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Lord willing and the creek don’t rise” and “come hell or high water” have taken on new meaning to me!

As you can imagine, I have been heavily deliberating about canceling the clinic/show, which is normally not a good idea for many reasons.
I think we are now past normal and in light of the above sayings, we are in rain fall amounts in record proportions and all of the complications that come with that.  My main concern is for the safety of the people and horses and this is more than just a little rain.  I know some of you cannot even get out of your driveway or may not be able to cross Bear Creek to attend.
I need to reschedule the insurance, both judges, cattle, both clinicians and so on, so I will plan to have a new date set by this coming Wednesday.  I hope you are all safe and somewhat dry!
Heather McWilliams

Colorado Horsecare Foodbank FUNdraiser Coming September 28th!

Sell the cow, buy the sheep, but never be without the horse.  – Irish Proverb

Sign up at www.horsefoodbank.org for this years HAY BALES & HORSE TALES!

Chuck and Gail Ridings’ will again host the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank fundraiser Hay Bales  & Horse Tales at their Lucky Penny Ranch in Hangen Ranch.  What a treat as a horse nut to be able to see such a beautifully groomed and cared for ranch in one of our picturesque horse neighborhoods!  The location is perfect for horse lovers from our region to gather and support the vital services being performed by the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank.  Come join us again this year!

Juliana Lehman started this non-profit 501(C)3 foodbank to help keep horses in their homes during times of financial hardships through food grants as well as resources for interim help with needs such as veterinary and hoof care.  Locals Kelly Hendricks and Ellen Storeim joined Juliana as founding board members.

How can you help?  During this economic environment as well as with the drought and fires throughout the west, hay will be in short supply this year and into next for sure.  There are five different ways that you can get involved year round:

HAY:  The foodbank is always looking for people who grow, haul or have the equipment to hay or can sell your hay to the foodbank at a low cost.

EQUINE RELATED SERVICES:  Farriers and veterinarians can offer services at no cost or a discount to foodbank clients.

TIME:  There are events such as Hay Bales & Horse Tales and other areas for volunteers to get involved and offer as much or as little time as you have available.

FINANCIAL:  Of course financial donations are always helpful for buying hay or helping horse owners during times of hardship to take care of their animals.

FUNDRAISERS:  The Colorado Horsecare Foodbank has put together three unique ways to support them.

Hay Bales & Horse Tales is in the fall with destination locations, live music, great food and beverages as well as a silent and live auction full of horsey and non-horsey items.

Flowers for Food starts before the last snow as foodbank volunteers start growing hearty local and unusual flowers and plants in two area greenhouses.  Then in the spring they offer amazing planters and baskets at competitive prices.

Horseshoes & Barbeques is a series of trail rides and even some cattle drives at exclusive locations around our area.  Look for each years offering on the website in the spring.

Thank you to the Ridings’ and all of the people who put together such an amazing evening for the horses and their people!

Colorado Horsecare Foodbank – horsefoodbank.org, juliana@horsefoodbank.org – 5178 S. Elk Ridge Road, Evergreen, CO  80439

Heather McWilliams © 2013.

IHA Poker Ride

Save the date for the Intermountain Horse Association’s Poker Ride this September 7th in Alderfer Three Sisters Park.  My son Asher and I have fond memories of the Poker Ride in 2010, as we were the winners of close to $500!  Amazingly, we had the two best hands – not bad for a seven year old and his mom who had never played poker before!  Knowledge of poker is obviously not required for this fundraiser, just the desire to get out with your horses and ride (or lead) in one of our beautiful parks.  The entry fee is put in the pot which is split between the winning hand and local non-profits.  The more entries, the more we win and support these important organizations!

Overall, IHA seeks to represent our local horse community. They sponsor monthly meetings fall – spring (starting up again this September 17th) at 6:30pm every third Tuesday at the Evergreen Beau Joes Meeting Room, relating to the latest local horse issues and information.  Plus, IHA members socialize and network with other horse people through a trail ride, clinic and two other gatherings during the year.

