Misty River had its beginning over 25 years ago directly southwest of its present location. Cindy M. Boehm, then a single mom with two young sons, leased a pre-civil war house, barns and about 150 acres of pasture land along the Little Blue River.
The young family began building fence and working hard to slowly convert the old hog and cattle barns into stables. Cindy worked at a 40 hour job and carried a full load at a local community college, so sleeping time became a rare commodity during those early years. Soon, they had a family side business of boarding horses and teaching a few riding lessons. Cindy's sons helped care for the horses, chickens, and one cow.
The years passed and Cindy met and married Ronald Strahm. The little family side business had grown into a substantial service of providing care for 100 horses! So, 40 acres were purchased across the road, and a 28 stall barn with a small indoor arena and a large outdoor arena was built. This building also boasted a roomy horse washing bay, and a spacious tack room, office, and bathroom. Misty River became a very large equestrian operation. The ideal location and excellent horse care kept the barns and pasture full of sleek and happy horses, and it wasn't long before there was a real need for yet another large barn. The new "lower" barn was built and contained a large indoor arena, a classroom, a shop and space for storage. Cindy had quit working her job at a pharmaceutical company, and together she and Ron worked to manage and build an operation they could take pride in.
Two years later, a wing was added to the lower barn with 14 more box stalls and a large tack and feed room. Six self care stalls were added where the hay had been stored, and a bit later an additional hay and implement storage building was constructed. The leased land and barns across the road were relinquished, and the Strahms purchased a home on a high ridge overlooking the equestrian center on additional acreage that almost connected with the facility. The sons were now grown men with families and homes of their own. Misty River had grown to support needed full time and part time staff.
Misty River has always been an evolution in progress, however, this is only the physical growth story of Misty River Equestrian Center.
An ongoing development of safety practices and policies, lesson and camp program expansions, and blossoming new ideas had always been a very real part of its make up. Misty River's new mission statement is "Caring for and connecting people and horses in a safe environment, with excellent standards," became the driving goal the Strahms wished always to live up to.
Cindy had learned volumes along the way, but one of the most important lessons learned was to stand firm in shaping the kind of business desired which would attract the clientele the Strahm family wished for. They desired a family oriented facility where safe, honest, solid horsemanship skills were provided. In the very beginning, Cindy had to deal with client's drunkenness, drug use, and some shady characters. Today she and her husband laugh and can tell stories about those old days.
The most interesting aspect of Misty River is the hundreds of people and horses that have come and gone over the course of 25 years. Some have worked at the facility as care-takers of the horses, office help, assistant managers, instructors… and school horses. Many have come to learn how to ride, or to be trained to carry riders, or just to play! All have helped to make up the facilities bright and colorful history. The story still unfolds as each day horses and people mingle and produce the excitement and energy that creates the ongoing saga of the Misty River Equestrian Center!
Misty River Equestrian Center