Our mission is simple: Provide rescue horses with the support they need to find a new home.
Our mission is simple: Provide rescue horses with the support they need to find a new home.
Our Foster Program concentrates on finding rescue horses a home. Often these horses have been surrendered due to the owners' inability, financially or physically, to further care for their beloved companion. Thankfully there are places like Walking 'N Circles Ranch (WNCR), The Horse Shelter, and horse rescues like them that are able to take in and care for horses until they can find their forever home. Even though these shelters have many dedicated ranch hands to help with the day to day chores, there are always a growing number of horses who need to be ridden and trained. In our program the fostered horses receive months of solid riding and training which keeps them physically and mentally fit to be better candidates for adoption. When you ride with us part of your fee goes to helping these rescued animals.
We prescribe to a natural training method. We believe that spending time with the animals and gaining their trust is paramount in turning these horses around. Abuse doesn't always come in the form of violent acts but can be found in neglect. Humans can neglect the horse's mind, not giving them the structure and stimulation a domesticated horse thrives upon. Many of our horses come to the rescue not only with malnourished bodies but broken spirits. Our program concentrates on slowly rebuilding the horse physically and mentally through a relationship built on trust, respect, and understanding. Each horse at Enchantment Equitreks has come from a rescue situation. Our core ranch horses have been through our training program and have blossomed into healthy and happy horses who love their job. The Foster Program allows us to reach even more animals who need a second chance, a little time, and a lot of compassion.
Although clients ride our seasoned ranch horses, sometimes a foster horse excels in its training and is available for clients during their stay.
To follow the progress of our current foster horses or read about previous success stories visit our blog page or follow us on Facebook at Enchantment Equitreks. If you are interested in adopting a horse or any type of pet adoption, here are a series of articles from Homeoanimal that cover topics like the benefits of adopting an animal, myths that are all-too-often associated with adoption, considerations one should take before and during the adoption process and tips for taking care of a new pet. These blog are a wealth of information and can be accessed at homeoanimal.com .
Our plucky pony, Toby, has found his forever home here at Enchantment Equitreks! When this paint gelding came to us as a foster in July 2017, he was halter broke, had been started on ground work, and had never been ridden. Justyn patiently worked with him for most of 2018 and Toby has now blossomed into a confident and easy going trail horse. Although he still need quite a few rides under his belt, he is sure to be a client favorite.
Jake now calls Enchantment Equitreks his forever home. For those of you who know Jake's tumultuous past, this is a big win for the handsome man. It's been three years of work, but we finally have him out of pain and on the path for ride-ability. As of now only Mel and Justyn ride and work with Jake in order to create trust and consitency. Mel has never given up on this hard case horse and their trusting relationship has been the ultimate reward.
Nestled in the pines at the very tip of the Rocky Mountains you will find...
Nestled in the pines at the very tip of the Rocky Mountains you will find...
Our 140 acre ranch is located at the southern most point of the Rocky Mountains, 40 minutes east of Albuquerque and an hour south of Santa Fe. The two story guest house is nestled on a juniper and pine tree ridge overlooking the valley bellow. Decorated in a rustic and eclectic southwest style, the guest house offers three bedrooms, two and a quarter bath, a shared kitchen and common room filled with books and games. The guest house is environmentally conscious designed with composting toilets, grey water systems, and re-purposed furnishings. We offer free WiFi and access to laundry service.
We are landscaped for relaxation. Wooded paths lead to reading nooks, hammocks for naps, meditation alcoves and quiet spaces for yoga. Our hot tub is available year around and the pool is open during the summer. The property is teeming with vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and berry bushes just ripe for the picking. Bicycles are available for further exploration. We are conveniently located close to golf courses, hiking and mountain biking trails, ski areas, and the river.
New Mexican cuisine is wholly unique, rich with local ingredients, slow cooked meats, and spiced with roasted green and red chili. Our guest house kitchen is stocked with all the provisions needed for a European style breakfast, lunches of light salads or soups, and evenings filled with sit down, family style dinners, relaxing next to a fire and gazing out at the stars. We do like to visit a few local restaurants that showcase our amazing culture. We are able to accommodate many food restrictions and allergies for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free menus.
