We are a mother (Carol Bonner) and daughter
(Anna Sanders) team based out of Polson, MT. We both operate ranches located on the East and West shores of the Flathead
Lake. My husband Ashton, and I run our website business from home on our 21 acres which is half flat pasture and half mountainside. Carol has 5 acres of wooded mountainside which is great for teaching foals to be surefooted and learn balance.
Originally we began in Los Angeles, CA
but decided we needed open pastures to ensure optimum health and
growth for our foals so we re-located to MT. Montana provides
the space for them to run and makes the horses deal with the elements
of winter much like the original Trakenhners did in Prussia.
I have been riding for over 18 years in many
disciplines including Dressage, Quadrille, Jumping, Western, Trail and
Natural Horsemanship. I have been training people and horses
in Dressage and showing for 8 years. I also rode Quadrille
for 7 years and was the captain of my team The
Riding Company which earned the title of National Champion in 2001 (Click
here to view championship photos).
A nice summer day at Anna & Ashton’s Ranch (North Pasture & closest neighbors)
I have been studying the Trakehner breed
since I was 15 when I got my first Trakehner, Top Priority
a gelding from Pregelstrand bred by Leslie Webb. We loved “Topper” so much we named our breeding program after him. After purchasing my first Trakehner
I knew this was the breed for me & later chose a career
as a Trakehner breeder. Luckily my Mom fell in love with the breed as well and she jumped on board and we have been breeding since 2003.
I also did a small apprenticeship
in Germany at Gestut Hamelschenburg with the Langels family and
was able to work with their spectacular stallions and learn more
about the breed. Gestut Hamelschenburg (I am the one at the bottom holding the dog on Kostolany)
Carol has been riding Endurance, Trail,
and English for 25 years with several breeds including Throroughbreds,
Arabians, Quarter Horses, and Apaloosa’s. She fell in love
with the Trakehner breed when she purchased Top Priority for Anna.
She also became very intrigued by the breed
due to their history of being a very adequate endurance horse and their Arabian influences.
Carol has entered several 25 mile endurance
rides with her Arabians and has placed well in all events.
Our goal as breeders is to create the next
generation of Trakehners. We want to improve the breed even further
and extend the knowledge of the breed to all horse people so they
will think of the breed when they plan to purchase their next
horse for competing or for breeding. We never want to hear another horse person
say “What’s a Trakehner?”
Our ultimate dream is to get some impeccable bloodlines
into the breed from our wonderful mares Elbe, Ossette, Onora and
Liana by matching them up to the perfect stallions for their types.
Top Left: Overhead View of Anna & Ashton’s Ranch – Top Right: Horses enjoying the arena at Carol’s ranch
A beautiful rainbow and a view of our pasture and a paddock.
One of our many farmer neighbors moving some equipment and a shot of Ogellee in her last year at Top Priority Trakehners.