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Cowboy Pursuit – Cole Piotrowski

“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.” – Ralph Waldo EmersonFullSizeRender (21)

At 7 years old, local resident Cole Piotrowski asked his parents if he could learn to ride a horse.  After searching the internet, they found Fiona Laing at Skye Stables in Evergreen.  An accomplished horsewoman and a student of well-known trainer Chris Cox and his methods.  Cole began learning the fundamentals through weekly lessons on Fiona’s black and white paint, Ace.  Knowing that horses are much more than just riding, Fiona taught and exposed Cole to all aspects of horse ownership.  The spark of interest Cole had in horses soon turned into a full-blown fire and he was asking to do any chores that needed to be done at Skye Stables including feeding, cleaning stalls and unloading semi loads of hay in order to be immersed in this new life he found.

Cole continued to become a better rider and horseman.  Fiona has a gift of looking past her students fears and worries and challenges them to become better partners with their horses.  Cole’s confidence continued to grow and his family decided it was time for Cole to have a horse of his own.  Fiona helped Cole’s parents find a 5 year old gray gelding named Blu and they gave him to Cole for his 10th birthday.

From the beginning, Cole was drawn to all things “cowboy”.  He didn’t miss the Evergreen Rodeo or National Western Stock Show.  He couldn’t watch the ropers and riders enough as he carefully studied their every more.  When Cole was 12, he had the opportunity to attend a roping clinic with Krece Harris.  Krece took him way out of his comfort zone by having him ride new horses and team rope steers. Krece told him that roping is “80% horsemanship and 20% roping skill” and because Cole had put so much work into his horsemanship and so much ground work into practicing roping, he would be an excellent team roper! The clinic with Krece was a defining moment for Cole and his dedication and focus intensified.

Around the same time, Cole started Ranch Sorting with ERSA (Evergreen Ranch Sorting Association) in Pine.  Cole quickly picked up the skills necessary to move the cattle between pens in this competitive and timed sport.  However, Blu was not quite as interested in Ranch Sorting.  Blu was a steady, strong, and reliable partner when Cole visited the working ranches of friends. He would drag calves to the fire for branding, go on long drives, and work his heart out all day for his boy. But Blu did not possess the athleticism needed in the sorting ring.

Cole had a strong interest in ranch sorting, but needed to find the right horse for the sport.  His family decided to contact Chris Cox, to see if they could find the right horse through someone they trusted.  While Chris does not usually sell horses as part of his training business, he invited Cole to Texas to try out several horses that might be a good fit for him.  Cole immediately took to a 4-year-old bay gelding named Scooter and they have been an amazing team in the sorting pen ever since.

IMG_5054Cole and Scooter have competed in the Colorado state finals 3 times; finishing his first year as the Youth champion, second year 3rd in the Rookie Division and in December 2016 they finished 3rd in Colorado in the Novice Division and 2nd in Wyoming. He has competed in Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. Additionally, he and Scooter qualified first in Cole’s division the past two years for the World Finals held in Texas.

While Cole loves competing, he is most passionate about his horsemanship. Now 15, he rides and practices every day to increase his skill set. He has been attending Chris Cox Horsemanship Clinics for the past two years and will complete his Level 5 horsemanship this year. As Cole has heard Chris Cox tell his students, no matter who you are or how long you have been working with horses, they have something new to teach us everyday – Cole looks for and seeks those opportunities to learn. Chris went on to tell one class, “This will not be the last you hear the name Cole Piotrowski. I am sure he will make a career with horses and will go on to do many great things.”FullSizeRender (22)

Cole is already training horses and helping others to improve their horsemanship. He purchased three ponies to train in 2015, and has sold one finished pony to a delighted 5 year old girl who loves her calm and trusted new best friend. He also purchased a 2-year-old Palomino this past summer who is already showing promise under saddle to be great athlete in the sorting ring one day.

While horses have brought Cole and his family on an amazing journey in the past 8 years, one of the best parts of the adventure has been the opportunity to be involved in the “cowboy lifestyle”.  Through traveling and competing, they have forged friendships that will last a lifetime.  People who share simple family values, generous and loving spirits, and a passion for horsemanship and competition. All because of a 7-year-old cowboy who wanted to learn to ride a horse.  Heather McWilliams © 2017.DAE94CFB-B55C-4C2B-A056-DE104A8AB6E7

You are never too many years!  2016 Local Century Club Members

We often define and put far too many limits on ourselves and those around us because of age.  Two of our local riders and an incredible horse named Sage have raised the bar and proved that attitude overrides age.

Sage is a 30 year old Saddlebred who was adopted by Centaur Rising at Anchorage Farm in Pine in 2013.  A home with Kris and Jim Cooper was a great fit.  Jim is constantly monitoring Sage’s condition and needs.  Sage needed an experienced horse home because of his special feed and care requirements in his maturity and wouldn’t we all!  Under their care and active riding program Sage has flourished.  When he arrived, the life was gone from his eye.  His initial gaits did really did not include a true trot or canter.   He had never learned to do circles and was very one sided to the right.  Then Leanne Tousey entered his life and helped him reach his riding potential.

