Mark Bolender has become synonymous with the new and exciting equine discipline called Mountain Trail on an international level. This is a competitive sport in which Mark earned national titles in 2008, 2009, 2010, and which he has been championing for the past eleven years through clinics, teaching judging clinics, judging shows, and building courses worldwide. Prior to his involvement in Mountain Trail, Mark bred a few Quarter Horses and showed Quarter Horse in Reining and all-around competitions. Several that he bred had successful show careers and one (Checkers) is now a “Breyer Horse” and will be presented at Breyer Fest in July at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Mark writes for a number of magazines and is the author of the popular book, “Bolender’s Guide to Mastering Mountain and Extreme Trail Riding”. He has produced four DVD’s about training for mountain trail and one DVD entitled The Road to Bridle-less. He has been featured twice in the American Quarter Horse magazine “America’s Horse” for mastering the Trail Challenge and Mountain Trail made its debut on RFDTV in November of 2016.
Mark and his wife Lee are active in judging as well as operating a judging school that certifies judges across the globe for Mountain Trail and Trail Challenge. He and Lee are the founders of “International Mountain Trail Challenge Association” (IMTCA) which was formed to promote the sport of Mountain Trail which now is holding challenges/shows across the globe including the Italian national challenge/show held each year in Verona Italy. Meetings have been held with the FEI in Europe with the goal of having this an Olympic Sport in the future. At present, we have 11 nations out of the 22 needed to move the discipline forward toward this goal.
Mark and his wife Lee own and operate Bolender Horse Park in WA State, which houses the finest Mountain Trail course in the world. Using Bolender Horse Park as the model, Mark has designed and built Mountain Trail courses in the USA, Canada, Australia, and Europe – with many more in development. To design these courses Mark uses his artistic, landscaping, horse training, and construction skills. (NW Steel Design LLC. www.nwsteeldesign.com )These courses are premier sites used by beginners and highly advanced riders alike and are designed for clinics, shows, and training. Mark actively promotes his training philosophy centered on using the natural instincts of the horse during the training process. Mark says that activating key instincts in the horse combined with good horsemanship results in real equine magic. Mark always says that when you combine everything, he is really selling fun and safety with a bold and confident horse.