Evacuation Training for Colorado Horse Owners & Volunteers

On Tuesday, April 23rd, Douglas Elbert County Horse Council will be hosting a Barn Manager and Volunteer refresher training for all who have volunteered to help during an evacuation.  In order to have things run smoothly during a very high-stress situation, it is important to attend.  This meeting should not take very long.

Date:  Tuesday April 23rd

Place:  Franktown Fire Protection District          
1959 N State HWY 83          
Franktown, CO 80116

Time:  7:00 P.M.

For more information or contact details go here: http://www.dechc.org/

Are You Ready for Tomorrow’s Snow Storm?

March Snowstorm in Colorado

In case you haven’t heard yet, there is a big snow storm coming tomorrow. All the news channels are covering it. If you want to see your weather forecast, check it out here. In many areas, the rain will start tonight and will slowly turn into snow with snow continuing into Thursday. This storm will also be accompanied by very strong winds.

For more storm details, click here.

Now, what we care about? How to take care of our horse and livestock!

  • Be sure to provide clean, unfrozen water. Many animals prefer water that has a tank heater because the slightly warmer temperature goes down easier for them.
  • If you can, provide 3 sided shelter with a roof. This way the animals can get out of the elements if they choose to. If you cannot provide that sort of shelter, provide as much shelter as you can; ESPECIALLY a windbreak since these could be up to Category 2 hurricane winds alongside the snow.
  • The more hay, the better. Much of the horse’s body heat is produced by the fermentation of fiber in the hindgut.
  • If your horses (or livestock) do not have an adequate winter coat, be sure to provide them with an insulated blanket.
  • Extremely young and older animals have a harder time with extreme weather, so be sure to provide them with extra support in this weather.

Good luck and stay safe in this storm (and be sure to tag us in fun snowy animal pictures on social media!).

The Colorado Animal Health Laboratory is Moving

The Colorado State Animal Health Laboratory is moving April 1. They will not be shutting down during their move. But please keep in mind this move when you are sending samples, to ensure they get to the correct address. If you are worried about a delay in processing due to delivery to the wrong address or anything else for your coggins test, clients are welcome to drop off samples at the new lab starting April 1st.

The new address is:

300 S. Technology Ct.
Broomfield CO 80021

All About Foaling with Dr. Pat McCue of CSU


We are lucky to have Colorado State University here, they offer an exceptional team of equine vets to the community. Dr. Pat McCue has done a series on the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory Facebook Page regarding foaling. If you plan on breeding, we highly recommend watching this to further your education!

We highly recommend following their Facebook page too, so you don’t miss out on any educational videos and articles!

Prediction of Foaling with Dr. Pat McCue

Normal Foaling and Dystocia with Dr. Pat McCue

Care of the Newborn Foal with Dr. Pat McCue

Information on the Mountain Lion Attack at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Mountain Lion Attack in Colorado

You may have heard about the mountain lion attack here in Colorado recently. We wanted to share the information with you so you can be informed.

On Monday, Feb. 4 at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space a trail runner was attacked by a juvenile mountain lion. The victim was able to defend himself from the attack, resulting in the death of the mountain lion (by suffocation). The runner was then able to leave the open space property and get himself to a local hospital.

These attacks are not common in Colorado. But if you ride or hike, remember that Colorado has wildlife and to always stay attentive and vigilent.

This serves as a reminder that living in Colorado means living among our wildlife. Here’s what to do if you encounter a mountain lion: https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlifeLion1.aspx

The Truth About Boarding Facilities


Let’s face it, as a horse owner, we have all relied on a boarding facility at some point to be able to enjoy our equine friends. And unless you are really blessed, most of us will always require a boarding facility to be able to enjoy horses.

Boarding facilities offer us so many amenities, they really are a blessing to us; a blessing that a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and money go into so we have great facilities available to us for the riding and care of our horses.

We know owning a horse is not cheap, but you would be surprised the favors that boarding facilities are actually doing for us, based on the actual cost to operate one VS the cost they charge us.

Here are just some of the costs that go into boarding horses:

  • Here in Colorado, lately anyways, small bales of grass hay (65-70lb bales) are about $12. Let’s say your horse gets 1/3 bale per day, or 21lbs per day. That equals out to $108 per month per horse (feeding 1/2 bale, or 32lbs, per day equals $180/month).
  • If your barn uses bedding, they likely go through 5-10 bags per week per horse. Assuming they have found a great deal on bulk shavings, we will figure $5/bag and 5 bags per week (a single bag at Murdoch’s is $7.99). 15 bags equals $75 per month.

So in hard costs per horse, that is already $183/month (or $255/month for a little more hay).

  • Most facilities have a mortgage, and the equine portion of that mortgage in Colorado is most likely at VERY minimum $200,000 which equals out to $1,073 per month with a 5% APR on a 30 year mortgage. Assuming the facility holds 12 horses, your horse’s share of that is $90 per month. (But if we are being honest, the mortgage on most boarding facilities is closer to $700,000 or $3,443 per month at 4.5% APR on 30 years, and that would equal $286 per horse if 12 horses were boarded).

