Born in 1952 in Dixon, California Michael Muir inherited a great love of the wilderness from his great grandfather, who is heralded as the Father of the National Parks and co-founder of the Sierra Club, the American visionary John Muir.

But for Michael, who has lived with Multiple Sclerosis since the age of 15 this love of the wilderness holds greater meaning. His connection to the great outdoors inspires him everyday to share the glories of nature with mobility challenged people like himself. “We are blazing a new trail into the wilderness…opening a path to be travelled by people with disabilities.”

Michael refuses to be daunted by the relentless course of his disease and believes in challenging its limits. When he could no longer ride, he taught himself to drive the horses. “Even though I can’t ride anymore…when I put the reins in my hands, we start that great communication between man and horse. It’s the dance of life and I’m in it.”

Gerard Paagman started riding and driving at the age of eight and that passion continues on 50 years later. Born and raised in The Netherlands, Gerard ran a successful publishing business and office design company. In the midst of raising a family and running a business he also found time to volunteer.

As part of his volunteer effort Gerard worked with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and New York and was instrumental in founding, ‘The Organization of Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ winner of the 2013 Nobel Peace prize and the ‘International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’.

He also worked extensively in Ethiopia, Africa on critical community projects. Projects that brought fresh water to villages, guidance on sustainable agriculture initiatives and infrastructure projects, building schools for visually impaired and blind children.


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