Submitted by Bolender Horse Park

Looking for a fun new sport to do with your horse that you can practice on year-round? Whether you have a miniature horse, mule, donkey, pony, draft or anything in between – we have the answer! The year-round Bolender Horse Park is owned by Mark and Lee Bolender, founders of the International Mountain Trail Challenge Association (IMTCA). The incredible fun sport builds confident horses and riders as you navigate obstacles you would find on a real trail, even when our local trails are closed for the winter. To kick of the 2020 challenge season, they have clinics and schooling shows scheduled to help you either learn the sport, or brush up on your skills.

It all starts this weekend, February 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the Mountain Trail Challenge Prep at Bolender Horse Park. Learn the official IMTCA rules, including any new ones for 2020. Get your questions answered about what tack to use, what to wear and how the scoring system works so you will be already for the first challenge. Then, spend three hours on the mountain trail course with an IMTCA judge. There will be demonstrations of how to correctly go over obstacles.  Then, you and your horse can participate and get feedback back from the judge to help improve your skills! Space is limited, so sign up today by contacting Lee Bolender at 360-269-6456 or email her at

After the prep clinic, you will be all ready for the Bolender Horse Park Mountain Trail Schooling Challenge Series. These fun schooling shows are a great way to get you and your horse ready for the summer trail season and the IMTCA regional qualifiers! You will get to test your skill going over poles and logs, backing up, stepping up, several types of wooden bridges, water obstacles and more, depending on the competition level. The great thing about the schooling shows is for one low fee, you can enter all the levels, so you can decide what’s the best level for you and your horse. A full day of classes, trailer parking/camping and a self-care stall for one night is just $125. Come the day beforehand and warm up on the course for a low, ALL DAY use fee of $35. You can also schedule lessons with Mark or Lee Bolender that day to give you a leg up on the competition.

If you haul in the day of the show and want to do all the classes, it’s just $80! Ribbons awarded to sixth place. Sign up now for the following shows by contacting Lee Bolender at 360-269-6456 or email her at

  • March 7: Schooling Show open ride/lessons
  • March 8: Schooling Show
  • April 3: Schooling Show open ride/lessons
  • April 4: Schooling Show
  • May 23: Schooling Show open ride/lessons
  • May 24: Schooling Show
  • July 25: Schooling Show open ride/lessons
  • July 26: Schooling Show

Come see what all the excitement is about! The competitors are friendly and welcoming, and help each other out. The course is beautiful, with an emphasis on safe obstacles for both horse and rider. It’s the perfect way to spend the day learning important skills while having some fun.

More information can be found on the Bolender Horse Park and the IMTCA’s websites. Follow the Bolender Horse Park on Facebook page for updated information on upcoming events.

See you on the trail!

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