Leanne, Kris and Sage

Leanne, Kris and Sage

Leanne, a mountain area resident, is a lifetime dog and horse lover.  Leanne grew up riding at summer camps, but despite her pestering, her parents would not buy her a horse.  She was married to her husband Mike in 1965 and they eventually moved their family from northern Iowa to southern California.  Riding horses was one of the sports that kept their kids busy.  Leanne’s daughter spent a significant amount of time training, showing and enjoying time at Cal Poly Pomona Arabian Farm.  Leanne’s dream was rekindled there to someday return to riding and more specifically to focus on dressage.

After thirty years of breeding and showing Miniature Schnauzers, culminating in handling a dog she bred to a Best in Show, Leanne decided it was time to follow her dream to return to riding.  In September of 2015 at the age of 72, Leanne found Kris Cooper, trainer and owner of Anchorage Farms.  Kris was happy to take on the challenges of an adult beginner and the rest is history.  Kris, a couple years younger than Leanne, understood the challenges and limits Leanne may have.  Kris describes Leanne as more agile than someone half her age and rides because she really enjoys it.

Kris credits Leanne with working with Sage to learn to leg yield, turn on the forehand, something he had never learned before and was quite resistant to in the beginning, and how to stop without being pulled on.  He even does shoulder-in!

This year, Kris and Sage worked together to earn their Century Club Membership through the Dressage Foundation (dressagefoundation.org).  The Century Club recognizes Dressage riders and horses whose combined age totals 100 years or more. Horse and rider perform a Dressage test at any level, at a Dressage show or event, and are scored by a Dressage judge or professional.  Then on August 14, 2016 Leanne and Sage earned their membership into the Century Club.  Congratulations to Kris, Leanne and Sage!

Kris has been one of the only and longest running lesson and camp programs in our mountain area.  They have 12 gentle horses that were used this year in their Little Kids Camps (5-7 year olds) and she can certainly teach the older generations.  She would like to start a program for older people who may not want to ride, but would enjoy grooming, cleaning tack and being around the horses.  For more information go to centaurrising.org.  Heather McWilliams © 2016

Conifer Stables Welcomes New Owners! 

Conifer Stables is open for boarding!  Dale and Kim Johnson have taken over the reins at Conifer Stables, 9229 County Road 73 in Conifer.

In 2013, Dale and Kim moved their family from the Western Slope to start a transport business in the Denver area.  Wanting to find that small town feel on this side of the divide with great schools, they found exactly what they were looking for in Conifer.

Initially, they started renting a home on Shadow Mountain.  When it was time to start looking for a place to buy they came across Conifer Stables.  When they first walked the property, they were struck by the potential and the chance to raise their kids in an agricultural environment.  The combination of the business and the horses were an ideal situation for them.

Dale grew up in Rifle and worked on some of the smaller ranches around Rifle and Silt.  Part of that work gave Dale the opportunity to spend time with horses, which grew into a passion for him.  In fact, in 2002 Dale and Kim were married on horseback.  Dale trained two horses from a ranch he worked on that were not started yet for them to use in the wedding.  They were married in a round pen with the guests on hay bales and the wedding party on horseback.

Kim, born and raised in Glenwood Springs, also has had a passion for horses and animals since she was young.  Her love for animals brought her to a veterinary clinic in high school where she volunteered and then ended up working at for four years after high school.

With a combination of good business sense and an innate sense of personal customer service, they are striving to have the best horse boarding business in the area, well known for its excellent care of the horses.  While the business side is the foundation, the care of the horses and their well-being is paramount to them.  They are there to care for the horse and their owner.

Dale and Kim are looking forward to meeting new people and becoming more ingrained in the local community.  They hope to connect and support the mountain community by offering their own time and talents.  They are exploring new ways to open up Conifer Stables by hosting clinics, 4-H groups and summer camps.

While offering an excellent place for people to board their horses, they also want their kids to grow up here, learning strong values and responsibility.  Their desire is for Conifer Stables to be a family run operation and to keep the family orientation in the business.   They have three children Jordan 21, Dakota 13 and Sierra 10.

Stop by to welcome Dale and Kim or contact them at 970-319-9813 Dale, 970-618-2739 Kim or [email protected]

Intermountain Horse Association 2016-2017

As we enter the fall, riding weather becomes cooler and the foliage more colorful.  While the cool weather certainly brings lovely riding weather, we all know that winter is not far in the distance.  Winter is beautiful in its own right and brings a season of new outdoor activities, although for some of us it is a forced break from any kind of significant horse activities.  Trails can be slippery, outdoor riding arenas are snowy and hard.  Not to mention, riding your horse to a certain level of activity while they have their “winter jacket” on is just not ideal.