Hiking in the Sandia Mountains (mountain bikes also available on the ranch)
Golfing at Paa-Ko Ridge and many other golf courses in Albuquerque/Santa Fe area
Shopping in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Madrid
If you’re looking for abundant sunshine and turquoise skies New Mexico can’t be beat. April - early June are our spring months with cooler mornings leading into warm days and sometimes a stray snow shower. Late June - August heat up reaching temperatures in the 90’s and bring the monsoon rains that cool off the afternoons. In the summer months we often ride early in the mornings or later in the evenings in order to avoid the heat of the day, and sieta in the pool after lunch. Our Autumn is September-November bringing a crispness to the air and the possibility of snow by late October. Our ranch is located at 7,200 ft above sea level, and is always about 10 degrees cooler than Albuquerque. We are considered the high desert which means hot days can lead to cool nights, so plan to dress in layers no matter what time of year.
A Couple of Cowgirls
A Couple of Cowgirls
Meet Mel Graham and Justyn Vogel, the dynamic mother and daughter duo who run Enchantment Equitreks. Their passion for horses has span from ranches to show rings, race tracks to trail rides. For many years Mel and Justyn traveled all over the world for riding vacations and worked with their local horse shelter rehabilitating rescue horses. It was in 2012 that they decided to combine their love of travel, trail riding, and rescue horses. They spent a month in Africa volunteering with Mozambique Horse Safari learning what it would take to start their dream business. Mel laid out their five year plan to Pat and Mandy Retzlaff and Mandy replied “Darling, why wait? Go home and just do it.” That is exactly what these ladies did. In 2013 they sold their house in town, moved to the country, and started Enchantment Equitreks with only three rescue horses.
From then on they have become the trail guides, wranglers, horse trainers, hostesses, and all of the many positions it requires to run this family business. “We want to keep our business small because we don't want to lose the intimate and personal touch with our clients. We hope they feel like they're here riding with friends and become part of the family,” Justyn explains. Mel and Justyn are ready to take you on a New Mexico adventure.
We are continuing our cowgirl legacy by inspiring and hiring young equestrians. Meet our outfitter intern, Paige Brandon. When she isn't involved in FFA events or training for Rodeo Queen, she is at our ranch working horses. She started at Enchantment Equitreks in 2015 as a groom and quickly became a trail guide. As we build our Foster Horse Program, Paige will be included in the training process of new horses. We belive that hands on experince is essential and that there is always something new to learn in the horse industry. We look forward to working with this talented and enthusiastic young lady and we know she is excited to meet you.
When Gabrielle found Twilight in her home town of Boise, Idaho, the mare was malnourished and nursing a foal. With love, time, and some training the pair became inseparable. Now calling New Mexico home, Gabby and Twilight have been with us since the spring of 2017. While Gabrielle manages the day to day activities of the barn, she and Twilight are also our top wranglers. Her hard work, quick wit, and cheerful nature has made Gabby an invaluable asset to the Enchantment Equitreks team. She is always ready to meet our clients needs. As she says, “I’m here for your stirrup comfort.” In her free time she is an accomplished and published creative writer.
Although Tatiana is new to being a wrangler, her skills as an equestrian and EMT made her an easy choice to join our team this year. Growing up in the show ring, Tatiana has traveled the world with her family showing and eventing. When she isn’t at our barn, she competes in 3 Day Eventing with her OTTB gelding, Whistler. Her face lights up when she talks about their adventures around cross country course.
In 2015 we were included in Darley Newman's Dude Ranch Blog as one of the top ranches to visit as a solo traveler. Run by a mother and daughter duo who have traveled the world on horse back, we know what comfort can be found in female companionship. We do not charge a single's supplement, we provide airport transportation, and we tailor each ride to our client. Enchantment Equitreks takes the guess work and stress out of planning a solo vacation!
(October 2018) Jules
There are no words to describe seeing hundreds of balloons during the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta on horseback!
