Behind The Scenes at ThorpeWood

Fandi in the morning a pasture

Fandi, a 21 year-old Icelandic horse, grazes in a pasture on a misty morning at ThorpeWood.

It’s morning on Catoctin Mountain. The sun peeks over the tops of white pines and rays of sunlight travel across a dew covered pasture. Dandelions sway in a light breeze as a bumble bee visits each flower. An orchestra of songbirds fill the air along with an occasional horse blow in the distance. The mountain has awakened from its long winter’s nap and nature has begun to show off. It’s finally springtime at ThorpeWood!

Nature is busy this time of year. New life is emerging all over the mountain including at ThorpeWood as couples exchange vows to begin a new season in their life. Our event calendar is also filled with corporate and nonprofit events, birthday parties, baby showers, and anniversaries.

In addition to these events, we continue to be graced with the presence of little hands, little feet, and big smiles as all Head Start children in Frederick County participate in our horse program which is especially designed for the wee ones.  Through this program, our Icelandic horses help to teach them about their big beautiful world and how to respond to it.

Children of Head Start use the horseman’s handshake to approach Snudder.

As spring turns to summer, more children arrive to learn alongside our horses during summer camps. Our annual Trail Run, scheduled for September 4th this year, will signal the end of the summer and welcome the beautiful colors of fall to the mountain. Events season will hit its fall peak and as the temperature drops we close out the year with our 17th annual Holiday Open House.

dinnertime for Icelandics

Half of our Icelandic herd waits for dinner (left to right: Geyser, a 19 year-old gelding; Snudder, a 21 year-old gelding; Stormur, a 7 year-old gelding; Thokkadis, a 12 year-old mare; and Garpur, a 7 year old gelding).

With a property of this size and the amount of activity occurring throughout the year, there is a lot of work to do to keep the property up and ready for all the activities that come to ThorpeWood. The grounds are kept beautiful by our hard working property manager. Our barn manager loves our herd (nine Icelandic horses and one Percheron-quarter horse cross). She expertly cares for both the horses and the entire equine area along with two part-time employees whose roles are essential to completing the work. Nearly all ThorpeWood’s staff have been trained as horse professionals and are qualified to work our Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) programs where we partner with horses to teach communication skills and deepen relationships. Additionally, the roles of our part-time facility manager and bookkeeper are critical to ThorpeWood’s day-to-day functions. Our program director supports and works side-by-side with all our managers and oversees ThorpeWood’s general operations.

Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood, a separate business, books and manages all the events on the property. The owners work hard to meet the desires of each client so their event will flow with ease from beginning to end.

Homestead's old dairy barn

Our Homestead’s old dairy barn is one of several locations available for events.

ThorpeWood’s mission is to provide nonprofits and other groups access to the bounty of the natural resources with which we are blessed. Our hope is that all who visit will be refreshed, inspired, and given new tools that they can take on life’s journey. We look forward to welcoming you to ThorpeWood.