Are you missing that connection to the outer horse world in the “off season”?  Want to use your sojourn for a productive use?  Intermountain Horse Association – IHA might be the answer.

Intermountain Horse Association has been going on for over a decade after the Denver Foothills portion of a “down the hill” group decided to bring a horse group closer to home.  Members from Bailey to Golden meet once a month, September through May to hear speakers on a variety of horse related topics.  All of the topics are directly applicable to horse owners and horse property owners in the mountain areas.  That said, we have a contingent of horse enthusiasts that do not own horses, but are looking for horse knowledge and fellowship with other horse people.

Meetings are held on the third Tuesdays of the month in the Downtown Evergreen Beau Jos from 7-8 pm.  Members often arrive around 6:30pm to socialize with other members in the horse community.  Beau Jos graciously offers the room free of charge and has wait staff ready for anyone who would like to enjoy dinner or beverages during the meeting.

Please join us on October 18th for our next meeting.  The special guest is Colorado Water Commissioner, Tim Buckley.  After his informative talk last year regarding legal use of water in Colorado, he was the number one requested speaker to return this year.  Whether you keep horses at your property or not, you do not want to miss Tim.  At the meeting we will also vote on the new board nominees for 2016-2017.

Some of the other meetings topics that will be returning this year are mountain pasture management, weed management and specific veterinary topics.  Members have asked that some of the new content be related to topics such as forest management related to horses and our area, trail safety, trail riding and horse camping.

The Intermountain Horse Association also hosts the IHA Poker Ride at Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space park the Saturday following Labor Day Weekend.  The Poker Ride is not only a way to get horse people together, but it helps to bring ambassadors for our trails to the local open space parks.  Riders have the opportunity to win cash for high and low poker hands while all proceeds go to local horse related non-profit groups such as Colorado Horsecare Foodbank (horsefoodbank.com) and HEAT – Horse Evacuation Assistance Team (jeffcoheat.org – supporting all large animals in case of natural disasters or other emergencies).

Meeting dates for the 2016-2017 season year will be as follows:  October 18, November 15, December 20 (Christmas Party!), January 17, February 21, March 21, April 18, May 16.  Please consider being a part of this important local horse group!

Email [email protected] to be added to the IHA email list.  IHA now is set up for membership at intermountainhorse.org, or just join us at an upcoming meeting.

Failure and Success in Competition

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;  who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. Theodore Roosevelt

I did not grow up showing much, just a little during a couple summers on a friend’s horses that she wasn’t riding.  You could never paint us with any discipline brush because we entered as many classes as we could English or Western, including any sort of Gymkhana classes.  Then a little showing again in college on the equestrian team.  I don’t remember any great successes, but I really enjoy showing, similar to the way I enjoy horses.

I love every part of horses.  Hauling hay, cleaning stalls, their smell, the way they move and talk to each other, grooming, caring and riding them, just being a part of their world.  With showing, I love the show preparation of packing, laundering pads and show clothes, cleaning tack, bathing the horses, getting up super early and spending the entire day/s immersed in horse.

Looking back on the last six recent years that I have been showing (the mid part of my forties), I have learned many lessons about myself and my horses.  My horses seem to enjoy getting out and they are different at a show.  More engaged.  Sometimes the engagement comes out in underlying tension and nerves.  You learn your horses.  They many need less time to warm up or more time.  They may need time to just walk around and let it all soak in.  Shows are a great way to bond with your horse and rely on each other.   They learn to be around lots of other horses, cars, people, signs, loudspeakers.  They see new arenas, new scenery, new obstacles.

I learn the most about me.  Being the “doer of deeds” and at most shows my face is definitely “marred by dust, sweat and blood”.  There were times I did it for the color of the ribbon.    But just wait, partnering with a large animal with their own brain will fix your ego.  Then there is the liability of my brain.  Doing the wrong pattern, forgetting the rules, going off course, “because there is not effort without error and shortcoming.” I don’t take much for granted anymore.  The most important lesson I have learned is that it is never the horses fault.

Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat; it’s understanding the necessity of both; its engaging. It’s being all in.  Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

I want to be “all in” for my horses.  It is really all about them and they are without question a “worthy cause”.  We, horses and people, were created to partner.  We work with them to do what they were made to do in a certain sequence.  We add value to who they are in their life with people by exposing them to new environments and by partnering with them to reach their potential as well as ours.

Now I show partly because it gives me goals and a reason to, “actually strive to do the deeds.”  Life is busy and I have to have something I have invested in coming on the calendar to make me get out, ride and improve myself.  I owe it to the horses to continue to better myself through time riding, lessons and by showing to get evaluated on my progress and goals.  I want to ride at the best of my ability in order to show my horse to the best of their ability.  You will rarely be ready or prepared, but go anyway.  Show day is not a day to fix anything, don’t worry about the judge/s, do your best in that moment.  It’s is just a horse show, whatever happens, happens, I guarantee you will both learn, grow and many times surprise yourself.  Most importantly, HAVE FUN and make it a great experience for your horse.