There are no words to describe seeing hundreds of balloons during the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta on horseback! Between the horses, the dogs, the beautiful trails and fun ladies to ride with, it was an incredible adventure! Justyn and Mel have such a wonderful ranch with so many activities to choose from. Their beautiful rescue horses are so well taken care of and loved by these women. True Cowgirls! The horses are forgiving and really want to please you even after been through so much themselves. I really fell in love with them and wish I could ride with them more! The dogs made you feel like you were one of the family and loved that I got my own hospitality hound when I went to sleep at night. The food was amazing. Something that is quite authentic to New Mexico! Try Mel’s green chilie ice cream. She may have caught me licking my bowl! I loved going during the Balloon Fiesta but now I’m just trying to plan my next trip with them again!
(September 2018) Pat
What you need to know is that if you are looking for great riding in a unplugged, relaxed setting, you have to try Enchantment Equitreks!
Where to start?!!! What an amazing perfect week with Justyn and Mel! From the time I inquired to rescheduling my week to finally experiencing a week at Enchantment Equitreks, it couldn't have been better. Mel and Justyn are so welcoming, so easy and so understanding of single women travelers. I've done other single riding trips, but this one far surpassed all of them. Their concern for their guests and their horses is second to none. From being picked up at the airport at 11:00 pm to the perfect amount of riding and down-time each day to the spectacular food in a family atmosphere, my week couldn't have been better.
I think what I might have liked most about this trip was the love shown to the horses. All of the horses have been rescued from difficult situations and retrained over a long period of time. I've not rode better trained or better cared for horses. Rain and Teddy were amazing, both in their different ways and I loved riding both of them. They were well suited to the variety of terrain which was really wonderful. I had only ever driven through New Mexico and had no idea that within an hour of Edgewood, there are high mountains, desert, meadows and river basins. The Guest House was renovated by Mel and Justyn and is perfect in every way. Their attention to detail and interesting repurposing of common items was so very cool. Not to mention the view from the deck of the guest house which is second to none. And the opportunity on our day off to go to Santa Fe and Lamy fulfilled my shopping and exploring needs!
The food is all prepared by Justyn and Mel and was authentically South West. Who knew that you could put green chiles in just about everything and have it be so delicious. Having never been exposed to green chilies, it was an eye opening experience! You'll just have to believe me when I tell you that Mel's Green Chile Ice Cream with Caramel is to die for. Truly!!! I am longing for the Red and Green enchiladas with a fried egg that we had on the last night. SOOOOOO GOOOOD!!!!
Let me finish by mentioning Gabby and Tatiana who are two young women who help Mel and Justyn! They were so lovely and so fun and caring about the horses and their job. It was a pleasure to spend time with them and I missed them when they weren't there!!! Such a wonderful group of women who love horses and want to share their amazing lives with their guests.
I could go on and on. What you need to know is that if you are looking for great riding in a unplugged, relaxed setting, you have to try Enchantment Equitreks! Although I worry that they're going to be so popular, it will be hard to find openings! The best thing I can say about my time with Mel and Justyn is that I feel like I've made new friends who I will visit with again and again.
(September 2018) Liz
Découvertes de paysages somptueux, avec des guides passionnées et des chevaux de montagne qui vous impressionneront par leur dextérité. Émotions et aventure garanties.
Discoveries of sumptuous landscapes, with passionate guides and mountain horses that will impress you by their dexterity. Emotions and adventure guaranteed.
(June 2018) Sam
Maintaining a connection with your horse as well as an awareness with your body was such an amazing and humbling experience.
As a young woman traveler embarking on my first solo trip, I was nervous for what was to come on a yoga/horseback riding escapade. The women of Enchantment Equitreks put all of that to rest and gave me one of the most incredible experiences. Doing yoga underneath the New Mexican stars or at the break of dawn joined by the sunrise and led by Justyn with such ease, my mind was allowed to get lost in the moment and fully immerse myself in the poses, the environment, and my breath, as any aspiring yogi tries to do. Riding horses each day through some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen left me in awe. Then combining the two with equiyoga, which was surprisingly challenging, was unlike anything I’ve done before. Maintaining a connection with your horse as well as an awareness with your body was such an amazing and humbling experience. And let me tell you about the food-WOW! Fresh from the garden and absolute deliciousness with each and every meal. Mel and Justyn have set up such a beautiful treasure with Enchantment Equitreks that anyone would be lucky to experience. Thank you for sharing your little piece of heaven with me!
