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EquiGrace – Mountain Area Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies

“The magic that happens between the horse and equestrian is just that, magic. Our job is simply to allow that to happen in a safe and nurturing environment.” Cindi Winner, EquiGrace, Inc. Founder.

Horse people joke that their horse is their therapist, their therapist lives in a barn, or they pay their therapist in hay and grain.  Whether we realize it or not, there is real truth in those statements supported by documented studies that show the infinite benefits that humans receive by being around horses.

Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT), are used to treat patients challenged with everything from cerebral palsy and autism, to drug and alcohol dependency and post-traumatic stress syndrome.  The benefits range from learning non-verbal communication, relaxation, mental awareness, physical therapy through the movement and rhythm of horses to leadership training and team building.  Studies show that people working with horses experience decreased blood pressure, lower stress levels and reduced feelings of tension, anxiety and anger. In addition, studies show you gain feelings of self-esteem, empowerment, patience and trust.

EquiGrace, Inc, is a relatively new Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies facility in our area.  Not far from the town of Bailey, EquiGrace is working to get the word out to the special needs community as well as those that would benefit from their Hero’s Program for veterans, police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel, that they have openings for new students and clients.Cindi, Annie and Mack

Twenty-five-year-old Mack Port of Grant, Colorado is a current student at EquiGrace who started Hippotherapy as a child.  Hippotherapy is defined as the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment, especially as a means of improving coordination, balance, and strength.  His mom Sandee could see the benefits that Mack received from Hippotherapy to help with his Cerebral Palsy, but unfortunately the drive to the closest facility in Boulder took away from the benefits.

Originally from Philadelphia and South Jersey, EquiGrace’s Founder Cindi Winner, spent the majority of her life doing horse related activities, including showing in English and Western disciplines as well as driving carriages.  While horses are a significant part of her life, Cindi realized her first love was teaching.  She combined horses and teaching in 2003 when she became a PATH International Certified Instructor (pathintl.org).  In 2004 she founded a NARHA center in New Jersey called GRACE Therapeutic Riding Center and discovered the amazing gifts that horses can give to their students.  After moving to Colorado, Cindi started teaching EAAT at a facility in Salida.

Mack and his family first met Cindi when she was an aid for Mack in High School.  Mack started EAAT with Cindi in Salida and now have a much shorter drive since Cindi moved to Whispering Pines Ranch near the town of Bailey.  Sandee was thrilled to be able to start bringing Mack to Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy again.  Being with the horses is the highlight of his week, plus they have found a  close-knit community to be a part of.

Mack is currently working with Hawk, a Quarter Horse gelding in his mid-20’s.  Mack grooms Hawk as well as guides him from his wheelchair through a continually engaging course in the arena.  His goal for this year is to be able to get back to riding by the fall.  Mack’s family is donating the ramp that is needed to facilitate getting the wheelchair into the correct position for Mack to get in the saddle.

Following Mack’s work with Hawk, he is physically loose and mentally happy.  For riding, Mack will start working with Annie, a Percheron cross in her late teens who both rides and drives.

Sandee has learned that Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies takes a special teacher to understand the horses, be a gifted teacher and tie all of that into a fun, engaging and safe environment.  She states that there is a significant “symbiotic relationship between Cindi and her horse, and Cindi and her client.”

Could you or someone you know benefit physically and/or mentally from Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies?  Visit EquiGrace.com to read more about their programs as well as biographies on the horses and humans.  Learn about opportunities to volunteer, donate or even buy any of the horse’s dinner!

Call 303-838-7122 or email [email protected] to learn more.  EquiGrace, Inc. is located at 6936 County Road 68 in Bailey, Colorado.  Mailing address:  PO Box 268, Shawnee, CO  80475.  Heather McWilliams © 2017

I Saw A Child by John Anthony Davies

I saw a child, who couldn’t walk, sit on a horse, laugh and talk.
Then ride it through a field of daisies and yet he could not walk unaided.
I saw a child, no legs below, sit on a horse and make it go.
Through woods of green and places he had never been; to sit and stare, except from a chair.
I saw a child who could only crawl mount a horse and sit up tall.
Put it through degrees of paces and laugh at the wonder in our faces.
I saw a child born into strife, take up and hold the reins of life.
And that same child was heard to say,
Thank you God for showing me the way… 

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.

