Mike loves riding the trails at Scenic City Equestrian Center, especially with his family. His daughter’s horse, Mowgli, is pictured with Michael Pollard on a previous page.
Dr. Mike Czarnecki also has a passion for the lifestyle that horseback riding emphasizes. He fell in love with horses, the West, and the cowboy code early in life. Mike joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the U.S. Air Force Academy. “I was at that academy for four years, and we had an equestrian center with horses we could check out and access to nearly 50,000 acres in the mountains where we could ride,” Mike says. “That’s when I really fell in love with it. It was just so relaxing and a fun way to get away from the stress of training.”
Not only was he enamored with the freedom of riding, but he also enjoyed the culture of Western riders and the philosophy of cowboys. “You know, real cowboys adhere to the Code of the West, which promotes ideals like, ‘live each day with courage, have faith in God, when you talk less you say more,’ and it’s about honor and honesty and self-reliance. The more I thought about it, the more it lined up with the military’s Honor Code,” Mike says. He can recite the Honor Code line for line, saying, “We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, (so help me God).” The two philosophies paralleled in a way that has always resonated with Mike. Even now in his work as a doctor, he adheres to a moral code of honesty and honor when caring for others. The connection from one lifestyle to the next is part of the appeal of horseback riding to Mike. “Working with and riding this enormous beast, with huge lungs that swell out full of air, just reminds you that we’re part of something much bigger. It keeps you grounded and connected. It’s very humbling.”
“Working with and riding this enormous beast just reminds you that we’re part of something much bigger. It’s very humbling.”
–Dr. Mike Czarnecki
He shares this passion with his daughter, Calabria, who is training to ride English style on her thoroughbred, Mowgli. Mike, Calabria, and their family enjoy taking Mowgli out on the beautiful trails of Scenic City Equestrian Center, where they keep him, and often lease other horses to enjoy. “To me, if I could, I would be out here every day. What they’ve done with this center, that’s living the dream!”
No matter what style they ride, or the purpose behind their mounted adventures, these gentlemen and their families all appreciate the power of building a bonded, trusting relationship with these elegant creatures. Their years of hard work and commitment pay off in a lifestyle that only a special few can enjoy. SG