What do you do?
Where do you work and what is your title?
On weekends, I am on the Mounted Park Patrol (Park Safety Patrol) in Garden of the Gods. During the week, I give horseback riding lessons and train horses.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
As a Mounted Park Patrol officer, I educate people about natural areas and help them make the most out of their visit to the park. As a teacher, Iíve taught students as young as 5 and as old as 83. Most of my students are 8 to 15 years of age. I teach them all about horses, how to connect with them and how to ride and be around them safely. I also train horses, starting with 2-year-olds.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
Coming up on 20 years for horseback riding and training, all on the Westside. I started working in Mounted Park Patrol in 1988.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
The joy and healing horses can bring in peoplesí lives. Iíve worked with autistic kids, ADD kids and MS kids and have seen improvement in their physical and mental well-being. I feel fortunate that I have a career where I can enjoy this area and help others enjoy it too.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
Longer days in the winter. It gets dark at 5 and makes everything difficult because the work is outdoors, and the kids donít get out of school Ďtil 3:30.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
I went to a two-year college in Cheyenne, Wyoming and finished my degree in Equine Science and Industry at CSU. Dealing with people all day ďtactfullyĒ requires patience. They donít teach patience, and a career with horses is physically demanding.
What makes working on the Westside special?
I grew up in Pleasant Valley (started working at Rock Ledge Ranch as a docent when I was 8 years old) and itís very dear to me. I havenít been around the world, but I believe itís one of the best places to be. Itís unique and diverse in the landscape, the history and the people.
ďWhat do you do?Ē is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesnít live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.