Rives grew up in Wyoming and Nebraska caring for livestock and participating in 4-H and FFA. He received a bachelor’s degree in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management and law degree from the University of Wyoming. After law school, he spent two years in Washington State while his wife finished veterinary school. After she graduated, they moved to Cody, Wyoming, where she is a mixed animal veterinarian.
Outside of trial, he enjoys being outdoors and spends countless hours in the saddle. He starts colts under saddle, team ropes, and shows horses in multiple disciplines. Rives is on the Board of Directors for the Cowboy State Stock Horse Association and works as a farrier doing corrective shoeing for horses.