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September 2010
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November 2010

October 2010

Happy Halloween from all of us!

HalloweenBonnie  HalloweenJasper  HalloweenBilly 

Every now and then you need to kick up your heels and live a little, and that’s just what we did this Halloween.

The funniest part came when all the horses, who had been individually costumed by all the handlers you see here, saw each other and were horrified. Billy, in the “All-American” red, white and blue, looked at Magic the Wizard, group shot, far left, in the sparkly black hat, threw up his head, rolled his eyes, snorted and scuttled backwards. Magic tried to turn around and leave with his human on the other end of the lead line.

Bonnie, appropriately the Beautiful Veiled Witch, Jasper, carrying his Knight in Shining Armor, and the Gypsy Dani were heroes, and never flinched. Happy Halloween everyone, from all of us at Poudre River Stables! (Click to enlarge the photos.)

Join us! Bonnie and Billy visiting Jax Authors Day!

(Bonnie Blue and her son Billy Blue are the real-life horse stars of the novel, Winning Bet, by Karin Livingston.)

Horseback riders: City taking action on natural areas

FORT COLLINS, Colorado – Proposals that could affect horseback riding trail use for 19 natural areas along the Poudre River will be unveiled November 9, 4- 7 p.m. at the Northside Aztlan Center, 112 East Willow Street.

A virtual open house is also planned after Nov. 9 via a PowerPoint slide show with the same information as the live open house, and featuring a feedback survey, according to Zoe Whyman ([email protected]), natural areas community relations manager.

Once public input from surveys and open houses has been considered, a final management plan will be drafted.

The final plan for the natural areas along the Poudre River will be presented at a second and final open house. The new management plan could be adopted by the Natural Resources Director in early 2011. Visit for a map of the natural areas, and after November 9, a link to the virtual open house.

Study: Loss of horse trails #3 concern

Check out: Horse property issues

(Karin Livingston is a career 4-H leader specializing in horses and the author of the horse novel, Winning Bet, available in paperback and for e-readers.)

Colorado Horse Rescue wins $1,000 grant

LOVELAND, Colorado – Colorado Horse Rescue (CHR), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping horses in trouble, won a $1,000 grant in Group Publishing’s Community Service Awards today at Group’s annual grant-giving banquet.

Get $10 OFF or $20 OFF at

CHR, based in Loveland, is “dedicated to providing emergency relief, shelter, care, rehabilitation, and adoption services for abused, neglected, abandoned and unwanted horses.” CHR won the award for “Services Related to Ecology or Environmental Stewardship”. Last year, a nearby Loveland horse organization, Hearts and Horses, won the overall $25,000 Group Publishing award for its “Changing Leads” equine-assisted learning program.

Group is an interdenominational Christian publishing company. More than 150 organizations competed for 29 grants in this year's awards. The banquet took place at the new Embassy Suites hotel at Larimer County's fairgrounds complex, "The Ranch".

Hearts and Horses is hosting a haunted house through Halloween.

Colorado Horse Rescue is hosting an open house Saturday, Nov. 6.

Leanin Tree

Four things I learned from Greg Best

FORT COLLINS, Colorado -- (Oct. 23, 2010) I headed over to the Equine Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins for a couple hours of (free!) audit time watching the clinic by Olympic medalist, Greg Best. I learned four things:

    1. Stick a crop down the front of your breeches, so it sticks up in front of your face. Try riding at all gaits, AND over jumps. If you can keep the crop from hitting you repeatedly in the face, you’re probably doing a good job of maintaining proper, consistent body position. This isn’t just a parlor trick. Horses perform better for riders they can trust not to flop all over the place.
    2. Shorten your stirrups about three holes. OK, take this with a grain of salt. It is a fact though, that many riders attempting jump courses need to take up their stirrups.
    3. Use a tack taped to the rear quarter of your saddle to tell you whether you’re centered. Again, not another parlor trick, just a sharp way to remind your body about centered position, even while launching, flying and landing after a jump.
  1. 4. Get in shape. Greg Best clinics, which I have audited a number of times, are microcosms of the strength, agility, and endurance you will need to compete. You expect your horse to be in shape, and you should stay fit, too.
    Watch the video for a small sample of a Greg Best riding clinic.

The CSU English Riding Club hosts Greg Best about twice a year, and his next clinic is Aug. 9 & 10, 2011. Save up your money, and sign up. You won’t regret it.