“Competition does not have to be a horse show or a race against another horse.  Competition can be a set of standards by which we measure ourselves.  Your standards have great influence on your perceived results.  Choose them carefully.  It is not about the blue ribbon.  It is about evaluating the direction of our work and establishing deadlines for reaching goals… I will always compete, as I need to be challenged and held to an honest evaluation of my progress.  I don’t have to win the blue ribbon, but I need to know if I’m as good as I think I am.”  Trainers Aaron Ralston in “Ride Up:  Live your adventure.”  Co-written with Edgall Franklin Pyles.

Set goals, challenge, push and stretch yourself.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Don’t just do what’s necessary, do what’s possible.  Be relentless, because it is not how you start something, but how you continue.  Expect to fail.  Success does not come without failure.  Then accept your failures.  After all, we connect with each other through our flaws.     

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.  Martin Luther King Jr.

As we reach the end of the summer show season, I encourage riders to set some goals for next year, to find a couple shows or trail rides or team events to participate in.  If it seems too intimidating at first, start by volunteering.  There is a kind of horse sport, competition or group for everyone with any shape or size of horse that you will enjoy and meet new horse people along the way.  Encourage each other and the strangers you will meet along the way who will become your friends.  You will see new places and know victories “and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly”.

Feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance in helping you find a challenge or to share your horse story.  [email protected]  Heather McWilliams © 2016.

Trail Riding Competition with local David Richards

David and his wife Elizabeth live in the Hangen Ranch area and David is more familiar than most with the country around Alderfer Three Sisters, Elephant Butte and more as he keeps his horses fit for competition.  David moved to the US from the United Kingdom in the early 1980’s.   His love for the horse is apparent as you learn more about him and how he has been a continual student of the horse to give his own the best care possible.  In trail riding competition there is something for every level of rider and type of horse.  As with any sport, the higher level of competition, the more intricate the training, nutrition and fitness.  David started competitive trail riding as a novice just getting into horses and found his niche in this great sport.  In addition to the benefits of just being outside with your horse, is the gorgeous scenery to be found at the competitions.  Check out the websites for more information.  David is currently competing on “Chanz”, a 12-year-old Arabian from the Rush Creek Ranch in Nebraska, who bred and used Arabians for their ranch work.  Rush Creek Arabians are sought after endurance horses and have won many top competitions.  His former competition horse, Excepzional is an 18-year-old gray Polish Arabian. 

David and Excepzional in Moab

David and Excepzional in Moab

 

My wife, Elizabeth, and I moved to Colorado in 1996 for a better quality of outdoor living than was possible in NE Oklahoma. Also, having determined we needed a hub airport, four-year public university availability, and a high quality of life to be able to attract engineering talent to my company, we begun a location search. After considering the Chicago, Dallas, Salt Lake and Atlanta areas, we settled on Denver as our hub. Following an extensive tour of Front Range communities in Colorado, we finally arrived in Evergreen where it was evident that this was THE place to experience mountain living while enjoying easy access to the amenities of a major metropolitan area.

Around 2000, we decided that an ideal motivation to get out and explore Colorado, would be by owning horses of which neither of us had done before. For my wife this meant purchasing an ex national champion Paso Fino who turned out to be one of the most difficult of horses away from the arena.

I was undecided since my limited experience in organized trail riding had not excited me. However, once I learned about endurance competition and the fact that you did not have to grow up on a horse to participate, I realized I had found my sport. This led to the purchase of a breeding Arabian stallion, Excepzional. This 3 ½ year old, magnificent animal was almost totally “green” and with little experience being a horse. Consequently, I suffered many unscheduled dismounts and usually arrived back at the barn considerably later than my horse.

David and Excepzional in South Dakota

David and Excepzional in South Dakota

Three months of six evenings a week training loosely based upon Pat Parelli’s methods, yielded a completely different horse: one that I was able to put into conditioning training and limited distance competition as a four-year old.

There are two primary types of long distance trail competition. One, organized by NATRC (North American Trail Ride Conference NATRC.org) is like time trials where a set distance has to be completed in a certain time with penalties for too early and too late. Rolled into this is horsemanship judging where handling of the horse on the trail and in camp is judged along with evaluation of horse and rider to negotiate obstacles in a controlled manner. Typically, NATRC has 25 to 35 mile one day rides and 40 mile two-day competitions in novice and experienced categories.

The second competition is AERC’s (American Endurance Ride Conference AERC.org) endurance competitions. These events are offered as single day competitions, or multi-day longer distance rides including 5-day 50 miles per day. Endurance competitions are 50 miles or more each day with a completion time of less than 12 hours. 100 mile competitions have to finish within 24 hours (including vet checks). Riders compete by weight class from feather to heavyweight as well as classes for juniors.   Endurance rides are outright speed competitions with the fastest horse across the line that can be considered “fit to continue”, the winner.