(July 2018) Rachel
I recently stayed at Enchantment Equitreks for 8 days. I was able to spend an extra night before my ride began as an airbnb guest so that I wouldn't have to stay somewhere else the night before the ride began. This was very helpful for me. The guest house was airy, comfortable and well appointed. I had a balcony outside my bedroom with happy hummingbirds flying around and a mountain view. Very relaxing to sit out there after a long ride.
The rescue horses were well-trained and excellent mountain climbers. The rides were fun, sometimes challenging, and scenic.
Food was fresh and home prepared. Atmosphere friendly and accommodating. Generous hosts, Justyn and Mel, and their young assistants were all helpful and cheerful. We had to replan our rides several times due to weather conditions (either too much rain or not enough). They always came up with good alternatives and were determined that I get all my days of riding in.
On one ride there were people of different levels. Justyn and Mel made sure I was able to split off with riders of my level to have a lope along the Bosque. I really appreciated this. I also appreciated that they carefully evaluated my riding and horse handling skills each day so that I was able to participate in the way I wanted to.
We took a visit to one of the rescues they are associated with and watched trainers work with the horses. This was fabulous.
We camped in Lincoln National Forest at Three Rivers camp site, saw wild horses, and had some great adventures along the rocky, steep trails.
I recommend this ride. It is especially inspiring to see how devoted Mel and Justyn are to giving horses a new life and how the horses become happy, healthy, responsible equine citizens because of their work.
(May 2018) Andrea
I love everything about Enchantment Equitreks! Mel and Justyn are wonderful horse people who take incredible care of you, the horses are fantastic, the accommodations are very comfortable, and the dogs are fun! I had suffered a bad fall while riding a couple of weeks before my trip to EE in May, and Mel and Justyn got me back in the saddle and really boosted my bruised confidence. Because of them and the wonderful EE experience, I was able to go on a riding holiday in Tuscany a few weeks later and now am riding in South Africa. Thank you Mel & Justyn for a 5* experience! I hope to visit again in 2019!
(October 2017) Nikki
My stay in New Mexico with the wonderful family at Enchantment Equitreks was by far one of the best times of my life. If you don't read this entire review, I just wanted you to know that. I hope you'll plan to stay with them, it will be a life changing experience.
If you don't read this entire review, I just wanted you to know that. I hope you'll plan to stay with them, it will be a life changing experience.
Everyone at Enchantment took me in like family, from the moment Mel picked me up at the airport, to the family dinners, stories on the trail, and the moment we tearfully said goodbye. Right away I felt at home talking with Mel on the ride from Albuquerque out to the ranch, and got right into the saddle for a ride out in the pasture with Justyn after settling into the adorable guest house (which had an awesome salt water hot tub out back where I spent every evening!). Everyone was so encouraging and warm, I got my seat back in no time and we were galloping along the Rio Grande and through the desert in the Galisteo Basin that week. The horses were wonderful and intuitive, I miss them as much as all my new sisters. Their pack of adorable dogs at the ranch will cuddle and play with you if you like (I fell in love and had a couple sleeping in my room!), and join you on the trail. Meals were incredible, all homemade with fresh ingredients and traditional New Mexican elements. We rode through desert, mountains, brilliant cottonwood forest, pine forest, fields, and even took the horses for a swim in the Rio. No other way to describe it, it was magical.
