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Posts Tagged ‘Peruvian’

Yesterday I spent the day with another horse nut who was eager to learn more about Peruvian horses. Sandra and had I connected on Peruvian Horse World (if you’re not on there, you should be), a social networking site for Peruvian enthusiasts. She’s a lifelong horse lover who’s in search of a smoother ride and new adventures.

It’s been a very long time since my first ride on a Peruvian. It was way back before Wonder Pony, my other two geldings, my kids or even my college graduation. But I still remember the thrill of it, and I felt it all over again when I watched Sandra break into a huge grin as Speedy Gonzalez took up the paso llano.

For most of us, that first ride is a game-changer. If you’ve spent your saddle time rising to or bouncing from the trot, that ground-eating glide amazing. It still is for me (unmentionable) years after the first time I set my foot in a wooden stirrup. I hope Sandra can say the same (unmentionable) years from now.

 

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Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s one of three seasons I missed growing up in the endless summers of South Texas. So I get positively giddy over the changing leaves and cooling temps.

I’m also thrilled that so many of us are getting out there and enjoying the wonderful weather, our fabulous horses and our good friends. The CSPHC had a great time in September as guests of Terri Miller and Amanda Speaker at their family homestead near Buffalo Creek. There’s also a ton of great pictures from the group who enjoyed Dawson’s Butte Oct. 22, and the Rio Grande Peruvian Horse Club had more than a few Colorado folks in their ranks that same day as they rode along Rio Chama.  Several of us are looking forward to a ride in Cañon City on Bobbi Taylor’s ranch on Oct. 29. And if you’re a Facebook friend of club member Emily Knight, you’ll see fabulous new trail photos just about every week.

Garden of the Gods is one of my favorite spots to ride in Colorado Springs.

At the moment, our first real snow of the year is coming down hard enough that I didn’t quite make it out to the barn this morning as I hoped I might. But it will be gone before we carve our pumpkins, and we’ll have more scenic trail shots to share.

Send me yours or links to your albums if you’d like to add your photos to our site.

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She only had a little lamb follow her to school. Kerry had a little horse, and he was way more fun that a bag of wool.

My daughter’s first-grade class has been studying Peru, so I loaded up Wonder Pony, donned my whites and did a quick demo for the 96 small people who brought their chairs outside for a quick lesson on our breed and a little Spanish for good measure.

Thanks so much to The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs for being cool enough to welcome us. We had a blast.

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I like to tell people that Peruvians are the original American trail horse. Before quarter horse folks jump down my throat, note I did not say North American trail horse. Plus, our breed predates the fabulous quarter horse by a few centuries, so I think it’s a fair title.

And one of our very own Colorado Peruvians is competing for the top spot on America’s Favorite Trail Horse, a show on HRTV. Bobbi Taylor and HHF Nevado of Cataloochee Ranch in Guffey, Colo., were picked from thousands of competitors to vie for the grand prize:  $25,000.

And there’s a second palomino Peruvian pair in the finals, Me Llamo Altanero and Jody Childs of Vista, Calif.

Bobbi’s and Nevado’s episode is Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. MT on HRTV (Dish Network 404). She’s hosting a viewing party at the 8 Mile Bar and Grill in Cañon City, Colo.; call Bobbi, 719-837-3011, or email votenevado@aol.com to RSVP. You can vote one time per email address for 48 hours following the episode on ACTHA’s TV website,  www.actha.tv. Nevado is No. 256 from episode No. 3.

No matter who walks away with the check, both these teams helped us secure a fabulous bonus prize:  exposure for our breed. Everyone watching will see these ladies and their geldings maneuver all kinds of obstacles with ease. Hats off and good luck to both of these competitors.

Here's a shot of Bobbi and Nevado when they were competing for the final cut of America's Favorite Trail Horse.

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New year, new start.

Every January we step on the scale, make our lists of resolutions and look ahead.