 

 

Mom’s Daughters and Horses, Syzygy Coaching

Millennials! Generation NEXT! Leadership through the eyes of the horse. Syzygy Coaching

The Souls A Barn Builds by Kristin Carpenter

I think there is something magical about the souls that the barn builds. While there is magic made in the saddle, and horses have dramatically altered each of us for the better over time, I like to think that just being in the barn is enough to have a positive impact on anyone.

The barn teaches all the major lessons of life within its four walls and pasture fences. It doesn’t take into account age, gender, race, education or family history. It teaches with the severity and grace of life itself.

I remember learning about hard work. Two hundred bales of hay don’t unload themselves, and the incoming rain doesn’t care that your back hurts, you haven’t eaten in 10 hours, and your hands are bleeding from blisters. If you don’t finish, you lose the hay, and you can’t afford more. That’s hard work.

I remember learning not only a respect for what real manual labor is, but also a compassion for those who perform it. The workers in the bigger barns aren’t nameless faces; they are men and women with hopes, dreams, opportunities and dead ends like the rest of us. Their backs hurt by the 50th bale, too, but they keep going. Even though I no longer do the hard labor of big barns, I will never lose the respect and compassion for those that do, and never miss an opportunity to thank them and offer a helping hand.

I remember learning the value of a dollar. My dad gave me $500 for my first horse as a Christmas/birthday present when I was 9. I bought a 9-year-old unbroken Arabian gelding, still in a field with his mother. And that was it—we didn’t have anything left over for a saddle, so I rode without one for almost a year or borrowed them graciously from friends.

I fell off 78 times in the first year. Yes, I still have my diary, and I counted. I worked off board and lessons, and saved and begged to go to an event. When I got there, I jumped out of the dressage arena and eliminated myself—my hopes and dreams and mouths full of dirt culminating in disappointed parents and a lot of money lost. My dad then told me to get a job, so I did. I designed websites for money for shows during middle school, and went halfway across the country during the summer of high school to find a working student job with a stipend. While my income as an adult is vastly different, I don’t forget the feeling of never buying anything and feeling complete, because just having the horse was enough. Just having the horse was everything.

The barn taught me perspective. When it doesn’t rain, and the pastures don’t hold up, and you can’t afford more hay, it’ll be OK. The rain will come next year, and somehow this year you will make it. It might mean a lot of hard decisions and sacrifices, but that’s life.

The barn makes for a different childhood experience. When all the other teenagers are out partying on a Saturday night, you will be lying in the bed of a truck staring at the sky. You’ll get to see stars how they are meant to be seen—by the thousands—not just the few that shine through the light pollution of the cities. You will learn peace with the silence of the outdoors, and a kind of meditation that comes from hours of manual labor with nothing but wind and animals’ breath as music.

I remember learning that life isn’t fair. I paid attention to every hair on my first horse, but I remember sitting and crying in a wash rack as my horse colicked. I stared in horror as the oil and charcoal we pumped into him spilled onto the ground, and I grappled with the fairness of life and death. When, 10 years later, I sat next to my father as he was on life support, and I decided it was best to let go and take him off the machines, I didn’t need to struggle with the existential questions of fairness. The barn had already taught me: Life isn’t fair, and neither is death.

The barn has taught me about unconditional love. The barn doesn’t care what you drove to get there, or what you are going home to. It is a haven for those who give it their all, and it will take everything you have to give. It will take your immaturity and give you discipline. It will take your excuses and give you failure. It will take your dreams and give you opportunity. But it makes no promises, picks no favorites, and spares no hardships.

The barn taught me passion. Very few people get to experience passion at its core, in the way that it is meant to be felt. Not the passion of winning—that is superficial and relative. But rather the passion that you feel when you have nothing left but your love of something. The passion that is there when exhaustion steals your strength and frustration takes your hope. When all you are left with is this very moment, and yet you are at peace and fulfilled. That is passion in its truest form, and that is what fuels us in barns, and what sneaks into the souls of children and never lets go. That passion drives the thousands of adult amateurs to work 60-hour weeks and still ride, and the professionals to lose in grand fashion but show up the next day at 5 a.m.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the side of life fueled by possessions and titles and bank account balances. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have and who you aren’t. But the barn will teach you better. You have what you have, and it has to be enough, so make do.

