Brush Prairie resident Erica Trager is the owner of Stone Temple Farms, which is a horse riding and training facility that she has owned for nearly 20 years.
The idea for the farm came to Trager when she was a teenager.
“I grew up on a horse farm and always knew that horses were what I wanted to do growing up,” she said. “So at 19 years old, I came up with Stone Temple Farms because at the time, my favorite band was Stone Temple Pilots. I thought Stone Temple Farms sounded pretty good and it stuck.”
Trager’s first horse she could recall was a chestnut Morgan named Kenyatta.
When she first started, Trager said she dabbled in “a bit of everything” in terms of horse services, including boarding.
“I figured out boarding was not for me, although I still train and give lessons,” she said. “As of late, I’ve focused mostly on my breeding program.”
Trager emphasized a black and white paint stallion named Rogue, who she has great admiration for. The horse breeds over a dozen foals a year. She also has a number of mares that she breeds as well.
“When I say (Rogue) is an amazing horse, I’m not just saying that because he’s mine,” Trager said. “Just ask anyone in Clark County and they’d tell you the same thing. There’s a negative stigma that surrounds stallions, that they’re these fire-breathing dragons you have to be careful around, but Rogue is different.”
She said kids can ride Rogue, who is 13, and enter his enclosure to groom him without any fear of getting hurt because of his kind nature.
“He has a heart of gold,” Trager said.
Trager got Rogue from a woman who wanted to house him at the farm over 10 years ago back when she was still offering boarding services at Stone Temple. She said she didn’t know a lot about the paint horse breed, but she was familiar with stallions, so she was comfortable bringing another one in for boarding.
“It didn’t take long before I fell in love with him,” Trager said. “I had a stallion before him who was kind of a jerk, but after seeing how Rogue was with the woman’s kids and with my kids and other horses, long story short I now own Rogue.”
She explained that paint breeds are a stockhorse and color breed, and they have to be of a quarterhorse or thoroughbred origin to be considered for registration with the American Paint Horse Association. Paint breeds excel more in the Western disciplines, like barrel racing, cutting and ranch pleasure. However, Trager said she grew up with Morgan and Saddlebred horse breeds, which she still owns.
“Rogue just happened to be the one that captured my heart,” she said.
Despite the horse breeds excelling in different areas, Trager describes Rogue as a “jack of all trades.” He does everything from gaming like barrel racing and pole bending, to trails and halters.
When it comes to riding, Trager prefers Saddlebred horses because of their forward and exhilarating nature, particularly Biggs, who is a gelding.
“It’s always a very exhilarating experience (with him). Biggs is going to be 16 years old,” she said.
During the pandemic, Trager slowed lessons down because COVID-19 was “unknown and scary,” but on the bright side, she said they were able to breed over 20 mares during 2020.
For more information on the farm, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/stonetemplefarms.