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The Ride: Grit, Adventure & Fast Horses

If you are a fan of amazingly curated short films, adventure, and fast horses, I encourage you to keep reading. The Ride was meant to follow the journey of two-time Skijoring champion, Ebbie Hansen in her chase for her third World Championship in Skijoring. The story takes an abrupt turn and all of a sudden the chase for a championship turns into a comeback story.

I had the opportunity to chat with film producer and adventure photographer, Erik Petersen, who was able to give me a little more insight into the story.

So I have to ask, Skijoring, why?  

“I have been a photographer for my entire career but mostly did outdoor and adventure type shots. I went to my first skijoring event a few years ago and what really hooked me was that it was fast, colorful, it had cool elements and horses. “It was sort of like a rodeo in the winter”.

I started with a few still photos for magazines and eventually the sport just lent itself to being turned into a film. I started the filming process two years ago.”

Courtesy of Erik Petersen

Why is documenting this way of life and western culture in general important to you?

“I am lucky enough to hand pick the stories I tell. I find that if I’m passionate about the subject matter, it resonates more with the audience. I find stories that have dynamic and interesting characters and this film embodies that.If someone is in this lifestyle whether it be skijoring, rodeo or anything in between, they have to ask themselves, “Is the risk worth the reward?” If you are chasing your dreams, is it worth the risk? If it brings you life, it should be worth it. Ebbie Hansen perfectly explained that in the film and it’s something I really wanted to showcase.”

Courtesy of Erik Petersen

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched the film before reading this article, I highly recommend you do so at this point! Here is the link that will take you to the film, then you can pick up right where you left off.’

What was the single most interesting thing you learned while making the film?

“Originally, the story was going to be about following Ebbie Hansen as she pursued her third national championship in the sport. Then tragedy struck and Zeke died. Ebbie was also hurt and she wasn’t sure if she would race again. She “got back on the horse” literally and figuratively, which then it turned into a comeback story.

So the fact that I was able to not only witness that change but also be a part of Ebbie’s journey was a huge honor for me.”

Courtesy of Erik Petersen

How does skijoring blend different cultures?

“It brings together these two very different worlds that you otherwise wouldn’t see together. Ultimately, I think skijoring is good for both cultures, but particularly good for the equestrians. I think it helps people understand the passion horse people have for their animals.”

Courtesy of Erik Petersen

What does the Cowboy Lifestyle mean to you?

“Ebbie embodies that lifestyle, she is a hard worker and when sets her mind to something she just goes after it. The cowboy mentality is important regardless of what you are doing, whether its rodeo, film-making, or life. You just have to work hard and keep getting back on the horse.”

Portrait of Ebbie Hansen, courtesy of Erik Petersen

Erik mentioned during our conversation that while he doesn’t claim to be a cowboy, he appreciates the culture. He spent the beginning of his photography career shooting rodeos and his father-in-law grew up on a ranch in Montana. So while he doesn’t live the life per se, he does have profound respect and understanding of the lifestyle, which aided him in creating this film.

Courtesy of Erik Petersen

How long have you known that you wanted to be a film producer?

“I didn’t. I think that it was something that just came naturally with my career. Film producing is just a spin-off of my photography business and it’s been a fun and rewarding transition. I am 43, so changing mediums in my business has been both intimidating and rewarding.”

Courtesy of Erik Petersen

What did it feel like to be included in the 2018 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival Program?

“For me, Banff is the Superbowl of the adventure and outdoor film world. It was an honor and my ultimate goal was to have this film selected for Banff. There aren’t a lot of western type films that make it into the festival, so I was glad that I was able to share that lifestyle to people that didn’t aren’t as familiar with it.”

Courtesy of Erik Petersen

So, Erik, what’s next for you?

“I am just going to continue creating story-telling films, I have a couple in the works that have dynamic, interesting characters. And I still have my photography business as well so we will just see where the road takes me.”

Film Producer and Photographer, Erik Petersen

There you have it folks, the inside scoop on “The Ride”. All of us here at Cowboy Lifestyle Network can’t wait to see what else Erik has in store for later on down the road. Make sure to follow Erik on Facebook and check out his Vimeo channel for other great short films. Until then, we hope you truly enjoyed this short film as we much as did and we can’t wait to see what’s next!


CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at Learn more about me at Looking forward to hearing from you!

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