For either type of competition, the training is similar. First is the building of cardio-vascular systems, then muscle, and finally bone density. This is accomplished by gradually increasing the distance and then speed of training but overall, long and slow is the best means to build endurance. Heart rate monitors are often used to measure the horses’ response to training with lower heart rates corresponding to higher fitness levels for given training intervals.

David and Excepzional

David and Excepzional

Horses often start out competing at shorter distances such as 25 miles and then progress to full distance in their second season. However, for many riders, the shorter distances are fun and less stressful on the horse and they stick with the shorter distances for their entire career.

Getting started in trail competition is as simple as just turning up and volunteering to help out. This can get someone comfortable with the how the events are run and a great way to meet people who can mentor the newcomer.

There is nothing like competing to provide the motivation to get out of the house and spend some quality time with your horse. All breeds can participate but, of course, some may be more competitive than others. Trail Riding Competition often suits owners who enjoy visiting fantastic locations around the country and the camaraderie that competing brings.

David Richards (and Heather McWilliams) © 2016

Summer Horse Calendar 2016!

Listed by Entity – Get out there with your horse!

Centaur Rising Horse Camps, Clinics & Shows

Anchorage Farm, 12889 S. Parker Ave. Pine, CO.  www.CentaurRising.org. [email protected] 303-838-5086.

July 10 – Centaur Rising Dressage Show I

August 2-4 – Dressage Camp

August 14 – Centaur Rising Dressage Show II

See website for remaining spots for:

Little Kids Camp/Basic Horse Camp

Basic Horse Camp/Intensive Horse Camp/Advanced Horse Camp

Little Kids Camp/Basic Horse Camp/Intensive Horse Camp

 

Colorado Horsecare Foodbank FUNdraisers!

See website for more info and to sign up online. www.horsefoodbank.org.  303-670-1470.

July 16 – Black Tie – Silver Shoes.  Enjoy an evening with horses at the Queen City Horse Show at the National Western Events Center in Denver.  Fine dining ringside, cocktail attire.

August 26-28 – Ranch Ride Weekend is a fundraiser with long-time CHF friends and supporters: Tom and Darcy Carr, owners of the beautiful Colorado Cattle Company – an authentic working cattle ranch in Northeastern Colorado. This year, Colorado Horsecare Foodbank and the Colorado Cattle Company are offering a late summer Ranch Ride weekend.  The Ranch Ride Weekend includes trail riding on the ranch’s 10,000 acres, learning to team pen cattle, delicious hearty meals, storytelling around a campfire, and charming accommodations where you can sit on the porch of your cabin and watch the horses & cattle peacefully grazing. The cost is $575 for the weekend – Registration is open.

October 14 – Hay Bales & Horse Tails – Amazing evening of food, fun and shopping for horse stuff!  At the Hudson Gardens cabin on Santa Fe Blvd in Littleton.  Sign up now, last year sold out!

 

Evergreen Ranch Sorters Association

Reffel’s Arena, Wandcrest Drive, Pine Junction.  Alternating Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-2pm.  For more information, go to:  the Facebook page at “Evergreen Ranch Sorting Association”.

Try as a guest for up to 3 times for a fee.  Come see why ranch sorting is the fastest growing equine sport in the country and fun for riders of all ages!

 

Evergreen Rodeo Association

RODEO WEEKEND!  EvergreenRodeo.com for full schedule. Volunteers still needed!  Don your cowboy boots and hat and enjoy the festivities while you help support this amazing local historic tradition!  Contact Marty Unger – [email protected]

June 17 Friday – Friday Family Fun Night Benefit for Tri-County Little Britches. 3:00pm and 10:00pm.  Great family event including Muttin Bustin’, stick horse races, barrel racing plus many more activities. Music by Arena Rock All Stars.

June 18 Saturday – Rodeo Parade, 10:00 in downtown Evergreen

June 18 Saturday – Rodeo Performance at El Pinal Rodeo Grounds 2:00 pm, Mutton Bustin’ and Pre-Show starting at 1230pm.

June 19 Sunday – Rodeo Performance at El Pinal Rodeo Grounds 2:00 pm, Mutton Bustin’ and Pre-Show starting at 1230pm.

 

Intermountain Horse Association

intermountainhorse.org or Facebook page “Intermountain Horse”

September 10 – Poker Ride at Alderfer Three Sisters Park.

Monthly meetings 3rd Tuesdays September – May at Beau Jos in Evergreen.  Various horse related topics.

 

Jefferson County 4-H Open Horse Shows

English, Western, Showmanship and Gymkhana classes.  More information, contact info and show bills at: http://www.extension.colostate.edu/jefferson/4h/4h.shtml

June 28 – Horsefeathers Show – El Pinal Arena (Evergreen) – Outdoor

July 9 & 10 – Pleasant Park Horse Show – McKeever Arena (Conifer) – Outdoor, 2nd day is the speed events (Adults can ride both days in this event)

July 17 – Golden Spurs – Jeffco Event Center Arena (Fairgrounds) – Indoor

July 24 – Fair Clinic – Table View Arena – Outdoor

August 7 – Pleasant Park Gymkhana – McKeever Arena (Conifer) – Outdoor

August 11 & 12 – County Fair – Jefferson County Fairgrounds – outdoor, only kids can compete

August 25-28 – State Fair – Pueblo

September 4 – Equine Event – Rodeo Arena, more info to come!

