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Stonewall Sporthorses | Access Adventure
Muir, his horses provide outdoor adventures for disabled

Muir, his horses provide outdoor adventures for disabled

Caption: Michael Muir, left, rides with student Mario Scharmer, who suffered a catastrophic traumatic brain injury. (Rebecca King courtesy photo) By Susan Hiland, Daily Republic SUISUN CITY — Michael Muir has not let a diagnoses of multiple sclerosis stop him from enjoying the outdoors, even if it is from his wheelchair. The 67-year-old’s love of horses keeps him ticking along just fine. Over the past 55 years, he has represented the United States four times in world and international championship carriage driving competitions, winning medals and champion honors in Germany, Austria, France and Great Britain. He also founded Access Adventure in 2005, enriching the lives of people with disabilities, injured veterans, at-risk youth, senior citizens and special needs children. His program provides the opportunity for therapy through educational, outdoor activities. The program also provides people with disabilities of all ages the opportunity to ride and learn about recreational carriage driving and therapeutic driving. Access Adventure provides youth programs and unique educational opportunities relating to preservation, ecology, wildlife habitat and rangeland management. His work doesn’t stop there. He breeds the Stonewall Sporthorses at Rush Ranch headquarters on Grizzly Island Road, which has created a livelihood for him and an adventure far beyond what he could have ever dreamed. “Horses have been central to the quality of life for me,” Muir said. “I’ve done a lot of fun things because of them and been able to share that, which is important.” At 15, he was diagnosed with MS; it has waxed and waned for him but has never daunted his spirit. He was in the Dixon 4-H when his attention was...
Rush Ranch provides a new lease on life

Rush Ranch provides a new lease on life

It wasn’t the sight of the horses that triggered something inside Brent Satterlee’s brain.  It was the smell of manure and earth that started to bring back memories, says his wife, Kristi Satterlee.  “It was like a fog lifted, and he just woke up.” Brent spent 20 years in the US Army as a combat medic, but towards the end of his successful career, the otherwise strong and healthy man started showing signs of early on-set dementia. Kristi and Brent have been good friends for thirty years, but she rarely saw him.  Three years ago, they were reunited at a birthday party for Brent and she was shocked to see how much he had declined due to the disease.  He was dangerously thin and was headed toward assisted living because he could no longer care for himself.  Determined to turn things around, the couple married and Kristi went to work to get him healthy again.  Her strategy included walks in open spaces.  She wasn’t a hiker, so it took some research to discover Lake Herman, Pena Adobe, Lynch Canyon and Rush Ranch. Memories of the land Kristi knew that Brent spent part of his youth on a large ranch in Northern California.  On their first visit to Rush Ranch, Kristi saw something spark in Brent while they were standing in front of the stallion barn.  She talked to Monatte, the Rush Ranch Steward, who told them that Access Adventure has a wounded vet program.  They signed up. Now Brent comes to Rush Ranch twice a week, where with Kristi’s help he feeds the horses, mucks the stalls, and works...
TRAINING FOR DRIVERS WITH DISABILITIES

TRAINING FOR DRIVERS WITH DISABILITIES

United States Driving for the Disabled sponsored a training clinic for carriage drivers with disabilities on March 31 and April 1 at Clay Station Horse Park near Wilton, California. Marcie Quist, Committee Chair for Team USA to international driving competitions, and USDFD President Diane Kastama hosted the event, featuring renowned clinician, trainer and instructor Sara Schmitt from Centerline Farm in Califon, New Jersey. Access Adventure was represented by former USDFD President Michael Muir, Secretary Brenda Duncan and Director Randie Boardman, with our home-bred mare Stonewall Calypso. A total of eight drivers with disabilities attended this event, including our former students Stefanie Putnam and Abigail Stockinger, as well as our new students Cecilia Kirks and Caroline Strongman. Three able-bodied drivers also participated. Most brought their own horses, but a wheelchair accessible carriage and experienced competition horses were also provided for participants in this unique event. Beautiful spring weather and conditions prevailed after our long, wet winter. Sara Schmitt was greatly appreciated by attendees for sharing her experience and training techniques with the wide variety of drivers and horses participating. This event was one of three held across the country by USDFD to encourage more participation by disabled drivers in equestrian competition, and to increase the pool of potential members of Team USA to future international driving competitions. The next World Championship for Drivérs with Disabilities will be held in August 2018 in the Netherlands. Photos by StormHalation...
THE STONEWALL SPORTHORSES OF ACCESS ADVENTURE

THE STONEWALL SPORTHORSES OF ACCESS ADVENTURE

What IS a Stonewall Sporthorse??? The Stonewall Sporthorse is a unique American warmblood developed by International Champion horseman and World Champion breeder Michael Muir at his Stonewall Stud. His horses have established world sales records at auction, earned National Grand Championships in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, set world records racing (as well as setting sire and produce records) earned national titles in jumping and performance, and qualified four times to represent the United States in World Championship carriage driving competitions in Great Britain, France, Austria and Germany. Over the course of his life, Muir has been an avid trainer and exhibitor, but has found his greatest satisfaction and success as a renowned breeder of champion horses. Many of today’s Stonewall Sporthorses descend from generations in a careful and far-sighted breeding program that began nearly fifty years ago. Although some are noted for their colorful coat patterns, others are simply black, or occasionally another solid color. What qualities they are consistently bred for, and tested at the highest levels of competition are soundness, trainability, courage, and stamina. They are not to be confused with Appaloosas. Although some have a degree of Appaloosa breeding, others have none, owing their colorful leopard coats to the Danish Knabstrupper breed. Many young Stonewall Sporthorses carry imported Friesian blood. Other crosses include Trakehner, other European warmbloods, modern Percherons and Thoroughbreds. These crosses are carefully selected to bring desired qualities and hybrid vigor into the breed. The Stonewall Sporthorse tends to be a little bigger than average, with eye-catching movement and a tremendous capacity to work. Three Stonewall Sporthorse mares, the sisters...