More training: Foolproof flying lead changes

(An ad-free version of this blog is available for e-readers in the Amazon Kindle store. Just search for "Hoofprints" on your device.)

Ted the Mule: Clean, gutsy, great sense of humor

Ted the Mule Red graces the new gate, part of our day-long project fixing and rewiring fences.

The thing about Ted the Mule is that it tastes clean. A lot of wines leave a cloying aftertaste, but not Ted. Speaking of unexpected names, who would name their wine Ted the Mule? Obviously somebody pretty gutsy, with a devil-may-care attitude, and a sense of humor. That is exactly what you get out of Ted the Mule Red. Gutsy. Devil-may-care. Clean. Deep garnet color.

Ted the Mule tasted great as we sat back on the old truck’s tailgate at sunset and proudly surveyed our renovated riverside-pen fences, gates, and hot-wiring. No, Ted the Mule, isn’t a horse, although by definition, mules are half horse, but we let him join the horsey wine collection anyway. What he lacks in genetics, he makes up for in strength of character.

(Note: According to Tony Aspler aka: The Wine Guy, Ted the Mule “is a play on tête de mule, the French expression for stubbornness”.)  Enjoy!

Check out Horse-lovers' wines: Gabbiano Chianti, and Wine Lovers on Horseback Canter, Slurp in Bordeaux

(An ad-free version of this blog is available for e-readers in the Amazon Kindle store. Just search for "Hoofprints" on your device.)

Horse people: College student seeks help with survey

Kalinda and her Thoroughbred gelding, Kalvin, are featured on her Facebook page.

Hello, horse people!

I am conducting a survey for my Honors Thesis at Colorado State University (CSU). For my thesis, I am looking at the feasibility and market potential of a website that would offer certain tools to help horse owners and caretakers feed their horses better. I would appreciate your feedback through this survey. No personal information will be collected. Feel free to forward this survey to your other “horse friends”, but please do not take the survey more than once. The survey is open until Sunday, October 17th. Thank you!

Click here to take the survey!

Questions? Comments? Find me on Facebook!

(Kalinda Livingston, a graduate of the Colorado 4-H horse project, is a student in the College of Business at Colorado State University, Fort Collins.)

Leanin Tree

US study: Loss of horse trails #3 concern

"Loss of trails and riding areas" ranks third on the list of top issues among U.S. horsemen, according to a study by American Horse Publications (AHP).

We wrote about horse trail use yesterday in our story about Fort Collins, Colorado eyeing use of its trails -- for horseback riding and other purposes -- along the Poudre River. The city is conducting a survey on future use, possible closings, strengths, and areas for improvement.

By the way -- Issue #2 on horsemen's list? The cost of horsekeeping. Issue #1: Unwanted horses and what to do with them. Anybody in the horse business would do well to check out AHP's survey. It is full of nuggets that will help the horse industry meet the future.


AHP survey:

Fort Collins trails/natural areas survey page (scroll down to find the survey):

Horseback riders: Fort Collins eyes Poudre River trail use

FORT COLLINS, Colorado -- The other day, a city ranger truck pulled up along our property, which borders the Poudre River bike trail. The rangers, usually on bicycles, routinely patrol the river. We got to chatting, and it turns out the city is taking another look at how it uses its trails and natural areas.

Horseback riders can affect how Poudre River tails and natural areas will be used by completing this online survey. The City of Fort Collins, which manages the areas, is

looking for feedback as it updates its 10-year plan for the Poudre River trails and natural areas between Overland Trail Road and Harmony Road. Horseback riding is currently allowed on many trails within the system, but it competes with biking, walking, jogging, swimming, rafting, kayaking, and wildlife protection.

The 20-question survey seeks opinions on closing areas, future use, quality of services, and areas for improvement. As an option, respondents can include their e-mail address for notification about public meetings regarding the project. (The link above will take users to the Fort Collins natural areas page. Scroll down the page to find the online survey link under the heading, "Natural Areas Along the Cache La Poudre River".)

US study: Loss of horse trails #3 concern

Horse Properties: Where do you fall in new county land use rules?

(An ad-free version of this blog is available for e-readers in the Amazon Kindle store. Just search for "Hoofprints" on your device.)

Check out Equestrian Collections!