Each day we trailer out to a stunning location, ate amazing meals trail side, and the ladies were planning to go scout more new spots as soon as the season ended, so each trip can be new and exciting for you, them, and the horses. This is not your everyday trail riding. Mel and Justyn are the best of people and they attract the same in the people and horses they work with. Their 3rd outfitter, Gabby, and their intern Paige were an absolute dream to hang out with and ride alongside. When we finished our rides, we would often go into town to check out a cool shop, or head over to the large rescue ranch they partner with, Walking 'N Circles Ranch, for a visit. We ate family dinner together each night, and I had the opportunity to meet a couple different lovely travelers during my stay, with more great stories to share. They only take up to 3 or 4 intermediate to experienced riders at any time, so you get an intimate experience to bond with everyone, and really ride. To top off an already amazing trip, it is wonderful to know that the payment for your stay and rides helps magnificent rescue horses be rehabilitated and find their forever homes. I grew very attached to their spirited appaloosa, Xena, who I rode everyday. I am so thankful for everyone I met.
(October 2017) Cheryl
The Albuquerque Hot Air balloon festival was the coolest thing. Riding under the balloons a few mornings and then actually going to the festival was a dream come true
Took a solo trip out to Enchantment Equitreks in October 2017. Was my first trip anywhere alone. Mel and Justyn met me at the airport. I was greeted like I was an old friend. They made me very comfortable for my one week stay at their guest house. They are both great cooks. I enjoyed southwest cuisine and was feed very healthy food. The riding was great too although, for me, there was a little too much down time. The Albuquerque Hot Air balloon festival was the coolest thing. Riding under the balloons a few mornings and then actually going to the festival was a dream come true. The guest house was clean and comfortable, however, the composting toilet was too rustic for my tastes. Enjoyed my time there and would go back again for a day ride when traveling nearby.
(October 2017) Falke from Amsterdam
I had an amazing time with Justyn & Mel. They make you feel at home right away. The horses are really reliable and the trails were so beautiful in the fall. I fell in love with New Mexico. And the home made food was delicious! It’s a horseback riding retreat. I highly recommend to visit Enchantment Equitreks.
(September 2017) Claire from London
This was my first time on a riding holiday and it couldn't have made a better introduction. From the first minute I arrived Mel and Justyn made me feel so at home and so comfortable on and around the horses, despite the fact that it was my first time on a horse in nearly 20 years. The location of the ranch is amazing, there are so many beautiful rides to do and the scenery is spectacular! The guest house is so cosy and comfortable, and - best of all - the homemade food is incredible. I cannot remember a vacation when I have eaten better. I cannot wait to get back to ride with Mel and Justyn again next year!
(June, 2017) Stephanie Smith
Enchantment Equitreks was a fabulous experience. I loved the riding in different settings and the wonderful caring treatment of their horses. Accommodations were excellent. I slept very well and was ready to go the next day for a ride and picnic. Sharing knowledge of the area history, plants, and animals enriched the ride. The skill of all staff was amazing in handling these large sensitive animals. Delicious homemade local cuisine and good conversation in a family setting was welcoming. Pool and hot tub were available to soothe after a day of activity. Recommend to intermediate and advanced riders.
What a wonderful experience ! It was my dream to live an experience like this among cowgirls.
(May, 2017) Cassandre Porteaud from France
What a wonderful experience ! It was my dream to live an experience like this among cowgirls. Thanks to Mel, Justyn and Paige I have lived an amazing time. I have discovered lots of beautiful landscapes while I was riding for several hours but I especially have shared all my days with 3 amazing and lovely women : Mel, Justyn and Paige are 3 true horse lovers but also very welcoming and cowgirls (never without theirs boots, hats and belts)! I had the feeling I was at home even if I was miles away from my own house. One single certainty : I will come back !
French : Vivre une expérience dans l'univers des cow girls c'était mon rêve et grâce à Mel, Justyn et Paige j'ai vécu une expérience extraordinaire. Non seulement j'ai découvert des paysages grandioses en montant à cheval pendant des heures mais j'ai surtout partagé toutes mes journées avec 3 femmes incroyables : Mel, Justyn et Paige sont 3 passionnées de chevaux mais aussi accueillantes et de vrais cow girls (jamais sans leurs boots, chapeaux et ceintures) ! Je me suis sentie comme à la maison mais à des milliers de kilomètres de chez moi ! Une seule certitude : je reviendrais !
