The Internship Program at Bolender Horse Park and Mark Bolender Horsemanship is designed to instill in the participant all of the principles of Mark Bolender Horsemanship, and the practical day-to-day application of the essential elements that make up a successful career in horsemanship, with specific emphasis on the growing sport of Mountain Trail.
The Internship Program is also an exceptional commitment on both the Intern’s part and mine. I believe the future of Mountain Trail lies in good, solid training and I’m absolutely devoted to passing on the techniques in horsemanship that I‘ve developed. I like to think that I judge each day not by the harvest, but by the seeds I plant. Thus, the seeds of knowledge and experience will be planted in each Intern, and for
About Our Program
A Mountain Trail Internship with Mark Bolender and the method of horse training called Mark Bolender Horsemanship is like no other experience. The Intern becomes an integral part of the Mark Bolender Horsemanship world because he/she is immersed in every aspect of training alongside America’s most respected Mountain Trail Champion, Mark Bolender.
Each Intern will work directly on Bolender Horse Park, the most important Mountain Trail training facility in the World. Bolender Horse Park consists of 28 acres of park facilities, paddocks
Interns will be thoroughly exposed to each and every aspect of the sport of Mountain Trail, horse training, and the workings of a stable and real horse park. Given that Mark Bolender is an experienced educator and demonstrator, it’s expected that the Intern will complete the Program with experiences, accomplishments
The participation of each
The Internship Program is tailored to the individual needs and time commitment of each Intern. It’s understood that each Intern comes to the Program with different skills and goals. It’s not the objective to the Program to expose the Intern experiences they are already proficient in. Rather, the Program is intended to teach new skills and sharpen those that the Intern wishes to improve.
Living Arrangements and Time Frame
Each Intern is expected to complete at least four weeks of the Program. However, it’s encouraged that at least 3 months be completed. An ideal Internship time of 6 months is suggested to allow full absorption of the experiences offered by the Program. The intern will be provided with free room, utilities, and internet at Bolender Horse Park for the entire time of the Program. Neither party will give or receive monetary compensation for the period or the Program.
All Interns will learn the essentials of the Mark Bolender Horsemanship philosophy. This philosophy forms the basis of Mark Bolender’s training method and is crucial to effective horse training, particularly for Mountain Trail. The Intern will be instilled with the Four Principles guiding a horse’s world through daily practical exposure. The principles are summarized as:
There are no equals in the horse world.
Horses are natural born followers but only to a clear and consistent leader.
Horses try to please those they deem as superior in the pecking order, with little or no regard for those they deem as inferior in the pecking order.
Instinct is the driving force for 1-3.
The principles of Mark Bolender Horsemanship have a strong foundation in horse sociology. The Intern will learn in a practical manner now the Four Principles guiding a horse’s world affect its behavior amongst other horses – and people. The Intern will learn this though training, demonstrations and following the guidance of trainers.
The Intern will be guided in learning and understanding the essentials of horse training using the Mark Bolender Horsemanship techniques. Specific emphasis is placed on Mountain Trail training and negotiating mountain trail obstacles. The intern will also assist in training customers’ horses. The Intern must make sure that they and the costumer are on the same page for training in order to avoid training outside of the Intern’s comfort zone. If that happens, help will be provided.
Depending on the proficiency of the Intern, riding skills will be taught. Each Intern will be given opportunities to ride simulated and actual mountain trails.
Running a Stable
Interns will learn every aspect of running a stable. All day-to-day activities will be covered which includes maintenance, feeding and training horses.
Operating a Horse Park
Operating a successful horse park requires some basic business skills. Often, the business side of horsemanship is neglected. Thus, for a well-rounded experience, each Intern is expected to understand and participate in the business daily operations of Bolender Horse Park.
An important sub-component of operating a successful horse park is budgeting. Like any business, the horse park must tightly control income and payments. These include aspects of funding daily operations such as maintenance and buying feed. A complete breakdown of an operating budget will be analyzed for each horse as well as for the stable as a whole.
It seems that each horse owner has a different opinion when it comes to feeding their own horse. We can let them know what our feeding program is and
Like any business, a successful horse park dependents on customer satisfaction. It’s important to make sure the business meets customer expectations such as making sure the horse is groomed and clean when the customer picks up their horse for a day’s ride. This is just one example of how positive customer interaction is as important as the training process.
