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About the Colorado Corral

I started writing this column a little over five years ago and while the monthly deadline seems to come up quite quickly, you cannot replace the people and stories that I have had the opportunity to know along the way. I have never had to wonder what to write because someone or something horsey is always in front of me to let you know about. I have also realized that not only people with horses read this column, but those who just love horses or enjoy reading about local people and events.

Every year or so I start getting asked a lot of similar questions about this column or what kinds of activities or resources are available for horse people in our area, which lets me know it is time to do a “station identification” or who we are article. Please know that I am a phone call or email away if you have ideas for articles, a new horse business, an event to post or just a question. Reach me at 303-638-0994 or heather@mtnhomes4horses.com.  All shapes and sizes of horses and saddles welcome!

Our Purpose

The articles and the website are meant to connect and serve our local horse community, but the ultimate goal is to celebrate the horse for the amazing and magical animals that they are and to share how they have touched and changed lives for the better. They have chosen to share themselves with us and teach us insightful lessons. We don’t always treat them as we should or give them the respect they deserve, but they continue to bless us when in their presence.

The events you find in this article are there to give you local activities to do with your horse(s) while meeting new people, exploring our area, bonding with your horse and maybe even learning some new skills.


The articles that you find here are often about local people and how horses have changed their lives or those that they work with. Articles may cover a local horse event, something incredible a local person is doing with horses or how horses are part of a local business. Ideas are always welcome and we keep the articles to those that are connected to the Colorado Serenity Magazine readership area. You can find past articles on the website Blog.

Trail Riding

Several trail rides are planned during the spring, summer and fall. They vary by what days they are on, but are often during the week so that the trails are not as busy. The trail rides are loosely organized and similar to just meeting some friends for a ride. We usually do not have a very big group, 3-6, and ride to the level of the least experienced rider or horse. We pick a new trail every time so it is a great way to explore new trails and meet new horse people. Trails that we have explored this year include Centennial Cone Open Space, Staunton State Park, Mount Falcon Park and Alderfer Three Sisters. There are slide shows on different trail rides under the “Trail Guide” tab on the website if you are wondering what a trail might be like. Let me know if you would like to be on the trail riding email list.

The Colorado Corral Ranch Race & Western Dressage, Clinic & Competition

Every year the Colorado Corral puts on what we call the Ranch Race at the Evergreen Rodeo Grounds. Basically it is a fun ranch-style trail course that always includes cows. Horsemanship is the focus, but we time you just to keep things moving! This year the clinic is on Saturday September 13th and the Competition is on Sunday September 14th. You can do one day or the other or both. This is also a great local event to meet people, have some fun and maybe learn some new “tricks”. The clinic will teach you all of the obstacles for the following day. There are more specifics under the dates at the “Events” tab.

Last year Western Dressage was added to the weekend. We have an instructor that has trained as a clinician with the Western Dressage Association and on Sunday we include a Ride-A-Test style schooling show in a small arena with a USDF judge. Of course anyone is welcome to do the Ride-A-Test, English or Western. Gaited horses welcome too! We have the weekend organized so that you can participate in both the Ranch Race and Western Dressage if you wish. The proceeds of the weekend are donated to a local horse non-profit. Volunteers needed!

MtnHomes4Horses.com website

The website is your 24/7 outlet for our horse community. Under the tabs you will find the Trail Guide, Horse Businesses, Blog (past articles and more), a local Events calendar and resources for buying and selling horse properties. If you want to be added as a business or put an event on the calendar just let me know, it is FREE!

We hope you find something here to help you get involved in your local horse community. How incredibly fortunate we are to live in an area that has so much to enjoy with our horses. Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help. If I have not already, I look forward to meeting you! My Best, Heather McWilliams

Colorado Corral Ranch Race & Western Dressage Weekend Results – October 5 & 6th!

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After delaying the original dates because of the flood, the Evergreen Rodeo Grounds took some extra preparation!  In some areas, there were 2-3’ deep trenches dug by run off that became re-routed down the main drive and into the arena.  Starry Night Ranch hired a local Bobcat operator to come move dirt around and fill in the holes.  My sons and I did a lot of circling in the arena with the drag on a couple occasions.  In addition, an officer from the Colorado Division of Wildlife even made time in his busy day to kindly drag away a very old and VERY smelly elk carcass!

With our original two judges and two clinicians, the weekend went on as planned.  On Saturday, Kelly Hendricks, who has been through the Western Dressage Association’s Train The Trainers TM program lead morning and afternoon groups through the paces out on the grass.  During the same times, Tucker Black worked with two different groups in the rodeo arena on the Ranch Race obstacles.

Over the two days, the proceeds from participants totaled $800, with $600 going to the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank and $200 to the Evergreen Rodeo Grounds!   Here are the results:

Western Dressage Ride-A-Test (Beth Geier, USDF Judge – Cassandra Dipentino Instructor):

  1. Jennifer Donnelly & Wyatt 69.58%
  2. Claire Gosnell & Bitta 66.05%
  3. Denise Schupp & Drifter 64.26%
  4. Sierra Stauffer & Beau 62.71%
  5. Cheryl Holmberg & Ebony 62.29%
  6. Linda Baur & Dolly 59.54%

Ranch Race

Youth 12 & Under:  1. Alix Bailey & Lakota  2. Alexis Hall & Lotto.

Youth 13-18:  1. Breanna Elson & Tommy  2. Erin Blair & Oliver 3. Delaney & Quick To Be Wise.

Green as Grass:  1. Jennifer Hancey & Peavy  2.  Claire Gosnell & Bitta  3.  Marti Cooper & O’Lenas Rosa  4.  Jennifer Donnelly & Wyatt.

Young Horse:  1. Denise Schupp & Drifter.

Amateur:  1. Erika Blair & Chocolate Chip  2. Linda Baur & Dolly  3. Erin Blair & Oliver  4. Amber Hall & Grady  5. Sierra Stauffer & Beau.

Open:  1. Tucker Black & Lakota  2. Dan Bechler & Charm 3. Monika Wheeler & Valor  4. Breanna Elson & Tommy.

Jackpot:  1. Tucker Black & Lakota  2. Erica Blair & Chocolate Chip  3. Monica Wheeler & Valor  4. Amber Hall & Grady  5. Alexis Hall & Lotto  6. Delaney Taylor & Quick To Be Wise.

Thank you to our sponsors:  Canyon Tack & Feed, Pine Country Feed, Pikes View Ranch & Kelly Hendricks, Tucker Black Horsemanship, Big R, MtnHomes4Horses.com, Starry Night Ranch and Mobile Veterinary Services!  Please thank them!  Thank you to the Pleasant Park 4-H group for the yummy food and drink on both days and to our volunteers Janice Weldon and Scott & Grace Updegraff!  Go to the MtnHomes4Horses YouTube channel or to the blog at MtnHomes4Horses.com for slide shows from both days.  See you September 2014 for our 5th year! Heather McWilliams © 2013.




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 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.