As a club, CSPHC is looking forward to a lot. The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, The Denver Queen City Horse Show and the Colorado State Fair are circled on the calendar right now.

As much as I love shows, I’m putting a gold star next to the Expo; it’s the first on the list (March 11-13). This is a fantastic venue for promoting our breed. Tens of thousands of horse lovers from throughout the region will converge on the National Western Complex in Denver to ride with experts, hit the trade show floor and enjoy equine performances in the Mane Event.

I really believe we have to reach out to the larger horse community to help sustain our breed. As much as I love hanging out with other Peruvian aficionados, we need to make connections with other horse lovers. We have a lot to offer, and a lot to learn.

Last year’s Queen City show is proof of that. It was a beautifully run weekend, we had a great turnout and enjoyed sharing the facility with the Saddlebred folks. I’m looking forward to more of the same this year (July 21-23).

So from where we stand as a club, we have lots of opportunities to make the most of our horses and our equine connections.

From where you’re standing today, what do you see?

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If you’ve been in the Peruvian horse breed for a while, odds are you’ve heard these kinds of comments:

“Peruvians can do anything any other breed can do.”

“They’re really not that versatile. They’re here to gait. It’s what they do best.”

A recent discussion on our club Facebook page hit on this very topic. An article on Peruvians and reining appeared in my email inbox, so I posted it to our FB page. There are some excellent comments in there about what different people are doing with their horses and what those activities mean for and about the breed.

I’m not picking a side here, but I think it’s a good discussion to continue as we all work to promote our breed. I know we all want to share and show off our horses, but I think we also need to figure out whose attention we’re trying to catch. If we can define the market we’re trying capture, we can target those folks.

I guess that raises the question of who “we” is, though. Are “we” traditionalists preserving and promoting Peruvian culture? Are “we” fun-loving trail riders who just want to get out and enjoy nature? Are “we” parade/demo folks who love to put on a memorable presentation of this stunning horse? Are “we” competetive types who have something to prove to other breeds?

If “we” are all the above, I’d say that’s a pretty versatile group.

What do you think?

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At our recent Denver Queen City Show, my pals and I scratched our heads. We enviously watched juniors and 20-somethings mount their Saddlebreds to compete and wondered, where are our young folks? 

At 37, I was the youngest Peruvian exhibitor there. And while I’m thrilled to be considered sprightly, the sad truth is I’m waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay closer to the privileges of AARP membership than I am to the proud day I earned my horseback riding badge in Girl Scouts. 

I know our horses are a great option for achey Baby Boomers. But I also know I got hooked on the smooth ride when I was 22. I was drawn to the welcoming community, the trail riding, exhibitions and shows. And I’m even a Texas native who grew up with the unofficial state breed — Quarter Horses. 

I also wonder why our breed doesn’t have a more prominent presence on the competetive trail circuit. I know there are several breeders who make a proud showing at those events, but I think those are mostly Peruvian owners who find the sport rather than competitors who find our breed. Here in Colorado, there’s no better way to enjoy the stunning beauty of our state than on the back of a Peruvian. But I’ve never come across one on hikes or rides. 

So how do we expand our breed’s popularity? More exhibitions? A competetive trail team? An ambassador program to do exhibitions at multi-breed shows? I know this is going on in pockets across the country already, but do we need a more organized approach, and who’s going to step up to lead that? 

I also firmly believe we need to be more aggressively pursuing new riders via social media. We need to follow the example of the Quarter Horse folks whose tweets I follow and whose Facebook page has more than 100,000 likes.  Or the National Reining Horse Association with their 800-plus Twitter followers (at least our club has a custom background) and more than 7,000 likes on Facebook

I’m always on the lookout for more Peruvian nuts out here in cyberspace, and I’m so glad the National Show and several other clubs have Facebook pages. If you have a Twitter account, Facebook page,  YouTube channel — whatever — please send me a link. Building our reach isn’t a quick or easy process, but I really think it’s key to sharing our fantastic breed with an untapped audience.

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