Meet Our Interns
My name is Mikayla Farris. I am from Belleville, Michigan and have been involved with horses for over 15 years. I am currently pursuing a degree in Western Equestrian Studies and Equine Business Management at the University of Findlay. While at Bolender Horse Park, I hope to gain experience in multiple areas of the horse industry to expand my knowledge of training and maintaining a barn. In the future I hope to have my own training business with an emphasis on ranch riding, reining and cutting
My name is Alisa Fichtner. I am from Germany and have been involved with horses for 17 years. I will be doing an apprenticeship in a bank where I will be learning how to be an insurance clerk at home. Being here I hope to improve my riding skills and learn how to maintain a barn. This is my first-time doing Mountain Trail and I hope to learn more about the discipline and bring what I have learned back home with me.
My name is Lauren Newlin. I am from Wake Forest, North Carolina and have been riding for 9 years in the Hunter/Jumper discipline. I will be graduating from Brigham Young University-Idaho in December with a BS in Animal Science with an emphasis on Animal Nutrition. I hope to improve my skills under saddle and in hand and how to understand a horse’s body language. In the future I hope to work for a feed company as a Nutritionist for cattle and horses.
Past Summer Interns
My name is Malina Fichtner. I am from Germany and I have been involved with horses for 20 years. I currently work as an industrial clerk in Germany. I hope to learn more about Mark and Lees horse training techniques to improve my own riding skills. I want to take what I learn here to train my horse at home to be competitive in the sport of Mountain Trail.
My name is Kim Thibert and I’m from Oakland, Maine. I’ve been riding horses for about 8 years. I graduated high school last fall and came to Bolender Horse Park to help me figure out what I wanted to do next and expand my riding skills. I arrived here in the beginning of September and I plan to leave sometime this summer to go back to school. I will be going to Keiser University in Florida this fall to study Radiologic Technology. I have learned a lot during my time here and have gained many skills that I will be able to use in whatever comes next.My name is Kim Thibert and I’m from Oakland, Maine. I’ve been riding horses for about 8 years. I graduated high school last fall and came to Bolender Horse Park to help me figure out what I wanted to do next and expand my riding skills. I arrived here in the beginning of September and I plan to leave sometime this summer to go back to school. I will be going to Keiser University in Florida this fall to study Radiologic Technology. I have learned a lot during my time here and have gained many skills that I will be able to use in whatever comes next.
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