Shining Mountain Foxtrotters

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About Us: A Personal "Horse" History

Val started riding at age five, going to different riding stables, and “horse” camps every summer. (see early photos). By the time she was nine, she was taking English riding lessons weekly. For her tenth birthday, she was the surprised recipient of her very own horse! Living in town required that “Rebel” be boarded at one of the many riding stables in the area. For the next six or so years, it was riding every weekend in the winter, 4-H, english and western lessons in the summer, etc. At seventeen, Val “went to the dogs” (see our other web sites), and “Rebel” was semi-retired. He came out of retirement for a couple years while Val went to college, where he was her mount for College Horsemanship classes. In 1971, Val and Jay were married, and Val moved from Seattle to Medford, Oregon. Her entire menagerie went with her of course, four golden retrievers and one horse.

Jay wasn’t too interested in horses at that point. He figured he could walk just about any place a horse could take him, and lots of places a horse couldn’t go. For their fourth anniversary, Val gave Jay his own horse, “Don Juan”, a super nice, push button gelding who had won State Fair twice. It didn’t take Jay long to figure out he could really cover a lot more ground on his hunts than he could on foot. Horses have been part of Jay and Val’s life ever since.

After “Rebel” and “DJ” were retired, Walker’s had several Arabs, part Arabs, and Quarterhorses. They spent most falls in the mountains, riding in to hunt, and later packing in for miles for better access to big game areas throughout the west. Replacements were raised from their mares, with one or two foals being born every three years or so. When they moved to Wyoming, ten horses made the trip with them.

They tried out a gaited horse soon after their arrival, bought their first Foxtrotter, and were hooked! It is as they say, once you ride a gaited horse a few miles, you never go back! Having always raised quality animals, Walker’s searched for the type of Foxtrotter they like to start their herd. Starting first with a couple of nice mares, then a stallion, they soon became interested in finding that “special” horse, and ended up at Larry Stevens place in Missouri to look at SANTA FE SUNRISE, then a World Champion 2 Year old. They fell in love with Santa Fe, and the rest is history! SANTA FE is the head stallion at Shining Mountain, standing to a few outside mares, and keeping a careful watch on his “harem” and youngsters. He is shown occasionally, and kept in shape by riding around the ranch.

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