Marketing is a necessity to survive and grow. You may be the best at what you do but with proper marketing you can never grow. Marketing Mark Bolender Horsemanship, Bolender Horse Park and Mark Bolender brands is composed of many facets including advertising, giving clinics and providing demonstrations at horse shows. Also, writing magazine articles, flyers and having a web presence are all important avenues for marketing. The Intern will be exposed to developing all of these marketing tools in order to understand and appreciate its intricacies in the horse training world. Other aspects of daily marketing will also be addressed and analyzed.
Presentation of Bolender Horse Park’s physical facilities is a special aspect of marketing. The importance of seemingly small things like a clean and neat walkway, tidy garden and foliage
Basic Vet Care
Bolender Horse Park has a veterinarian overseeing all aspects of animal care and husbandry. However, there are situations which call for basic vet care by facilities staff. The Intern will assist with these activities on a routine or as-needed basis.
The Intern will assist in giving clinics at Bolender Horse Park. Clients have certain expectations of clinics and the Intern will learn and understand such needs and how to provide them. The Intern will be exposed to every aspect of the clinic and will assist with all necessary and appropriate needs of the client or staff.
Shows and Expos
The Intern may be asked to assist with horse shows and expos by manning booths, assisting existing or prospective clients and interacting with the public. The dynamics of each horse show or expo, such as setting up a booth, manning it, breaking it down, and its logistics are all part of the experience in which the Intern is given exposure.
Meet Our Interns
Past Summer Interns
My name is Briana Lambert. I’m from Centennial, Colorado and I have been involved in horseback riding for fifteen years. I graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Equine Science, and I am currently trying to gain experience in multiple areas of the horse industry, in particular training and breeding. Though I want to pursue multiple career paths in the industry, I am seriously interested in starting young or wild horses.Bolender Horse Park is a wonderful starting point for my career.
My name is Angela Rowan and I am 21 years old. I’m from Virginia and I am currently getting degrees in Natural Horsemanship and Business at the University of Montana Western. I come from a small cattle farm in Virginia, Coyote Crossing Cattle Company, where we have an equestrian center and will be adding a mountain trail course!
Katrin Polcuch – Apprentice
Katrin is a 21 year old horse crazy gal, she was born and raised in Snohomish Washington; her first love for horses was when she got a horse named Hailey. Katrin and Hailey were a team from the beginning. Katrin started her journey riding western and soon began Huntseat. Hailey enjoyed saddleseat, so she then learned to ride saddleseat.
Katrin has shown in 4-H since the age of 10, and finished out her eight 4-H years achieving her riding level with all Platinum medals in showmanship, huntseat western and trail and then qualified to go to State with the Snohomish County Equestrian Team.
When the opportunity to become an intern at the Bolender Horse Park with Mark and Lee, it was an experience one could not let go. Katrin started interning with Mark in August 2012 and has found a special touch and patients with the younger horses through the trail course, she enjoys meeting and working with the clients and their horse to become a successful team.
Katrin has gone to the 2012 National extreme mountain trail competition and is now a certified judge of mountain trail riding.
Johanna Memminger- Level 1 Apprentice
My home is in the southern part of Germany, on the idyllic Allgäu countryside. I have loved horses as long as I can remember. At 57 years old, I’m probably the oldest of Mark’s students.
For the past 20 years, my passion is the Missouri Foxtrotter. We have five fantastic mares of this breed living on our farm which is called the “Old Gravel Pit”. After meeting and purchasing the first Missouri Foxtrotter mare in 1993, my enthusiasm for this particular breed was on fire, so I traveled to Missouri in 1995 and then again in 1997 to gain more knowledge about breeding and training in the country of origin of my favorite horses. There I acquired three more mares. In the meantime, their children and grandchildren are enjoying the fresh, tasty Allgäu grass.
What’s so special about our beautiful Allgäu property is the combination of art and horses in the holistic approach to healing. As a riding therapist, using these special horses has been one of my priorities for many years. (www.kunstundpferde.de). We see adults, mainly women with cancer, depression, burnout or life crises, experience new joy and relaxation.
