AZ • Joe Rolak

I'm very fortunate; I work with horses for a living and get to explore the desert by horseback all the time. Not many people can say that, but my favorite part is getting to share tips and help out other riders. 

I can help with finding trails, good horsemanship, leather work, vet work, shoeing... anything that will help you have a better trail riding experience. And if I can't do it, chances are I know someone who can. I learn something new every time, so it's a win win in my book. Let me know if you're in Arizona or you're interested in visiting!

Where are you located?

I am located in Desert Hills, Arizona. That's about as far north as you can get and still be in Phoenix. It's a few miles west of Cave Creek, AZ.

There's a lot of history in the Cave Creek/Desert Hills/New River area where I ride. The mining and cattle industries played a huge role in turning this area into what it is today. Whether I'm riding in low washes, mountains, or wide open desert, it's pretty incredible to get to ride on trails that have been around since the late 1800's.

How did you get into trail riding?

I got into trail riding because it was the easiest type of riding to do as a beginner. I could saddle up and ride from my driveway. I didn’t need a trailer; I didn’t have to wait on people; and best of all I didn’t have to pay money to ride.

Once I had more experience, I decided to do it full time. I was a trail guide and wrangler at Cave Creek Trail Rides for a full season. Meeting new people from all over the world who were pumped about riding and horses was awesome! I've also exercised horses and mules all over Arizona. My co-workers, the guests, and the horses have taught me so much. It's not always glamorous, but there's never a dull moment.

I currently work full time for Scottsdale Equine Reproduction Center in Scottsdale, AZ. We offer a full range of equine reproductive services performed by the owner and attending veterinarian, Dr. Jerry Longworth. It has been one of the best experiences of my life. I get to work with some of the greatest and most talented people I know. Their dedication to clients and their horses is inspiring.

What do you love most about trail riding?

Seeing new country with good horses is an awesome thing! I just love being on horseback. One of my favorite things to do is ride through the desert at night. You can read more about that in my Campfire Story.

Why did you become a community ambassador?

Trail riding is so overlooked! I want to help get more people involved and connect riders to the greater community. I've always been a people person, and this is a great way to connect with people while doing something I'm really into.


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