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Posts Tagged ‘La Estancia Alegre’

Just got back from a fabulous weekend at La Estancia Alegre, where Barbara Windom and Mark Bolender designed and built an amazing trail course in the bosque. I was lucky enough to snag a spot in the first  extreme trail cinic. They added a second clinic due to demand; it filled up in two days.

It was such a great group of people — most from Colorado — who were determined to have fun with their horses. I was particularly proud that my friends Stacey and Latina conquered their joint fear of water crossings. Latina accepted the lesson so well, she ended up leading another horse through the winding, shoulder-deep stream.

Stacey and Latina had a come-to-Jesus meeting with running water. Mark was so patient, Latina finally volunteered to stand quietly in the stream.

Wonder Pony finally conquered his wooden bridge phobia after a lot of standing on the bridge and a couple of acrobatics off the side. He also developed a much better tolerance for waiting, something very contrary to his Speedy Gonzalez nature.

I first watched Mark work with horses two years ago at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. I was impressed with his patient, emotionless approach to helping horses and riders build their confidence through trail challenges. For Mark, it’s not about making a horse do a 360 on a suspension bridge, it’s about convincing him he can and letting him work it out.

It’s his approach with riders as well, and it’s just as effective.

Thanks to Mark, his better half Lee, Barbara and all the new and old friends who made the trip so magical.

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No, I did not forget to send you a Christmas card this year. I just forgot to make Christmas cards important enough to get them done. If I catch a magic shot of my kids with my horses over the next few days, I might get some out. But I’m not holding my breath. I know me too well.

But I will share some of my favorite seasonal shots of Peruvians:

DB Romance Joven — or Jr., as his friends call him — is doing a great job putting up with his owner Emily Knight’s Christmas spirit.

Here’s a fun one of Lisa Bialy’s horse — I believe that’s Vista del Dragon. Scroll through and see some other fun snowy pics from Rancho Paso Fuego.

This is my favorite. I love the way the horse is framed through the wire — never seen anything quite like it. It’s from Mer-Girl Gardens, which grows fabulous organic goodies alongside the horses of La Estancia Alegre. You can see more beautiful shots from LEA here.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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Well, by the time I hit “publish,” this won’t be the latest. I signed up for email updates from my vet, I’m wearing cyber tracks into Google and haunting the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s site. Friends send me updates — some legit, some questionable. So I’m doing what I can to stay informed and to share what I know.

And I’m doing what I can to keep my horse safe. Even before my barn manager here in Colorado Springs decided to quarantine the animals, I decided to leave Wonder Pony here rather than trailer him down to La Estancia Alegre for this weekend’s clinic. (Thanks so much to Barbara Windom for offering up her horses to those of us who can’t bring our own.) I’m canceling next week’s vet appointment — teeth floating and Coggins can wait at this point.

But I’m also not freaking out. Six infected horses — two euthanized —  in Colorado is concerning, for sure. But I’m grateful that the flow of info is so quick, so thorough and so constant. I’m optimistic that this has been caught early, and the measures horse owners and professionals are taking will minimize the disease’s impact.

Here’s hopin’.

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