Quick Home Search

Archives for January 2013

Intermountain Horse Association

IHA Poker RideThe new year is underway and if you are not a member yet, the Intermountain Horse Association (IHA) is a vital group for local equine folks that you should consider becoming a part of.

With a solid history and strong base of local horse people, the IHA traces its origin to the Rocky Mountain Riders (RMR), which was an active trail riding group of the 1980’s.  At a point in time when no one could be found to fill a vacant presidency, the RMR died out and some of the members joined the Jefferson County Horse Council (JCHC) based in Golden.  Recognizing the need to have a group in our immediate area, those members formed a branch of the JCHC, called the Intermountain Horse Council (IHC).  IHC was successful for many years with a similar format as today’s IHA.  IHA was formed officially in January of 2009 when the group had to become separate from JCHC when they began contributing to charitable causes.

Today’s IHA serves the Evergreen-Conifer corridor and has the 501 (c)(7) classification of a Social and Recreational Club.  The group meets every third Tuesday in the meeting room at Beau Jo’s Restaurant in Evergreen at 6:30pm for social and educational purposes.  The business of the IHA is conducted separately by an open membership steering committee.  In addition to the monthly meetings, the group puts together interactive horse events like the Poker Ride and various horse clinics as well as social events for their human counterparts such as the Summer Picnic and Winter Party.

Examples of meeting topics include speakers on government and legal issues, horsemanship, medical information, and fire preparedness.  The schedule for the first part of 2013 is as follows:

January 15th:  Jennifer Benda- 2013 Tax Increases: Are you one of the (un)lucky ones?

March 19th:  Holly Ulyate – Competitive Trail Riding Experiences

April 16th:  Eryn Wolfwalker – Problem Feet

May 21st:  Bruce McReynolds – Horse Packing

The IHA Poker Ride is an annual fundraiser in September benefitting local charities such as the Special Needs Therapeutic Riding Program of the Evergreen Recreation District as well as other horse organizations like HEAT (Horse Evacuation and Assistance Team) and Harmony Horse Works (local horse rescue).  One of the most important goals of the Poker Ride though is to promote riding in our community.

Of the 45-55 riders that attend the annual Poker Ride, most of them are not a part of IHA, have not been to Alderfer Three Sisters and some even travel for 2-3 hours to participate.  Participants also help to act as horse and rider ambassadors to other park users.  Hikers and bikers enjoy seeing the horses, riders, costumes and rigs that come to the ride.

Poker Ride participants find a self-paced, social and low-key environment with a diverse skill sampling of riders and horses.  Last year, my 9 year old rode his mare and I walked with our yearling filly.

Members of IHA come from a variety of backgrounds including endurance riding, Dressage, trail riding, ranch sorting, Arapahoe Hunt Club members, reining, horse training and breeding, HEAT members, horse rescue facilitator, veterinarians and ropers.  All are welcome to join.  Membership is from January 1 to December 31.  A family membership is $25 or individuals for $20.  The first portion of your entry fee for the Poker Ride this year will pay your membership fee.  As mentioned above, IHA meets at Beau Jo’s in Evergreen at 6:30pm on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.  For more information go to intermountainhorse.com.

Copyright © 2013 Heather McWilliams MtnHomes4Horses.com.

Western Dressage

Western Dressage

For centuries before most of us were a part of the American west, Europeans had been refining their horse training techniques in Dressage, a French term meaning ‘training’.  The purpose of Dressage (quoted according to the United States Dressage Federation) is to “develop the horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to work making him calm, supple and attentive to his rider.”

Then as the American west was settled, Western Horsemanship was practiced on the ranches of the American West and earlier still through the Spanish vaqueros.  This better way of training rose to the top and became known to the horse world first through trainers like Tom and Bill Dorrance.  True Western Horsemanship simply put is where people learn to communicate with the horse in their language with patience and understanding creating a willing partner in the horse.

While the methods came from two sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the core values and the value of the horse stood true – inevitably, Dressage and Western Horsemanship, East and West came together to create Western Dressage.

As a result, in 2010 the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) was created. Plus, with many local roots at the national level, the Western Dressage Association of Colorado (WDACO) was the first affiliate to be established.