September 25 – 4-H Fun Show/Clinic – Table View Arena

 

Kip Fladland Clinic – All Disciplines Welcome

Kip’s website:  LaRiataRanch.com.  Hosted by Pikes View Ranch, Conifer.  Call Kelly Hendricks for more information 303-918-9570.  An encouraging and thoughtful teacher, Kip was born and raised in Montana. He has spent the last 30 years of his life working with and riding horses. In addition to riding horses for the public, Kip has also spent a considerable amount of time cowboying on several large Montana ranches. Working for these ranches would include starting colts, educating riding horses, and using them to care for and watch over the cow/calf operations. He met Buck Brannaman while cowboying and he spent 5 years with Buck on the road doing clinics.  Kip’s wife Missy is a top Dressage trainer.  Several of our mountain area horse people have had great experiences at clinics out east with Kip and wanted to bring him to Colorado for a chance for locals to participate.  Spaces are filling up, call Kelly today to sign up!

September 23-25

Ground Work Class in morningaddresses doing ground work exercises before riding towards the end of each class.

Horsemanship Class in afternoonsa riding class for all levels and disciplines of horses.

 

Starry Night Ranch – Riding on Faith Youth Camp

Llaves, New Mexico.  jubileehorse.com.  [email protected]  575-638-5661           
July 10 – 16  We are a horse lovers dream vacation, spending all day with our horses.  Youth campers will learn basic care, grooming, ground work and riding skills.  We usually ride twice a day and plenty of time in the saddle.

 

Syzygy Coaching

Evergreen, Colorado.  syzygy-co.com.   [email protected]  303-670-7244.

August 27-28 – Equine Vision Journey to Your Next Chapter – an equine guided personal growth retreat.

September – Extraordinary Women Connect Gala

November 10 -Extraordinary Women Ignite – Golden Hotel, Golden, CO

 

Tucker Black Horsemanship Clinics

Red Hawk Ranch, 12754 US HWY 285, Conifer. Check website for latest information. tuckerblackhorsemanship.com or call Tucker at 303-870-8389.

August 27 – Cow Working Clinic, 10am to 3pm

Most Sundays & some Wednesdays, June – September Cutting/boxing cows.

 

Working Equitation

Join on Facebook at “Foothills CO Working Equitation” or contact for more information Christina Turissini, [email protected]

Second weekend of the month – Lessons and/or clinics with Jennifer Holroyd.

Playdates during the month at various locations.

 

 

The Heritage Ride comes to Evergreen June 12th!

The Heritage Ride was started in 2013 by the Colorado Horse Council – CHC.  For the first three years it has been held solely at Greenland Open Space in Douglas County with well over 100 riders and spectators in attendance.  This year there will be five Heritage Rides over 2 weekends in Colorado!

If you are new to our area, the Colorado Horse Council was established in 1972 and has been responsible for protecting and promoting the interests of horse enthusiasts throughout the state and nation.  Based on a study done by the American Horse Council in 2005, the horse industry accounts for $1.6 billion of our state economy.  Much of the work done by CHC is on the government level protecting the interests of the equine industry regarding decision making and the passing of laws and regulations.  The role of the CHC is to educate and inform individuals about the equine community, the equine industry and its heritage in the State of Colorado.

Stemming from that heritage is The Heritage Ride.  The three main purposes of the ride are:

  • To PROMOTE the Heritage of the Horse. Rich and meaningful in Colorado, promoting the equine industry requires continual education in the areas of welfare, training, legal responsibility and cultural understanding.
  • To PROTECT the Heritage of the Horse. This encompasses the rights of individuals to enjoy, own and actively use the natural resources and the manmade infrastructure our state has to offer for equestrian activities.
  • To DEVELOP the future Heritage of the Horse. This has a meaningful human and financial impact on our state which includes quality of life components that is inherent in the reasons why people choose to live work, work and play in Colorado.

This year the Colorado Horse Council has set the financial goal for The Heritage Ride at $14,000.  On two different dates and in 5 locations (so far!)  there will be five rides.  The $35 / rider entry fee will directly impact the equine industry in Colorado.  Lunch is included.  There will be vendor booths for perusing and great fellowship with other horse enthusiasts.

The Evergreen Rodeo Association stepped up to host the Jefferson County Heritage Ride in Evergreen the weekend before the Evergreen Rodeo comes to town.  The ride will be starting at the Evergreen Rodeo Grounds and take a “trail boss” guided loop through Elk Meadow Open Space Park.  Vendors and lunch will be back at the rodeo grounds.