ERPD co-sponsors the Poker Ride with IHA and generously provides the grounds, insurance and permit.  Members register early for $25 or non-members for $30. The Poker Ride is taken completely at each rider or groups own pace.    Riders leave as they wish and return in time to turn in their hand by noon.  Asher and I sauntered along at a walk, enjoying the view and time to get out and ride together.  In 2011, he rode Summer and I lead our yearling.  Five stations are set up along the route where you draw one card per station.  Members of IHA record each pick on your own card received at registration.  When you return, your hand is tallied and the winner is determined.

While the horses rest at the trailers happily munching on hay, IHA serves participants a great lunch where the winner is announced at 12:30pm.  Sign up today for a fun ride to support local organizations and meet new horse folks!  Go to www.intermountainhorse.com for more information and “like” them on Facebook for the latest at https://www.facebook.com/IntermountainHorse.

Colorado Corral Ranch Race & Western Dressage – Clinic & Competition September 14 & 15 2013

Just two months away is the Colorado Corral Ranch Race at the Evergreen Rodeo Grounds!  Anyone is welcome to participate and/or spectate.  There are divisions for all ages and levels of riders and horses including Lead-line, Youth 8-10, 12-14 and 15-18; Green as Grass, Green Horse, Amateur, Open and a Jackpot.  Email me at heather@mtnhomes4horses.com for a registration form.

What is the Ranch Race you ask?  The Ranch Race is a fun course of 10-15 obstacles, similar to a trail course, but with more of a ranch twist including cattle.  Fun and safety are of the utmost importance.  Time is recorded and used mostly to keep the participants moving, but good horsemanship is rewarded every time.  An experienced, professional judge scores each obstacle to determine the placings in each division.

Running concurrently with the Ranch Race for the first time is a Western Dressage Ride-A-Test schooling show.  Similar to a traditional Dressage Ride-A Test, participants will be assigned a ride time, ride their test, receive the scored test and have 10-15 minutes of ride time with the judge (USDF certified judge).  Essentially a mini-clinic – with ribbons and awards!   Just go to the http://www.westerndressageassociation.org/western-dressage-rules-tests/, look through the tests and decide which one you want to be judged on.

While the Ranch Race and Western Dressage Ride-A-Test take place on Sunday September 15th, there will be a clinic on Saturday the 14th for both events taught by two of our gifted local trainers.

Tucker Black – see www.TuckerBlackHorsemanship.com, will be giving the Ranch Race obstacle clinic.  This is a perfect chance for any riders to learn and get their horses used to the obstacles that will be in the Ranch Race the next day.

Kelly Hendricks- see www.KellysHorsinAround.com, participated in the Train The Trainers ™ put on by the Western Dressage Association to teach riding instructors the essence of Western Dressage and she will be instructing the Western Dressage Clinic on Saturday.

While some riders will choose to participate in all four events (i.e. Ranch Race Clinic and/or show; Western Dressage Clinic and/or Ride-A-Test), anyone is welcome to participate in how ever many of the parts that they wish to.

To see slide shows of past Ranch Race’s, go to the MtnHomes4Horses YouTube channel.  If you are new to Western Dressage, there is also a blog post on the www.MtnHomes4Horses.com website bearing the same name.

The cost is $50 for the Ranch Race and Clinic, $30 for the Western Dressage Clinic and Ride-A Test.  Entries open August 15th and close September 9th.    Further discounts if you volunteer during the clinic and/or competition.  See the Events calendar on the website for information and email me at mtnhomes4horses@gmail.com for a registration form.  Always feel free to call me with any questions! 303-638-0994.  I look forward to seeing you there for this weekend of fun and festivities!  If you are interested in sponsoring awards, cattle, insurance, judging, etc, just let me know!  Mark your calendars for the Intermountain Horse Association Poker Ride September 7th, www.IntermountainHorse.com.  Heather McWilliams © 2013.