The mission statement of WDAA says it well:

Our mission is to build an equine community that combines the Western traditions of horse and rider with Classical Dressage.

  • We honor the horse.
  • We value the partnership between horse and rider.
  • We celebrate the legacy of the American West.

Western Dressage brings together the skilled horsemanship, history and techniques of the American west with the art, ancient traditions and systematic training of the European institutions of riding.

Why is it the discipline you have been waiting for?  Over the years, it is evident to me that many people feel intimidated by training, skills, showing, and clinics; but most everyone I know would like to be a better rider and partner to their horse.  As a non-profit 501(c)3, volunteer run, educational organization, WDAA’s focus is the horse.  They have created affordable ways for anyone, with any kind of horse, with basic western tack to improve their riding and communication with their horse through affordable clinics, training and even showing opportunities with clear and concise skill sets for any level of rider.

The training world can seem overwhelming at times in any discipline and it can also seem like trainers have all been to some exclusive mysterious school where they hold the secrets hidden and only certain people can know or even understand them.  Western Dressage breaks principles of riding into “skill sets”, giving an organized method of breaking skills down, all while laying the foundation to result in better communication between horse and rider.

There is an entry point for all levels of riders in Western Dressage.  Beginners will find an inviting, non-intimidating environment to learn in, while more advanced riders will find a supportive place to hone their skills.  Skill sets are taught in a sequential manner and build upon one another. As the riders develop their skills, their horses learn to carry themselves in a more balanced, cadenced manner.  Horses develop and are looked at as individuals according to their type.

For the past year, Evergreen resident Chris Sletten has been serving on the board and helping with the foundation of WDACO.  In a recent interview regarding finding Western Dressage to add to her current riding program Chris stated, “ I feel like I have the best of all areas of horsemanship…  And I still get to dress like a cowgirl!!”

Kelly Hendricks of Pikes View Ranch in Conifer is another local that was invited with 30 other riding instructors from across the nation to be a part of the first “Train The Trainers” seminar this past month in order to learn the rules, tests and methods of the WDAA.

With such a strong membership and presence in the organization of WDAA, Colorado will have many opportunities for horse people in our area to participate.  My research for this article convinced me to join and I look forward to my first chance to get involved.  If you have been hesitant to get involved with an organization, training or clinics in the past, I challenge you to give this one a try.  Andrew McWilliams of MtnHomes4Horses.com wants to pay for an introductory lesson to Western Dressage with Kelly Hendricks for two area riders.  Submit a short email about your horse journey to [email protected] to be considered.

Visit WDAA at www.westerndressageassociation.org or the Colorado Affiliate at www.wdaco.org for a full explanation of Western Dressage, listings of upcoming events and demo videos.

Heather McWilliams © 2012 MtnHomes4Horses.com

 

How to add an Event

First time to add an event to MtnHomes4Horses.com:  Hover over the “Event” tab on any MtnHomes4Horses.com page and a drop down will have one link for “Add an Event”.  This will take you to the login page.  Click on the red word “Register”  just under the red “Login” button.  Register for a user id that you provide and enter your email – a password will be emailed to you.  Create something that you will remember next time you want to add an event.

Tip:  Use the drop down menus for Venues and Organizers to see if your information may already be entered.

Or, this link will take you to the login page:  http://mtnhomes4horses.com/wp-login.php?action=register

 

Adding another event:  Once you have created your login and have your password, just “Add an Event” as often as you like.

Please limit events that you post on MtnHomes4Horses.com to events that are in our area or are related to our community.  Thank you!

MtnHomes4Horses.com Business & Event Listings

MtnHomes4Horses.com would love to help you advertise your business or event for horse people in our area!

If you are interested in adding your horse business, please email us the following information:  Name, address, phone number, website, and a logo.

To add an Event:  Hover over the Event tab, click on “ADD AN EVENT”, create your login, event and it will be submitted to us to post.