The 5 scheduled Heritage Rides are:

  1. Sunday, June 12 at 9am 2-3 hour loop through Elk Meadow. $35 per rider (includes lunch).  Evergreen Rodeo Grounds – 29830 Stagecoach Blvd, Evergreen, Colorado.

The other 4 scheduled rides are the following weekend on Saturday June 18th at 4 locations:

  1. Greenland Open Space – Douglas County, CO
  2. Arapahoe Park – Arapahoe County, CO
  3. Fort Collins
  4. Bennett

 

In addition to riding, there are other ways to support The Heritage Ride.

  • Send a representative from your club to ride along with pledges from the clubs members.
  • Organizations – Reserve a booth and recruit members to provide educational materials.
  • Volunteer to help, even if you are riding!
  • Organize a group of your friends to come out to ride together.
  • Make this your family ride and enjoy networking with other horse folks.
  • Just get out and ride to get your horses ready for the rest of the summer!

 

For more information, registration forms, directions and pledge forms, go to:  ColoradoHorseCouncil.com or text “horses” to “70000”.  Colorado Horse Council, 22 S. 4th Ave #106 Brighton, CO  80601.  303-292-4981.

The following weekend (Father’s Day Weekend!), please join us for the 50th Evergreen Rodeo and Weekend Events! 

Rodeo Weekend Schedule:

Friday Family Fun Night to benefit Tri-County Elks Little Britches- June 17th 3 PM to 10 PM Adults $10, Children 6-12 years $5, Children under 5 Free!

Saturday Parade – 10AM in Downtown Evergreen

Rodeo Performances Saturday & Sunday – June 18th & June 19th 11 AM – Gates Open, 1PM Pre-Show, 2 PM – Rodeo Start, Online ticket prices are $16 for adults, $8 for kids age 6-12, kids 5 and under are free.  Admission is good for either performance.  Online ticket sales close on Thursday, June 16th.  For more information and tickets, go to evergreenrodeo.com.  Volunteers still needed for rodeo weekend – all kinds of fun positions open!  Every 2 hour shift receives a free rodeo ticket.  Please call or email Marty Unger at 303-204-6442 or [email protected]

Heather McWilliams © 2016.

Small Acreage Management Resources

CSU Extension Small Acreage Website http://www.ext.colostate.edu/sam/

Manure Management Guide for small acreages http://www.ext.colostate.edu/sam/manure-mgt.pdf

Colorado Forage Guide – http://www.ext.colostate.edu/sam/forage-guide.pdf

Managing Pastures Before and After Droughthttp://extension.colostate.edu/…/managing-small-acreage-pa…/

Grass Growth and Response to Grazing http://extension.colostate.edu/…/grass-growth-and-response…/

Jennifer Cook
Small Acreage Management Coordinator
NRCS/CSU Extension
57 West Bromley Lane
Brighton, CO 80601
303-659-7004 ext. 116
(cell) 717-645-7817
[email protected]
Small Acreage Website: www.ext.colostate.edu/sam

Sign up for her quarterly newsletter by emailing her at [email protected]

Nancy Hladik – longtime horse gal and Kittredge resident

Nancy is a woman of humility, kindness and class.  She and her family share the Pine Grove Ranch in Kittredge where a few lucky people get to keep their horses.  Nancy moved to Kittredge with her family from Pennsylvania in 1953.  Her dad worked for Public Service in Denver and passed away in 1956.  Nancy’s mother was the school Office Secretary at West Jeff in Conifer when it was K-9th grade.  Driving past the Yellow Barn on Hwy 73 on her way to work was something she loved.  Nancy has three kids – (plus six grandkids) Kevin (Lauren and Hannah), Kendra (Morgan), and Chad (Deryn, Macall and Jarek).  Kevin and Chad live on the ranch and are the Owner/Operators of Pine Grove Excavating.  Enjoy this thumbnail autobiography!

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Kittredge 1953

Over the years, horses have been a big part of my life.  When we first moved to The Kittredge Log Cabin in 1953, I started a whole stable of broom stick horses under the steps. I had yellow, black and red brooms, each relating to a different color of horse.  Eventually, my friend Cindy and I would do chores for my mom and gather pop bottles to trade in for cash to go riding at the livery stable at the far end of Kittredge where Kittredge Village is today.

Glen Christmas, the owner of the stable, was kind enough to allow us to hang around and eventually put us to work scooping horse manure.  Glen taught me how to ride: kick to make them go and pull back to stop, and that is what we told the people who came to ride.  Glen also taught me how to bridle, saddle and brush a horse, but the most important lesson I learned from him was his kindness towards horses.  Each horse at Kittredge Stable had their own stall with hay in front of them all day. When they were brought down from pasture in the morning, each horse knew his stall and willing went in.  It was Cindy and I’s job to give oats and hay to each horse.

