From wild to mild at Extreme Mustang Makeover 2015

Cayla and calypso the mustang 7 (800x600)
Calypso the Mustang, age five, with Cayla Stone, Samba the Mustang, age two, with Madison Olver.

LOVELAND, Colorado - I followed a couple of friends, Cayla Stone and Madison Olver, also a student of Cayla's, into Day 1 of the Extreme Mustang Makeover today and was amazed at how gentle many of these mustangs are. They have been in training 100 days or less and can do things seasoned show horses would think twice about, especially the part about loading into a strange trailer surrounded by strange humans. All of the exhibitors who work so hard to help save these wild horses deserve applause. Thousands of dollars in prize money is at stake and the mustangs not kept by their foster humans will be auctioned at the end of the event.

There are also non-competing mustangs and burros available for adoption in pens outside the arena, priced at $125 each. The Extreme Mustang Makeover concludes tomorrow, May 30, starting at 10 a.m. at The Ranch and is part of the Rock'n Western Rendezvous. Tickets start at $15 for adults, $10 for children (2 - 12). Calypso, standing at about 13.2 hands, boards at our place and has already debuted in eventing at the Spring Gulch Equestrian Area. She loves to jump. Samba, about the size of a hackney pony, would make a beautiful children's eventer. 

Madison and Samba the mustang(800x600)
Madison prepares to take Samba the Mustang through her paces in the youth fitting and handling class. The youth horses are all youngsters themselves and not shown under saddle. Samba is two years old.

Cayla and Calypso the Mustang
Cayla and Calypso the Mustang on the rail, Day 1 of the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

Cayla and Calypso the Mustang at Spring Gulch.
Cayla Stone and Calypso the Mustang debuted as eventers earlier this spring at the Spring Gulch Equestrian Area.

 

Cayla and Calypso the Mustang at Spring Gulch.
Cayla Stone and Calypso the Mustang in another shot from their eventing debut at the Spring Gulch Equestrian Area.

Local produce stands give the neighborhood 'feel'

Applause for Deb Neely, recently featured in The Denver Post. To me, a neighborhood full of little stands featuring everybody's creative gardening and garden products is a sign of a healthy community. 

"Everybody should have access to nutritious, organic food, and it should be affordable. A lot of what I'm trying to do is set an example here to inspire people to grow their own food as well — I don't want to be the only one doing this."
- Deb Neely, urban farmer

Here in Fort Collins, it will b interesting to see how the much-contested English Ranch Park Community Garden fares.

Check out our Flower Farm at Poudre River Stables.


One reason your hay prices keep rising

Contrary Farmer Gene Logsdon highlights an alarming trend. The amount of hay going overseas is on a near straight-line trajectory. I once had a hay guy tell me his prices spiked because regional ranchers had exported their hay, which reduced our local supply, already under pressure from development. 

Overseas US hay sales 2007 through 2012

Read Gene Logsdon's full post on the true environmental and long-term costs of shipping out local hay.

Check out our photos of bringing in our own hay at Poudre River Stables.


'They tried to arrest me for planting carrots'

"If you want something changed, you have to stop waiting for someone else to do it. You are the change! This is your canvas, you should paint it. Your health, and the health of your community, is your responsibility and no one else’s."
- Ron Finley, urban farmer

Ron Finley's inspiring battle against unhealthy food started when he tried to buy tomatoes and their stickers said they were coated with shellac. Click here to read the full story.


Great tips for mastering the flying lead change

"There are two parts to a rider really moving in harmony with the horse. First, the rider’s hips must move to follow the horse’s movement. The second thing is relaxation. To nail the lead change, you must move and work as one."
- America's Horse Daily

This is one of the best articles I've read on getting the flying lead change. It's also got links for building your horse up to the flying lead change.

You might also enjoy Horse trick training: We got the pedestal!


And the bridge came a tumblin' down

It's official. The N. Shields St. - Poudre River bridge in Fort Collins came down today. The jack-hammering took all day, but in the end the last piece of the bridge quietly caved. I wonder what the Father of Fort Collins would say. You can still get to our place from the south.

Shields bridge down etc 074 (800x450)
The west side of the N. Shields St. - Poudre River bridge in Fort Collins went down earlier in the day.

Hardy folk can still make it to our stable

Driveway - N. Shields St. - new sewer line project - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
A sharp right around Big Orange here will get you into our driveway. Clients are also able to access the property from our locked entrance at the Poudre River.
N. Shields St. demolition - new sewer line - road widening - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
The obstacle course on the way to our stable, just after the "road closed" signs at Shields and Vine streets.


N. Shields St. - demolition - new sewer line - road widening - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521

 

 

Dell the horse watches N. Shields construction - riverside pens - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
My horse watches N. Shields construction from the riverside pens at our stable.

Read also:

Deer pick through Shields demolition

NW Fort Collins a hotbed of activity ...


Have a voice in program for Montana's Pryor Mountains wild horse herd

MONTANA - The Bureau of Land Management Billings Field Office wants your feedback regarding expanding a population control program for the Pryor Mountains wild horse herd. The goal of the program is to reduce the need for roundups. The comment period ends Feb. 20, 2015. 

To comment on expanding the program, email blm_mt_wildhorse@blm.gov or send a hard-copy letter to: Bureau Of Land Management, Billings Field Office, 500 I Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana 59101-4669

In a January 19 update, the Cloud the Stallion Facebook page said the BLM is taking steps in the "right direction" with its population control efforts for the Fish Creek Nevada wild horse herd.

Read also:

The BLM's cover letter on the Pryor Mountain herd project

BLM environmental assessment of the fertility control program

Cloud the Stallion Facebook page

 


Trees: There one minute, gone the next

N. Shields St., Fort Collins, Colorado, October 11, 2014

Trees - N. Shields St. - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521 - Fall - 2014

 January 7, 2014:

Silver maple being cut down - N. Shields St. - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521

January 8, 2014:

Trees being cut down - N. Shields St. - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521

Trying to imagine all the fruit trees I can plant when this is all over.

What you see is all part of the North Shields Corridor Improvement Project and a recent city plan to add sewer to N. Shields St. The hazardous above-ground utility lines on the right side of the photo, below, will move across the street. These lines went down twice in almost this exact spot last year, and above-ground lines went down two streets west of us on Christmas Day 2014, knocking out power to this area for many hours. Even though the city has made accommodations for other underground work that could also house Xcel's new utility lines, I am told that Xcel has chosen to again build lines above ground. Inquiries to Xcel have received no reply. As you enjoy the new sidewalks and bike trails, keep an eye on the power lines overhead and next to you.

Raccoons jumped out of trees and sat inside trees as they went down. Last spring, one tree had a bee hive in it.

Trees being cut down - N. Shields St. - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521

 

Read also: Fort Collins sewer line heads north


Without irrigation, only sagebrush

Acres of worthless sagebrush next to a productive field illustrate the difference irrigation made to Colorado's history and economy. As the sagebrush gave way to agriculture, so did the horse and buggy. With its space for one-cent postage, this Denver-publisher postcard dates to 1872, according to Webfooters Postcard Club.

Read also:

Lost messages: Postcards show importance of horses

Gruesome end for Father of Fort Collins; historic farm 

Sagebrush to irrigation - horses - buggy - Colorado irrigation history - circa 1872 - postcard calls for 1 cent postage

Sagebrush to irrigation - postcard back - calls for 1 cent postage - circa 1872