BONNERS FERRY — Many residents in Boundary County own at least one horse, and the abundance of mountains, trails, and even our local rodeo gives horse owners a good reason to enjoy utilizing their investment.
Due to Boundary County having four seasons, the conditions for horseback riding often vary. Snow and rain make riding outdoors difficult, messy, and sometimes impossible. Many horse owners let their horses rest over the winter, due to riding conditions, which makes it so the horse has to be reconditioned every riding season. After months without being ridden, horses tend to not only be out of shape physically, but mentally, and need to be reminded.
Paradise Valley Stables in Bonners Ferry, owned by Kelly Spangler and her husband Chris Spangler, has the answer for horse owners in Boundary County. The recently built indoor arena is 70 feet by 140 feet, and there is an outdoor arena as well which measures 90 feet by 130 feet, and a 50-foot round pen.
“I want to bring Bonners Ferry from not a horse area, to a horse area,” said Spangler, speaking about interactive horse activities. “I plan to bring riding clinics and help riders in Bonners Ferry to accomplish their goals. There are plenty of people and horses, we just need to give them something to do, especially in the winter. I feel you should use your horses all year round, to keep them fit and not having to do tuneups every year.”
Spangler passed many hours in her grandfather’s barn with the horses as she grew up.
“I can get lost in the barn and lose track of time,” said Spangler.
Being in the company of horses in many cases is therapeutic and relaxing. Horses may be large or small, they all have the same basic instincts, yet each has a different personality. They can be loving, quirky, energetic, and driven.
Spangler was a 4-H member, competing in rodeos, western pleasure competitions, and jumping, among other various equestrian sports. She is also a helping hand with herding cattle every summer, on top of her busy schedule. Spangler has ridden horses since she was eight years old, and over time, she began to train horses, coach riders, and host clinics.
Spangler has been an active member and leader in the Boundary County 4-H for about 19 years. In that time, she has given lessons, friendship, and encouragement to her students, which helped her lead them to find a goal, and accomplish it. Spangler has led Bonners Ferry 4-H riders to districts as well as out-of-town shows, which allows them to acknowledge things they need to work on to improve performance, and also encourage them with their goals.
“I love horses, but really love the kids and helping them reach their goals,” Spangler said.
“I want to fill my barn with borders so that they can ride year round, and in a location on decent roads,” said Spangler.
The facility is not yet complete, as they have several plans in motion, one of which is an addition to the indoor arena which will consist of six more stalls, a heated tack room, a bathroom, and feed storage. They also plan to improve the path from the original barn, which currently has four stalls, two of which are open for boarding horses. In addition, they plan to construct a 100x200 outdoor arena. The beginnings of these changes are due to start this spring, and will open up a public facility for local horse lovers to increase their knowledge of the equine arts, at reasonable prices.
For more information, visit http://paradisevalleystablesbf.weebly.com/