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Cindy on Candy and Nancy on Coalie in front of Kittredge Log Cabins

In exchange, Glen would let us ride and take people out on guide trips. He had two Shetland Ponies, Smokey and Snifters that Cindy and I would give pony rides on. Children were brought down from the Evergreen Conference Center Summer Camp to ride Glen’s horses.  My mom said she had fond memories of my ponytail swinging from side to side as Smokey and I trotted along ahead of the big horses when we would go by the cabins where I lived.

Glen did breakfast rides and “steak fries” where you would ride out on horseback to have a meal out at a wilderness camp then ride back to the stables.  The wilderness camp was where he pastured his horses at night.  It was half way up Parmalee Gulch Road on the right.  After unsaddling the horses at the barn and brushing them, they were turned loose in the corral. A couple of us would ride ahead and position ourselves at the couple of driveways along the right side of the road to prevent the horses from going in those yards. One person rode in front and another in the back to herd them up to pasture. Glen would come up with his stock truck, we’d jump in the back with our bridles and head back to the barn.

Cattle drive in Kittredge mid 1950's

Cattle drive in Kittredge in 1954

Joe Wiliford, owner of Joe’s Stable located just below the Church of the Hills on Buffalo Park Road (there is a car wash there now) and Glen would borrow horses from each other when they had an event and not enough horses at their stable.

When I got my own horse Little Red, I would ride him down to the stable when the horseshoer Kayo Morgan, would come to shoe the herd. I would also ride Red down there when the vet Tony Anderson (who I later worked for) would come down to do routine veterinary work.  In the fall 3 or 4 of us, Pam Bowling, Bobby Price, Barbara Smith and I would ride our horses up Upper Bear Creek Road to pasture them during the winter at the Evans Ranch with the caretakers, Marg and Jack Brasel.  In the spring, we rode them back to our summer pastures in Kittredge and Evergreen.

There were a lot of trails in the area and we often rode, mostly bareback, to Indian Hills to ride with friends or to Evergreen and get popsicles at the Thrifty food store on main street.   We would ride in O’Fallon Park at the far end of Kittredge and swim in Bear Creek. The last day of school was casual so you could ride your bike or horse to school, of course we rode our horses.  The Junior and Senior High were where the Evergreen Library is today, so we’d leave our horses at Joe’s Stable just across the road for the short time you were at school. My horse was pastured about a half mile from our house and almost every day during the summer, he was a part of what I was doing. Horses, dogs and kids were a big part of Kittredge in the mid 1950’s, we all knew each other, kids and parents.

Nancy & her father riding - Nancy on Smokey.

Nancy & her father riding – Nancy on Smokey.

My husband Jerry and I bought Pine Grove Ranch in Kittredge in 1969.   In the late 70’s we use to hold an “Old Folks Gymkhana”, 30 and older, in our arena.   My husband Jerry would carve trophies out of wood and we had ribbons for each event. The day ended with a camp fire and steaks on the grill.  It was usually held on labor day and became a yearly event for many years.

In 1981, I was Mrs. Evergreen Rodeo and Donna Brunton was Miss Evergreen Rodeo. We had great fun traveling throughout the area to local parades and rodeos with my horse Suzie and her horse Blossom.

Donna tried to teach me barrel racing, but I was never much good at it so only competed in the local Gymkhana at Indian Hills, winning a pink ribbon once.  Later I bought a black thoroughbred named Cheena to learn dressage.  Carol Scott, from the Bits and Pieces store in Bergen Park, was my instructor.  The main skill I have mastered with horses is shoveling.  Currently I own a small palomino, Pardner.  He is easier to get on and I had never owned a palomino, so he was exactly what I was looking for.

Today I don’t have to ride horses to enjoy them, it’s good just to be around them caring for them. My granddaughter Morgan loves helping me feed and clean stalls.   She has a miniature horse Lakota, (Julie Phillips was the previous owner, whenever I mention Lakota’s name to horse people in Evergreen they say “oh yes, I know Lakota, my son or daughter learned how to ride on him”).

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Kittredge July 4th Parade 1958

Lakota is quite the little man, Morgan rides him and drives him with his little cart.  My granddaughter Hannah rode a beautiful white Arabian we named Boston, that I received from Chris Sletten.  My grandson Jarek drove Lakota with his pony cart.  Both Hannah and Jarek are allergic to horses and hay so they stay out of the barns and are involved with their other sports.  My granddaughter Lauren is the current Miss Evergreen Rodeo and was last year’s princess.

She does her share of manure shoveling.  She has 2 horses, Eddie a thoroughbred and Sugar a Quarter Horse that she uses for queen appearances and high school rodeo. She has tried her hand at ranch sorting and enjoys that too.  I loved going horse shopping with Lauren, looking for the perfect horse. When she was very small she rode Suzie, at that time Sue was in her 30’s.

Horses have always given me such comfort.  When I was a teenager riding Red out by myself would give me peace and an “attitude adjustment”.  Later they were a comfort to me when my husband past away.  And what a great way to start the day, they can quickly make a bad mood turn good!  Nancy Hladik & Heather McWilliams © 2016.