WRANGLERS

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KAULANA ``KP`` NA'AU ALI'I PAPALIMU

Head Trainer/Farrier
CPR & First Aid Certified
Hometown: Hilo, HI
School: Minnesota School of Horseshoeing

KP enjoys music, training horses, horse shoeing horses, dancing and free diving, as he grew up on the big island of Hawaii. KP had the opportunity to attend horseshoeing school the spring of 2014, and now along side of two other ferriers, takes care of Vista Verde’s herd. He gained this wonderful opportunity to work at VVR through a friend during his time working at Disneyland, where they worked with draft horses. Although KP is a horsemen, he does enjoy winter activities such as backcountry skiing and skate skiing. Even though he is from such a tropical home, he has come to love and enjoy the cold, snowy Colorado weather!

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BEN YODER-HENLEY

Head Wrangler
Wilderness First Responder
Hometown:Minneapolis, MN
School: Knox College

Ben received a degree in psychology and creative writing at Knox College before deciding he wanted to come to the mountains. In addition to being the Head Wrangler, Ben is also in school to become a certified horse trainer. Before coming to Vista Verde, Ben was living within a Buddhist monastery for four months in Northeastern India. Ben has taken much of what he has learned through daily meditation and transfers these skills to training our horses. Based on this incredible experience and his calm and kind personality, those on the ranch affectionately refer to him as Zen Ben! Fun Fact: Ben loves to Salsa! Catch him at the barn dance because he's got moves!

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MARY GREFRATH

Herd Health Manager
Hometown: Clarence Center, NY
School: Buffalo State College

Mary graduated from Buffalo State College with a degree in art education. Along with art, Mary loves riding horses and exploring the great outdoors. Upon finishing school, she came to the ranch as a kids wrangler. After a short time away, Mary has made her way back to VVR last summer as a housekeeper, stayed this winter as a ranch hand and will now be with us in the barn! We couldn't be more excited about her return!

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CATHERINE CROUCH

CPR & First Aid Certified
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
School: University of South Carolina

Catherine graduated from University of South Carolina in 2017 with a degree in Business Marketing and Management. She has put the business world on hold for a few years to pursue her passion for horses and the outdoors. During college, she was a Young Life Leader at a high school in Columbia, SC. Colorado really captured her heart after spending a summer wrangling in Telluride. She is a sunshine enthusiast who loves to roller blade, snowboard and road trip with pals. Cat joins us in the barn for her third season at VVR!

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KYLIE YANCEY

Wrangler
Hometown: Mason, OH
School: University of South Carolina

Kylie is a lover of adventure and the great outdoors! Just to give you a small taste of Kylie's adventures, prior to coming to the ranch, she was working as a sea kayak guide off the coast of British Columbia. She has been riding horses for much of her life and she is so excited to get back in the saddle during her down time. Be sure to look for Kylie's bright smile in the barn!

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JAMES REEVES

Wrangler
Hometown: Le Grand, CA
School: California State University, Sacramento
Previous Position: Mule Packer

After spending two winters at VVR, James has decided to try a summer with us! He spent the past couple of summers as a mule packer in California, but decided he enjoyed Colorado so much that he needed to come back. While he was previously a ranch hand, he will now be joining the barn as a wrangler! James spent his years at California State University studying public relations while also playing rugby. Fun Fact: James loves listening to music, especially country and rock!

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COURTNEY GASKILL

Teen Wrangler
CPR, AED, First Aid Certified
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
School: University of Kentucky

Courtney grew up in Alabama, attends school at the University of Kentucky, and is beyond thrilled to be in Colorado for her third season with Vista Verde. She has an adventurous and loving family who encouraged her to learn how to water ski at five, snow ski at six, and ride horses at eight. Her love for horses wasn't just a phase, like her parents thought, and she's now in college pursuing an Equine Science and Business Management degree. While she's in school, Courtney divides her time between class, working with racehorses, trying out new recipes with her friends, and pretty much anything that involves being outside. She's also an avid reader and can sometimes be found up in the branches of her favorite tree, book in hand. Throughout her life Courtney has loved working with kids and teens as a camp counselor or horseback instructor, and she's very excited to bring that passion to Vista Verde. Fun Fact: One of Courtney's biggest fears was the open ocean, but now she's SCUBA certified and loves it!