(October, 2016) Linda McCormick
My daughter and I had an amazing vacation that went above and beyond our expectations. I highly recommend Enchantment Equitreks to anyone looking for a fun and adventurous way to explore New Mexico. Justyn and Mel were exceptional hosts and guides. The horses were sweet and well trained and the rides were all beautiful with different terrain and breathtaking views. Riding with them was very comfortable, like we were exploring new trails with friends. And to top it off, no adventure is complete until you try authentic southwestern cuisine which Mel and Justyn cooked up. All the meals were fresh and delicious. The cottage was very cozy and comfortable and even had fresh flowers on the bedside table. It is obvious that Justyn and Mel have a passion for what they do and go the extra mile to make your vacation truly enchanted.
(June, 2015) Geneviève Lemay
I am from Quebec, Canada. I just came back from Mel and Justyn 's all inclusive horseback riding vacation...
Just wonderful They are extremely well organized! Going in trails with them and my new French friend Marion was never boring! It's surprising how they can describe history and nature from New Mexico! Lovely and safe horses.
Accomplished and talented Cooks. A "Feel like home" emotion during all the trip.
Mel and Justyn are skilled horsewomen who have transformed rescue horses that once suffered neglect and abuse into trusted, willing trail companions.
(May, 2015) Siri Nyrop
Enchantment Equitreks delivers! I had no idea of the breathtaking landscape diversity just around ABQ, but Mel and Justyn led rides that went from mountains to arroyo and bosque. We crossed a mesa that held the bones of dinosaurs and ruins of first settlers, bird-watched along the Rio Grande and followed an arroyo that challenged horse and rider. Mel and Justyn are skilled horsewomen who have transformed rescue horses that once suffered neglect and abuse into trusted, willing trail companions. What a great achievement, if you care about horses. Oh, and the food was excellent, as were the charming accommodations. Mel and Justyn are wonderful hosts. Oh yeah, I’ll be back!
(July, 2014) Bev Lumia
Let me begin by quoting my 11 year old granddaughter, Chloe, "I can't wait to come back next year to ride with Justyn and Mel". Let me second that. These are two fun women running a very professional business. Their horses are very well trained and not at all boring to ride. We went on two trail rides, each at a different place and both were interesting and beautiful. Because Chloe is a much better rider than I am, Justyn would sometimes take her off to do some more advanced riding and then join back up with Mel and me. On the second day we had a picnic lunch which was both delicious and healthy. We both enjoyed Mel and Justyn; they made us feel comfortable immediately and conversation was easy going and interesting. I look forward to going to new places to ride with them next year
(June, 2014) Chris & Jen Coleman
What a wonderful day!!! it was my daughters birthday and we took the one day trip. These wonderful ladies treated us like queens. We had the most perfect ride. The scenery was spectacular. great lunch, and best of all we were treated as family and not just a client, a huge difference from the trail rides we've taken in the past! We will be coming back here every year from here on because each year will be a different experience. There are so many wonderful places in New Mexico to see that we will never be bored !!!!!
The discovery of the new day, the new ride, the horses, the food was a big part of the adventure. So I'm not going to spoil it with details. This ride holds a special place in my heart.
(July, 2013) Judi Turner
This was about my 28th horseback riding vacation. The hospitality was incomparable. I loved the two hostesses even before I left home because of the welcome feelings I experienced through the emails. Their 150% commitment to providing us with a memorable experience was evident during all of our waking hours. They trailered us far and near to make sure we had the opportunity to ride in the many different landscapes that Albuquerque provides. We were stunned by the beauty every day. All of their equipment, and I mean ALL, is of high quality. It's the kind of equipment and tack that would be acquired by people who have ridden horseback all of their lives and know what's good and what's comfortable. They also drove us through the towns and took us to a museum and a horse rescue and lunch out so that we could have a feeling about the local flavor of the towns they had lived in all of their lives. They cooked healthy food every single day. And I mean gourmet. They spent time with us and allowed us to get to know them. I could write 15 pages and just begin to relate what a deeply satisfying experience this was, but that would be like telling the plot of a movie just before you are going to go see it. The discovery of the new day, the new ride, the horses, the food was a big part of the adventure. So I'm not going to spoil it with details. This ride holds a special place in my heart.