The barn will build your soul, and it will give you all the gifts you need to be a good, gracious person. It is up to us to keep these things when we pass through the gate. If you related to any part of this blog, you are lucky. Many go through life never really feeling passion; they only have material possessions to try to satisfy their souls. But to the souls the barn built, life is about sitting in a warm rain on a summer day and laughing with your friends. It is about lying on the back of your horse at midnight, in a field, and staring at the stars.

I love this piece and wanted to share it.  Kristin Carpenter owns Linder Educational Coaching in Arlignton, Virginia that works mainly with teenage boys with behavioral issues.  She grew up in rural Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  There is so much truth here and the effect that hard work and animals have on the soul is immeasurable.  

Local Senior Equine – and Her Person

With winter around the corner, it is an opportune time to highlight the story of one of our longtime local partnerships between Brooke Kerns and her 31 year old  (February 1982) Appendix Quarter Horse, Lady.  In Lady’s active golden years, Brooke has learned and thought of some great ways to care for Lady’s changing needs throughout the year.

At 3, Lady was bought unraced off of the track in Illinois by a Reining trainer.

Then at 4, she was purchased by Brooke’s friend Kathy in Wisconsin for her husband to use as a trail horse.  That is where she and Brooke met. Brooke has now been riding Lady for 27 years and has owned her for 20.

Lady has lived an active life in Dressage, cross-country jumping at pair paces, trail riding and cattle work.  Due to some nerve damage and atrophy to her stifle, she now enjoys trail rides with a flatter terrain and has set aside jumping and cattle work. Brooke limits Lady’s riding time to 2 hours on the trail and 1 hour in the arena.  Since age 20, Lady has been on a glucosamine supplement (Legacy) to help with arthritis and a little stiffness.

Brooke has found that keeping Lady active and not retiring her helps Lady stay happy mentally as well as conditioned physically.  She is currently an amazing school horse for beginner and novice riders, expertly taking care of her students and adjusting to their abilities.

Since she was 28, dental changes have been the main aging issue for Lady.  Her molars are now not sharp enough anymore to chew hay or grass in the pasture.  Knowing the importance of being in the pasture and grazing to a horse, Brooke keeps Lady in a grazing muzzle in the warmer months that allows her to get just a few blades through at a time, which she is able to manage with no problems.

ToolssmallWith regular hay out of the picture, Brooke started feeding Lady equine senior pellets to meet her nutritional needs.  At 1100 lbs, Lady gets 10 pounds per day in 3 feedings.  Slowly cycling brands of different senior feeds helps to keep Lady from getting too bored.  Senior feed alone does not keep Lady busy enough or feeling like she is getting enough to eat, therefore Brooke feeds her a mash made up of beet pulp pellets and hay cubes after she eats her senior feed.  This gives her more filling fiber and simulates what she misses in hay.  Brooke adds a 3qt scoop of each to 2 gallons of water and lets it soak and rehydrate for 8-12 hours. Of course it is important to mention that Lady eats separately from her 29 year old mule stable mate, Whisky Pete!

Winter brings on new challenges with the mash.  With the water content and the time it took for Lady to eat it, her mash freezes.  At first Brooke tried a heated bucket, but it kept the mash too hot and Lady refused eat it.  Brooke then came up with what she calls the “double boiler”.  She now puts Lady’s mash in a second bucket (yellow one in the picture).  The second bucket goes in after of 1 gallon of water in the heated bucket.  The double boiler keeps her mash at the perfect temperature in freezing months.

In addition, Lady receives a B-complex vitamin injection ($10) every 6 months that seems to perk up her attitude, energy and appetite. Brooke also mixes alfalfa cubes in Lady’s mash every now and then to vary the flavor.

Brooke keeps up all of Lady’s regular maintenance with the farrier, de-worming and vaccinations and it is key to have her veterinarian look at Lady’s teeth and float them if necessary 3-4 times a year.  Brooke credits Golden Animal Hospital as being a great resource and partner in maintaining Lady’s health.

Brooke is a retired Jeffco teacher who now tutors all ages and subjects as well as gives riding lessons.  She was given her first horse as a Christmas present at age 9.  Brooke states that the joy for her is, “When you have ridden and cared for the same horse for 27 years, the bond and relationship is wonderful!”

Lady Khaled is by Thoroughbred Terlago (Terrang X Lady Joy) and out of Quarter Horse mare, Miss Ambrosia (Velvet Top X Sugar Norp).  Every horse has different needs, so always work with your veterinarian to make an individual plan for your own aging horse.  Heather McWilliams © 2013.