The first Extreme Trail encounters for me were in the summer of 2012. The Pauwels family invited me to participate in a 2 day course with the Baumbach family in Herbstein. As a fan of terrain work and natural horsemanship, I was more than impressed by this way to train horses.
Our property, “Hof Alte Kiesgrube” has a natural canyon. It is reminiscent of Karl May and Wild West! So we designed a trail this spring with various obstacles and a combination of adventuresome opportunities. These features of the old gravel pit gave rise to a unique kind of park. Noemie was thrilled to hold the first courses here. So it was clear to me that Extreme Trail could only be learned from Mister Extreme Trail Number 1, thus I quickly made my way to Washington. It was simply the best choice to be made!
Out of all my previous activities and trainings related to the Extreme Trail, my Washington experience was the “icing on the cake”. As part of the riding therapy, it represents a valuable addition. It would be a pleasure to inspire and support people with this type of horse training. It provides such harmony and joy with their horses. There is still much to learn from Mark and I’m looking forward to the next time. Mark is a terrific teacher with lots of patience and humor! Thank you so much Lee and Mark for such a fantastic time of learning and fun!
Santiago Quintero Machado- Level 1 Apprentice
I come from a cattle family. My grandfather loves horses, my father loves horses and I love horses. Because of this I became a vet, graduating in December of 2012. I really wanted to learn about a different view of horsemanship and decide to apprentice with Mark. I have been riding since I was 8 years old. The horse tradition in my family is very strong and I enjoy making them part of my life. I love being able to make a living helping horses.
Amber Curran- Level 1 Apprentice
I started my journey at age eight when I was given my first horse to take care of and be responsible for. This horse was my partner for ten years. At age nineteen I spent a year at Merideth Manor Equestrian College where I earned my Riding Master III Certificate, a Training Level I Certificate, and a Farrier Short Course Certificate. However, when I returned home I felt that my approach to training was that of a dictator and not as a partner. When I learned about Bolender Horse Park I felt I would benefit from Mark’s training philosophy and applied for a working internship. I have now been with Mark and Lee for a full year. This year has provided unforgettable memories and opportunities.
Under Lee’s guidance I have improved my people skills and learned about marketing and management. Under Mark’s guidance I was given the opportunity to train and nurture a rescue horse. This mare flourished under the Bolender approach to training. She learned to trust, love, and care for people and subsequently was sold to a wonderful forever home. As I have learned how to instill confidence and boldness in the horses I have been given to train, my own boldness, confidence and compassion have grown as well.
Thank you Mark and Lee for giving me this incredible opportunity.
Michaela Lumetzberge- Level 1 Apprentice
My name is Michaela Lumetzberger and I’ve already been affected by the “horse-virus” in my early childhood. At the age of about 6 years, I started riding with traditional English riding lessons, but changed to western lessons quickly. Some years later a friend of mine started to breed and train Missouri Foxtrotters and I was lucky to spend my whole spare time at her place. That’s when I learned a lot about horse breeding, horse training and starting young horses under saddle. In those 15 years that I spent at my friend’s barn I fell in love with the Missouri Foxtrotters, and so I now own three of them. In addition to all the things I learned during that time, I’ve been a certified therapist for acupuncture massage on horses since 2012.
In 2011 I came across Extreme Mountain Trail on the internet for the first time and was amazed by this discipline. I attended my first Extreme Trail clinic in 2012 and had the great chance to spend a month at Bolender Horse Park to get lessons from Mark Bolender and learn a lot about Extreme Mountain Trail in 2013.
I’m happy and thankful to be one of Mark’s students and love to see the discipline of ExtremeMountain Trail grow all over the world! Mark and Lee, thanks for everything!
Noemie Pauwels – Level 3 Apprentice
Also certified to train judges for IMTCA.
Since I was a child I was captured by the “horse-disease”. With 14years I finished as youngest the schooling at a German Trail Riding Academy, riding about 37miles in two days – alone and only by map and compass. Then with
Last year I came in contact with Extreme Trail and was lucky to participate in one of the first clinics Mark Bolender gave in Germany and to translate for him at the first German Show. Since