 

MtnHomes4Horses.com – Mountain Homes and Resources for Horse People

Mountain Homes for Horses is your resource for all things horse in the Denver Foothill communities of Evergreen, Conifer, Morrison, Indian Hills, Pine and Bailey!  Started by Andrew McWilliams of RE/MAX Alliance, MtnHomes4Horses.com is the website for Horse Properties; local horse related business like tack & feed stores, trainers, riding lessons; boarding facilities and restaurants to try if you are new to the area.  Please let us know how we can help you buy or sell your property or let others know about your local horse business!  If you are wondering what a local trail is like, check out our trail guide with slide shows from different local parks.

MtnHomes4Horses.com has a thorough event calendar to keep you up to date on our local meetings, shows, events, trail rides and more!

Our blog contains a wide variety of information on local people, organizations, shows, the latest happenings and interests of people in our community.

MtnHomes4Horses.com is here to serve you!   Let us know how we can be of assistance!

 

 

 

Bear Creek Lake Park

YouTube Preview Image

Trail Ride:  Bear Creek Lake Park

Near:  Downtown Morrison.  Enter park at the southeast corner of Morrison Road and c-470 (Hwy 74 coming down from Evergreen through Kittredge and Ideldale) – considered to be in Lakewood.

Website:  www.lakewood.org/bclp/

Address & Map Link:  15600 W. Morrison Rd.  Lakewood, CO 80465

Notes:  A lot of flat area to ride, some hills if you choose, many options for loops and routes, some water crossings if you choose, but alternative routes to avoid.

 

Flying J Ranch

YouTube Preview Image

Trail Ride:  Flying J Ranch Jefferson County Open Space Park

Near:  Between downtown Evergreen and Conifer on the east side off of Hwy 73.

Website:  jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R13.htm

Address & Map Link:  9509 County Highway 73, Evergreen, CO 80439

Notes:  Very nice smaller loop, varied terrain, some bikes, gentle up and down hill with some water crossings.

 

 

Mount Evans State Wildlife Area

YouTube Preview Image

Trail Ride:  Mount Evans State Wildlife Area.  Sometimes this is called “Elk Management” by locals.

Near:  End of Upper Creek Road, which originates at Evergreen Lake.

Website:  wildlife.state.co.us/Landwater/statewildlifeareas/Pages/swa.aspx – select “Mount Evans SWA” in the drop down menu in the blue box.

Directions & Map Link:  From Evergreen Lake; turn right on Upper Bear Creek Rd. Go 6.5 miles to CR480 go right on CR480 for 3 miles. Interactive Map

Notes:  This is an absolutely beautiful area with a ton of wildlife. Vehicles are not allowed here unless they are DOW vehicles, but are rarely seen. Go with someone who has been the first time or study your topo map. Some roads lead to locked gates and some go on forever. You can make a loop if you study your maps. Pack in camping is allowed in certain areas. Use caution during hunting season. Animals causing problems in neighborhoods are sometimes relocated here.

 

Pine Valley Ranch

YouTube Preview Image

Trail Ride:  Pine Valley Ranch

Near:  Turn onto CR 126 at Pine Junction to get to Pine Valley Ranch near Pine Grove.

Website:  jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R17.htm

Address & Map Link:  30400 Crystal Lake Rd., Pine
From U.S. Highway 28, turn south on Pine Valley Road (County Road 126) to Crystal Lake Road. Turn right 1 mile into the park.

Notes:  This area can take you onto the Colorado Trail as well as link you into many different park areas. The possibilities for loops and length of rides is nearly endless! Hills, flat areas, rock formations.  This area also includes some of the Buffalo Creek Fire area.

 

Alderfer Three Sisters Park

YouTube Preview Image

Trail Ride:  Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space Park.

Near:  Head out Buffalo Creek Road across from the Evergreen Library.

Website:  jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R5.htm

Address & Map Link:  30299 Buffalo Park Rd., Evergreen  Turn west on Buffalo Park Road from County Highway 93, just south of downtown Evergreen, and travel approximately 1.5 miles. Pass first parking lot at one mile for horse trailer parking at the North Trailhead.

Notes:  Varied terrain, rock formations, meadows, hills, gently sloping, some bikes and hikers, old ranch homestead buildings can be found around the park.