Internship Program


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 that I’m eternally grateful to you for this opportunity.

Meet Our Interns

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 and pastures, all nestled in the rugged Cascade Range and surrounded by unspoiled woodland and mountains.

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 and skills that can be offered nowhere else.
The participation of each Intern’s will be tailored to their specific needs, particularly with respect to their schedule and time commitment to the Program. While a two month commitment is most effective, lesser times can be accommodated.

General Goals

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.

Training Philosophy

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.

Horse Sociology

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.

Operations Budgeting

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 insure they understand. Then they may either agree or tailor our feeding program to their desires. Maintenance of the feed area is critical. The feed area must be kept neat and clean because it speaks volumes to the customer about the horse park’s ethics.

Customer Interaction

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.

Facility Presentation

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 speaks volumes about the management and proper care given to details – including a customer’s horse. Good first impressions are made only once, and striving to reach excellence is a primary goal of the facility’s staff.

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.