Monday, November 7, 2011

Extreme trail NW Nationals, Eugene, OR.

I went to Eugene, Or. Sunday with my favorite ladies. Carol and Judy. Carol drove her fancy new Subaru, with an in dash GPS.
 When you first walk in Mark Bolender has his booth. He competes, trains horses for, builds extreme trail courses all over the world! US, Germany, he said he is going to Australia soon and much more in the works! Him and his wife are very nice people too. Check out his website Unique Horsemanship, Mark Bolender
 The courses are just amazing! Here is Mark on Checkers, he was going when we first got there.
 He rides Checkers and his half brother bridleless in many disciplines, extreme trail, cutting, reining, etc.
 There were a lot of gorgeous mules!!!
 There is a large Mt. mural on the wall in the background. There are all natural obstacles.
 I took a pic of one of the like 5 or 6 different patterns through the obstacles, it all depended on which classes you were taking, experience and age.  That is a lot to remember!!!
 Mark on Checkers waiting to go up to the waterfall crossing.

 There was a guy riding a huge Draft horse.
 There were at least three buttermilk buckskins that look really similar to my Moms gelding Sonny. (these pics are for you Mom).
 There were a couple of Halflingers.
 The full arena from the end.
 Checkers is an amazing horse to watch, it helps that he is really cute too! LOL His expressions and intelligence are really fun to watch.
 He sidepassed to the left, between all these poles, bridleless.....
 A few steps forward and sidepass the rest of the way.
 See the waterfall Mt. in the back corner.
 There are ditches and holes filled with water. There is a giant pond beside this rider.
A Bridge.
 Carefully picking the way through the rocks.
 Another Mule. This is the balance beam obstacle, it is 18" wide, beveled to 16", Mark told us. A lot of the animals walked on it, a lot didnt. This Mule did awesome.
 Lunch break. We went to the restaurant and had lunch and they have a live feed of  what is going on in the arena, pretty cool.
 I had chick strips and fries.
Part 2 to come!!!


  1. Wish I'd have seen you there, would have come over and said hi. It was our first trip to this event, nice course they have set up. During the lunch break, our friend Greg and I walked the course they would ride later. It's not hard stuff, but being indoors seems to be an issue for some horses. That big grey Percheron is "Ben", ridden by our friend Greg. Their whole family was there riding. His daughter is the gal pictured on the Haflinger. Ben is awesome!!! 18.2 hands and a gentle giant. He used to be a Disneyland carriage horse. Wonderful family too, they're members of our riding club. It was a fun outing.

  2. Too freakin' awesome! Checkers is adorable! It's easy to see how focused he is, even bridle-less, too. That Mark...Wow! I'm gonna have to meet him someday!

    But most of all...I want a Extreme Trail Course for myself. I can picture it in my head. I have the space for it, I would just need all the heavy equipment to bring in the boulders, logs, stumps, soil...dig holes, hills. Build a cool bridge! If I had something like this, I wouldn't mind just riding around in my own paddock...and me and my horse wouldn't get bored. And we would both learn new skills together.


  3. That is so cool C-ing spots!!!!
    I wish we could have connected too.
    LOL its hard sometimes in this blog world to connect with people because you only know them by there blogger names and a few pics!!

  4. I know Lisa!! It looks like great fun!!
    Did you get my E-Mail? Mark is going to New Mexico in two months!!

    This is a great new sport. Mark told us he has been contacted by the AQHA and they want to make this a class in AQHA shows!

  5. OH!! and Lisa, Mark has a book in the works on how to build all the obstacles!!! He showed us the before print version that the editor is proofing!!!

  6. What an interesting place. I'll be a lot of trail riders drooled over that setup and wished they had something like that at home. Trail riding rain, shine or snow.

  7. Yes, I got your e-mail. I've just not had the time to gather my thoughts and send you a good reply. Thank you for that info, though. I do really appreciate it.
    I wish I could make it work to attend one of his clinics. The weather here can also be very iffy that time of year, so we'll have to see.
    Oh! But I would love to check out his book on course design!
    I've often thought about how I would love to have a more rugged pasture with obstacles built in so I could feel as if I was riding the trails even when I wasn't able to trailer out to them.



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