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ELIZABETH (LIZ) BEYLER

Barn Hand
Hometown: Fishers, IN
School: Ivy Tech Community College

Two of Liz's favorite things are the outdoors and traveling. There's nothing like a great adventure and getting to explore new things! A few years ago, she spent almost three weeks touring Europe from Wales to Italy. Some other things she enjoys are being around animals, spending time with friends and playing lots of music. Two things on her bucket list are to drive across the U.S. from coast to coast and summit a 14er.

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AMANDA MINDER

Wrangler
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
School: University of Minnesota Duluth

Amanda just finished her degree in Environmental and Outdoor Education and is very excited to be starting the next chapter of her life adventure at Vista Verde Ranch! She loves to be outside exploring while being in awe of the beauty of the natural world, and her favorite way to see the world is on the back of a horse. Sharing these moments with others is her passion. In addition to riding, Amanda enjoys stand up paddle boarding, backpacking, climbing, and traveling both across the country and abroad. Although being outside is what she loves the most, Amanda also enjoys the comforts of a cozy blanket and a good book! Fun Fact: Fun Fact: Amanda is a licensed Private Pilot and has been flying since the age of 16!

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CAWOOD HABENICHT

Teen Wrangler
Hometown: Newton Square, PA
School: Furman University
First Aid, CPR & AED Certified

Cawood is an adventurous, outgoing and funny person who loves all things animals. She has been riding horses for 15 years and is currently on the equestrian team in college. She adores children and making fun memories with them. In her past fall semester, she studied away to New Mexico for 3 months and South Africa for 3 weeks on a Biology based trip where she hiked and came feet from several types of incredible wildlife. She enjoys photography especially when it involves her friends or the outdoors. Her love for dogs is unparalleled. Chocolate Chip Cookie dough is her 'go-to' sweet because baking them is so overrated!

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SAMUEL ACKERMAN

Wrangler
Hometown: Longmont, CO
School: University of Colorado
First Aid, CPR & AED Certified

Samuel wandered into the Rocky Mountains when he was 11 and has been hooked ever since. He grew up backpacking, horseback riding, rock climbing, kayaking, and doing whatever else he could find in the western half of Colorado. He has a rather eclectic set of professional credentials, with ``Hired Magician``, ``University Tour Guide``, ``Car Restoration Specialist``, ``Wildflower Expert``, and ``Guitarist for 80's Rock Tribute Band`` filling his résumé. During college, Samuel worked as a backcountry guide, teaching young adults to survive and thrive in the wilderness. Samuel graduated with a degree in English literature and a Colorado state teaching license, thereafter spending a couple years as a high school English teacher. Now, he's returning to the mountains to ``live off the fatta the lan.`` Fun Fact: Rather than pursue a traditional MA degree, Samuel worked for the YMCA of the Rockies as the ``Master of Fun and Games`` (believe it or not, a real job title). He spent all his time writing skits and themed scripts and creating unique games to be played by 250 kids at the same time!

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GLORIA FORD

Wrangler
Hometown: Maui, HI
School: Colorado State University

After growing up in Maui, Hawaii swimming in the ocean and riding her horse, Gloria left for Colorado State University to find adventure in the snow...oh, and a little bit of studying! During her summers, Gloria worked guiding trail rides near different national parks where she could explore beautiful parts of the country. You can find her hiking on her days off, wandering around town, or soaking up some sunshine. Fun Fact: Fun fact: Gloria played the flute in the Macy's Day Parade in New York City!

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PAIGE RYLANDER

Wrangler
Hometown: Austin, TX
School: American University
First Aid, CPR & AED Certified

Paige has been riding horses since she was 9, and competed on her university's equestrian team. Her love of horses and people has led her to spend her summer at VVR. In the winter, Paige works as a ski instructor in Steamboat. Besides horses and skiing, she loves soccer, video games, and the great outdoors. Paige is also an avid traveler and has studied in Chile, worked in Australia, and visited Turkey, Peru, Japan, and many more! Fun Fact: Paige is fluent in Spanish.