage will embark on a history-making trip across Nevada later this month. / Courtesy of Jenny Scanland

Samantha Szesciorka has the gear, the clothing, the food and water, and now, a donation of 600 pounds of feed for her horse.

She’s finally ready.

The adventure she’s been planning for two and a half years is just around the corner. On May 25, she’ll embark on a history-making trip across Nevada, with a family she’s created at her side. Samantha, her horse Sage and a dog named Bella are planning a historic ride on the Nevada Discovery Trail.

It’s the Nevada portion of the American Discovery Trail. Some 450 miles of rough terrain that have been set aside for nonmotorized transportation: bicycles, hikers and horses, that’s it. It’s long, it’s treacherous and it’s a trail that to anyone’s knowledge has never been ridden solo on horseback.

Szesciorka is a citizen of the world who has adopted Nevada as her home. And she has adopted the future of the wild horses here as a way to make her mark on the world.

She was raised in a military family, growing up in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Georgia, Germany and Hawaii. She completed a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in 2008 that took her to Iraq, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina and South Korea.

And, in 2008, she took a job as a television producer in Reno and fell in love with the state. She also fell in love with the wild horses that live here. So, she adopted one to join her family, which includes Bella, a dog she adopted from a Humane Society in Washington.

Sage was a 4-year-old mustang when Szesciorka met him. He was rounded up in Central Nevada when he was 2, and he was trained through the Nevada Correctional Center’s Saddle Horse Training Program, Szesciorka said.

“I went to an auction, and we had an instant connection,” she said.

At home on the trail

Szesciorka said Sage is an incredible trail horse.

“Sage seems to understand all of the terrain here. He seriously seems to be able to navigate anything, and he’s never rattled,” she said. “I think it may be because he was raised in diverse terrain. Snakes, coyotes and riding at night bothers some domestic horses, but nothing bothers him.”

CONTINUED – There is a lot more to this article. Read and COMMENT at the RGJ.com website

Erin Breen is an Emmy Award winning writer based in Reno. You can find her and her first book at ErinMeehanBreen.com.




AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
6 Comments
  • Robynne Catheron

    Go Samantha! You’re in my prayers for a safe and successful journey 🙂

    May 6, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    YOU GO GIRL,,,, AWESOME and Thank You from all of us and ALL the WILD HORSES!!!!! Be Careful 🙂

    May 6, 2013
  • Jean

    Samantha, we wish you, Sage and Bella a safe and rewarding journey.

    I, too, was a transplant to Reno (in the l970’s) and fell in love with the state and the wild Mustangs and burros that roamed freely. Bless you for doing what you can to make people aware of the Mustang’s and burros plight.

    May 6, 2013
  • Betty Kelly

    5-7-2013 Stay safe, particularly the wild one and your dog. Know when it is time to stop as the wild one has been thru enough already!

    Betty Kelly in Northern Nevada
    long time wild horse-burro advocate and rescuer

    May 7, 2013
  • CJ Leonard

    Thankyou for taking action for the wild mustangs in Nevada! Safe and enjoyable riding to you and your companion animals. May angels, spirits and guides lead the way and whisper words of wisdom and encouragement along the path! 🙂

    May 20, 2013
  • CJ Leonard

    Thankyou for taking action for the wild mustangs in Nevada! Safe + enjoyable ride to May angels, spirits and guides lead the way and whisper words of wisdom and encouragement along the path! 🙂

    May 21, 2013