Our Family of Boarders
Meet Our Family of Boarders
We encourage you to learn more about the wonderful horses enjoying their stay at Holly Farm (the ELS barn), and read stories from their special humans. At ELS we are a community of closely connected horse-loving humans that take care of each other. If you are interested in becoming an ELS Herd member, call for an appointment.
Robyn Smith & the ELS herd!
For many years, I too was a boarder at many facilities looking for great care and a community of horse-loving individuals to hang with. Most facilities had some, but not all of the amenities or high quality of care I was looking for and few had a community of boarders that cared about each horse and other humans in the barn. Thus, in addition to riding lessons and horse training, Equine Life Solutions began horse boarding in 2008 at the Horse Haven property. We are now located at beautiful Holly Farm in north Bothell and have more room for horses to romp, play and otherwise, well, be a horse. So welcome to our wonderful stable of boarders, friends and clients that make up the bigger ELS community of horses and humans. Without which there is no ELS Herd!
Since moving to Equine Life Solutions, I feel that both my horse and I have the best world possible for us in this area! We have the best trainer in Robyn Smith and Lee Palmer who has helped us and continues to help us to have the best partnership. to Equine Life Solutions have taken the time to get the best talent possible to make sure that Frankie is safe and happy with the best of care! We couldn’t be happier to count ourselves as one of the privileged to be able to have a great trainer and a great stable family to be a part of!
Little did I know when I moved to the U.S. from South Africa a few years ago, and said I was going to get a house; a horse and big truck, that I would meet Robyn, change everything I knew and thought about riding, and that I would find Kenya. She’s a willful, expressive, extrovert of a Quarter Horse cross, who needed someone to take over her care. Robyn and I teamed up to help her deal with EPSM (Equine Polysaccharide Myopathy), ulcers and cystic ovaries. Because we learned to listen to her pain through natural horsemanship, she has gone from rearing, striking, biting and bucking to a sweet loving mare with a long life ahead of her. I named her Kenya when her ovaries were removed because Kenya was once a place of healing for me, and though Kenya was not an easy country to live in – the people are strong and happy. Kenya means the resting place of God, and I am happy that she has now found her peace.
As an ELS Boarder for 7+ years, I know Jizelle has the best possible care. The staff loves all the horses (and some humans too.-haha!) Robyn and her ELS staff keep a close eye on nutrition, general health and exploring, recommending and providing other care options such as chiropractor and massage therapy. As years go by for Gem and I, we cannot imagine our journey without ELS walking (or trotting) beside us.Thank you ELS Herd members!
Gem now spends her retirement years in a beautiful place in Goldbar with Safire, Robyn’s very special partner! She is happy to eat, drink and be merry running about the pastures all day!
Wiara, Holly & Libby
I had always dreamt of playing with real horses. As a child, I had to pretend with Breyer horses and games of stagecoach with my sister. But when my daughter Maggie and son Charlie expressed interest in horses, I jumped at the opportunity and brought Holly, Wiara, Tea, and Sugar into our family – thanks to my fantastic husband who supports his family’s love of horses. My daughter and I have been practicing natural horsemanship with our herd of coaches for the past 10+ years. In my daughter’s words, “Mom, you are a much better parent now that horses are in your life.”
Sugar & Maggie
When Sugar and I moved to Equine Life Solutions, we were a wreck. Sugar was just recovering from her second broken leg and our relationship, tested by moves across the country, the physical trauma, and inconsistency, was more than a little shaky. We didn’t think she would ever fully recover from her injury, let alone her anger and stubbornness. ELS was a godsend for my mom and I, who were in over our heads. Robyn helped us with vets, medicine, diet, and everything else medical that came our way. Once we got our heads wrapped around that, we started in on the behavior and attitude difficulties. Sugar (and I) were treated firmly, fairly, and consistently as we worked through bucking, striking, and grass addictions. Slowly, as she healed, so did our relationship. Sugar’s not 100% sound, but she’s 200% better than we expected and is in better shape than she’s ever been. I play with her in the arena and she’s the perfect school horse candidate for lighter riders. She’s got personality to spare and when you get to know her, she can’t help but make you laugh. As a school horse, Sugar teaches students patience, persistence, and confidence, just like she did for me.
Henry and Margaret
“Henry Fjord” became mine on March 1, 2014. My dream of horse ownership finally came true and I could not be happier. Henry and I have a lot in common: we are both quiet and older citizens, we both love food, and we both like to move slow but can perk up if motivated. We’re a perfect team. He is also very patient with me while I’m learning to be his leader/partner. On the days I’m not at the barn I am relieved to know there is a whole crew of barn folks keeping an eye on him and taking good care of him (as well as all the other horses) and I’m also pleased to know that pretty much everyone who meets Henry loves him.
I came to Equine Life Solutions as a true beginner. I hadn’t spent much time with horses, but I knew from an early age how much I wanted to take lessons, and wondered what it must be like to have a true partnership with horses.
After graduating from Washington State University, I came to ELS to begin learning to ride. The one lesson per week quickly advanced to two lessons every week, as well as extra days at the barn volunteering.