Evergreen Rodeo Weekend! The Animal Stars –

Have you ever wondered why rodeo horses buck?  Do they hate people?  Is the flank strap in some unforeseen area?  Are they wild and straight off the boat?  Well, no.  The truth is, rodeo stock horses and bulls have been bred for decades to do just that – BUCK!  Not a quality that we look for in our riding horses by any means, but these sturdy, high buckers are worth a pretty penny.  A good bucking horse can run around twenty five thousand dollars and the bulls reach prices in the hundreds of thousands.

The Cervi Rodeo Company will haul a set of stock in from one of their grass covered, expansive Colorado locations, where the horses and bulls spend the majority of their time roaming the hills, getting fat and sleeping under the stars.  Not too bad…  Bucking horses in particular spend the first seven years of their life preparing and practicing to buck off their cowboy athlete counterparts.  While in the rodeo arena with a cowboy hanging on for dear life, these horses may not look like any horse that you would want to be anywhere near, but one important quality that they are bred for along with a love to buck and athleticism, is that they must be good to handle and work with for their own safety as well as that of the handlers.

These high dollar animals receive care much like that of our best show horses and like us, the stock contractors have a personal attachment to them.  Many stock contractors like Cervi Rodeo Company are a family oriented business.  The care of the animals is not only important to their livelihood, but it is a part of who they are to take care of the animals and the land that they live on.  Just go to the Cervi website and look though their horses and bulls – It is like going to any other horse website bragging on their animals.  One of my favorite parts is their names:  Street Smart, Party Shop, Grit Your Teeth, Pinball Wizard, Hostage, Amy’s Pet, Texas Cocktail and Little Bo Peep.

The Cervi Rodeo Company brings the horses and bulls in daily for the Evergreen Rodeo and stays with them to handle and work with them during the rodeo.   Not only do they personally ensure that their animals are well cared for, but about forty five years ago, the Evergreen Rodeo went through an approval process to become a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) sanctioned rodeo.

To be a PRCA rodeo, you must abide by the rules and regulations set up by the organization – Sixty of those rules alone deal with the treatment and handling of the animals.  The rules cover details like the equipment used by the cowboys, stock contractors and handlers – such as spurs, flank straps, and rigging; the specific size of the animals for certain events and the protective gear used on the horns of the cattle in roping events.

One example is the flank strap used in the bucking events.  Flank straps only touch the belly and flanks of the horses and bulls (no private parts!) and must be lined with fleece or neoprene for horses, or a soft five-eighths cotton rope for the bulls – both with a quick release fastener.  As the horse or bull leaves the gate, the flank strap is fit like a snug belt.  In addition, animals can only be used one time during a rodeo (all events are less than one minute long) and there must be a veterinarian on site at all PRCA rodeos.

Dr. Shane Baird of Mobile Veterinary Services has been the Evergreen Rodeo Veterinarian since 2004.  The number of stock injured at the Evergreen Rodeo during his tenure is zero, not much different than the statistic for all PRCA rodeos, which averages only five-hundredth’s of one percent.   Dr. Baird evaluates each animal as they are unloaded at the grounds; as they eat, sleep and drink in their pens; as they are loaded into the chutes and as they return to their pens

Dr. Baird serves on the Evergreen Rodeo Committee, overseers of a grand association of volunteers that are passionate about animals, rodeo, tradition and the crazy fun weekend that the rodeo brings to Evergreen.  Animal welfare is of the highest importance to not only the PRCA and the Evergreen Rodeo Association; it is of the utmost importance to all of us who love our four legged friends, large and small.  So, slather on the sunscreen, hat and boots and come out to enjoy all of the festivities during this Father’s Day Weekend in Evergreen.  Don’t forget to root on your favorite athletes like Hot Head, Rose Puff and Mighty Mary!  For the full schedule and to buy tickets, go to one of the finest websites around at www.evergreenrodeo.com.  For more about PRCA rodeo, go to www.prorodeo.com.  Heather McWilliams (c) 2013.

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:  https://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!