Riding with savvy, showmanship, and spirit, Chavela Trujillo has spent much of her life on horseback in the beautiful pastures of Abiquiú, New Mexico. As Equestrian Guide and Event Director for Outbound Expeditions, Chavela’s lineage of history, culture, and love for nature contribute to her passion for connecting horses with people.
Chavela’s organization, Extreme Abiquiú Horseback is one of the rare, female Native American-owned, equine education programs in New Mexico. Instruction includes horseback lessons in Western pleasure riding and rodeo event and showmanship training, as well as pair trail rides. Several of her students have won event buckles as rodeo and showmanship prizes. Chavela, herself, was a multi-year Senior Buckle All Around Grand Champion in Rio Arriba County. In addition, she served as Rio Arriba County Fair and Rodeo Queen, representing her region in full traditional attire, educating youth on positive growth in connection with public speaking and horsemanship.
As a member of the Trujillo family with generational roots in Abiquiú, Chavela knows the rich history of the area from farming to movie making. With almost 300 years of Native American settlement in the northern New Mexican region, Chavela practices her cultural traditions of ceremony, dance, farming, and horsemanship. These rich customs enhance her ability to educate visitors about the diverse people living in Abiquiú. She has contributed her time to the El Pueblo de Abiquiú Library and Cultural Center, the Española Farmers’ Market, and as a student aide for the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project, University of Berkeley, CA Field School of Archeology, and NM Acequia Association Sembrando Semillas.
In addition, Chavela serves her community at the New Mexico Acequia Association through research, geodatabase setup, data analysis, and school education programs. Her work contributes to the knowledge, focus, and training involved in water collection and consumption – a priority in the Western states. Along with responsible water usage, she is trained in GIS mapping and noxious weed invasion. Working for the East Rio Arriba Soil and Water Conservation District Youth Conservation Corp, Chavela added mapping and soil erosion knowledge to her skills.
History, culture, and nature guide Chavela’s passion as an equine instructor and event director. Her love for her community and visitor experiences enhance Outbound Expedition’s team leadership.