I began my journey into Parelli Natural Horsemanship with Roxie, working on a trusting and confident partnership. I first met Roxie during the early days of taking lessons when Roxie was assigned as my horse for that day’s lesson. I was drawn to her instantaneously. At first the dynamic between us was fearful and lacking confidence, but through the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program and Robyn’s guidance I was able to start gaining Roxie’s trust as a leader, and now we have quite a strong partnership. Two and a half years after our first ride together, I officially adopted Roxie in November 2014. I never imagined that when I called Robyn to set-up my first evaluation riding lesson that I would become part of the ELS Boarder Family, but I would make that call again in a heartbeat. In choosing ELS, I not only found a partner in Roxie, but community of kind and supportive friends.
Roxie and I look forward to conquering the Parelli Levels and continuing to grow our relationship on a daily basis.
Scout & Kathy
Hi my name is Scout and my owner name is Kathy. She has known me since I was born and owned me since I was 3yrs old. As of this writing, I am 21 yrs old, 15.2 hand Spotted Saddle horse who loves kids and loves being outdoors. My owner Kathy and I have done trail riding, dressage, novice 3 day eventing, barrel racing, jumping and equitation. We have done several horsemanship classes as well. We love meeting new people, animals and learning new things. I am an overachiever and a very sweet horse. Come by and meet us… and I will shake your hand for a treat, but don’t give me too many.
I bought Karma almost sight unseen. After reading her sales bio and watching her video, I asked Robyn for her opinion. Robyn grilled Karma’s trainer and ordered a vet exam. Based on that info, we had her shipped in from Eastern Washington.
Karma (aka Karamin’s Hot Cocoa) is a high-percentage foundation Morgan, with a bloodline tracing back to Beamington. Before I got her, she had won ribbons in Western, English and jumping competitions. She often reminds me that she is a far better horse than I am a rider. Luckily for me, she’s a confident mare who is quick to correct me but does not believe in punishment – she has never seriously tried to dump me. I’m taking as many lessons as I can in order to come up to her standards!
I’ve been a horse lover as long as I can remember but my first chance to bring all of those dreams to life didn’t happen until I was all grown up! I started taking riding lessons to learn more about horses (and to get myself off the couch) and it became apparent very quickly that my childhood passion had never died. I stumbled into ELS on google and I couldn’t be more lucky. The community atmosphere and shared appreciation for how special horses are make it an incredible place to learn and grow as both an individual and an equestrian.
All 17.2 hands of Moose adopted me in June of 2015 and our journey is ongoing. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for me every time I visit the barn.
“My paint horse Sunny never fails to paint me a sunny day.”
Through the very long, involved journey of finding a horse of my own, (a seemingly never-ending story), I suddenly found myself owning one of the most amazing creatures I have ever had the privilege to know– my horse, Sunny. He has taught me so much over the last three years and the two of us have grown together.
As a very self-motivated individual, I’ve always managed to cultivate opportunities to work around horses and learn from excellent teachers. I have yet to find a moment when I am not learning. I’m always yearning for new knowledge and I believe there’s always a new mind-opening realization out there to discover. I am fascinated by the seemingly endless abyss of horsey knowledge. Equine Life Solutions is the best place to learn, not only when it comes to teaching, horse riding and training, but horse-care as well. Sunny and I are happy to be here!
I’ve always dreamed of having my own horse one day. I spent summers as a kid riding western in the mountains with my relatives and took english lessons for a couple of years around the age of 10. I stopped for many years, but always knew one day I would somehow get back in the saddle. After visiting one other barn, and being disappointed in their forceful approach, I came across natural horsemanship and ELS. After only a few months of lessons I asked Robyn to help me find a horse. She wisely steered me in the direction of investing heavily in lessons first and holding off until the time was right. 1.5 years later, she helped me find Ben. He’s a big boy with a calm demeanor. We are just starting our journey, and getting to know each other and I can’t stop smiling.
With lots of support and encouragement Sheryl’s husband Scott is helping Sheryl fulfill a lifetime dream of horse ownership. Together they welcome Raina into their family and look forward to many years of learning and growing together at ELS.
As with many of the boarders at ELS, I’ve loved horses as long as I can remember. I had a mare and Shetland pony as a child that I may have ridden a total of 5 times. Our location overseas prevented any adult horse opportunities until we moved to Singapore. There, I found Riding for the Disabled where I volunteered and was able to “ride” some.
At 70, my Husband gifted me with Rocky for our 50th anniversary!! There’s always hope! Got into Parelli in 2003 and found THE way for horses with friends. We’re excited to join Equine Life Solutions at Holly Farm and continue the journey.
Coco & Natasha
I always knew I would own a POA one day. Ever since I had my first love, Sasha pony, I knew that POAs were the breed for me. I met Coco at the barn and worked with him for a year and a half before I dove in and he became my main riding horse. It didn’t take long to fall in love with him, and I knew I couldn’t let him go. I was just too attached. After a solid half a year of work with him I finally took the final step and took him as my very own. Cocopuffs officially adopted me as his mamma in September of 2016. He never fails to make me smile and he’s just the sweetest pony I have ever gotten the privilege to meet.