Now we are up to $273/month (or $345/month with a little more hay).

  • Labor: between the amount of time it takes to feed your horse (2-3 feedings per day), cleaning their stall, cleaning their pen, moving them from stall to pen and back again, getting them water, cleaning waterers, blanketing, grooming arena(s), mowing pens, cleaning the barn, night checks, and other miscellaneous duties, let’s average 1 hour of labor per horse per day, which at only $10/hr works out to $300/month (but being realistic, you cannot find good reliable help for $10/hour here in Colorado, so at $15/hour it would be $450/month).

We are up to $573/month with these additional costs (or $795/month with a 1/2 bale instead of 1/3 bale, and $15/hr labor instead of $10/hr labor).

This does not take into consideration the specialty insurance the facility needs to have to be able to board your horse and have you ride there, the cost of the tractor and attachments (mowers, drags, plows, etc.), maintenance for facility and facility equipment, water and electricity, facility repairs due to horses damaging items, etc.

So if you have a facility you enjoy boarding at, and the cost is under what we outlined above… your facility owner is probably not making any money (and actually your horse being there is costing them money in the bigger picture). So before you complain about how much your board is, keep that in mind!

Having a great boarding facility also gives us the option to go on vacation for a week, or not see our horse for a day as needed. Providing us with a LOT of flexibility to enjoy our lives outside of horses.

And remember to support your facility owner by taking lessons when offered, participating in clinics and events, and just being sure to thank them once in a while for the wonderful facility they make available to you.

10 Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Horse Lovers


If you happen to love a horse person, one of the ways to their heart is DEFINITELY through their horse. So here are 10 affordable gift ideas every horse lover will love! Click on any of the images to link to the page to purchase them!

Lettia Rhinestone Padded Leather Halter - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Lettia Rhinestone Padded Leather Halter – $69.99
Woof Wear Color Fushion Dressage Saddle Pad - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Woof Wear Color Fushion Dressage Saddle Pad – $69.95
Lettia CoolMax Western Saddle Pad - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Lettia CoolMax Western Saddle Pad – $89.99
Word Necklace Live Laugh Love Ride - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Word Necklace Live Laugh Love Ride – $12.69
Great Grip 8Pc Grooming Package - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Great Grip 8Pc Grooming Package – $47.49
Eqyss Avocado Mist Conditioner Detangler - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Eqyss Avocado Mist Conditioner Detangler – $20.99
Lettia Sparkly Polo Wraps - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Lettia Sparkly Polo Wraps – $29.99
Stud Muffins Horse Treats - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Stud Muffins Horse Treats – $9.70
Bling Horse Hat - Valetines Day Gift Idea
Bling Horse Hat – $22.19
Horses are Where the Heart Is Hoodie - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Horses are Where the Heart Is Hoodie – $30.49

10 Things to Consider When Buying a Horse Property


By Andrea Price Valenzuela

If you are in the market for a horse property, chances are you have a lengthy list of all of the attributes you want in your new property. These can be as specific as what features the house will have (though many equestrians will tell you, it’s not about the house, it’s about the barn!) down to the size of acreage. Through my years of experience in selling real estate and my firsthand experience of building my own horse property, I’ve come up with a list of ten things that are often overlooked when considering a horse property.

  1. Layout – If you keep your horses at home, but still work full time, this is one of the most important factors to consider. The layout of a property determines how much time you will spend doing farm chores every day and what tools you need to complete your tasks. For example, if your barn is on the other side of your
    property, it will take you double the time to do night checks and in poor weather will likely require you to use a vehicle of sorts to access the barn. Or, for properties that are set up where the barn is not near the pastures, this will require you to halter each horse and walk them across to their pasture. The setup of a barn can dictate how quickly you can get through day to day chores. It’s important to go into a prospective property and evaluate the layout with a lens of what your realistic labor factor will be.
  2. Pastures – My rule of thumb when helping a client evaluate a property is to make sure that there is double the amount of pasture for the amount of horses they plan to keep at the property. For example, if they plan to keep 2 herds with 2-3 horses each, they will need 4 pastures to be able to adequately rotate pastures. In Colorado, we are not always fortunate with rain and sometimes we will go years with very dry pastures. Proper rotation of the pastures will prevent overgrazing. Once a pasture is overgrazed, it is very hard to come back from that, so taking great precautions to avoid that through the use of cross fenced pastures is key.
  3. Fencing – There could be an entire novel written on different fencing types! This is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when buying a horse property. Fencing is not cheap. If you are buying a property that has fencing in need of TLC, you must get a bid prior to buying so you know exactly what you are working with. This is the piece I often hear clients underestimate the most in terms of cost. The type of fencing you have is vital to your horses’ safety. A nice safe fence will be costly upfront, but it is nothing compared to the inevitable vet bill(s) and the potential danger of a run-down fence.
  4. Water – Without water, you really do not have a property! Thorough research of your well is an essential step when looking to purchase a horse property. The Division of Water Resources has a great website that can help you begin the research on the well details on your prospective property. Knowing exactly what your limitations are on your well is necessary to make sure you aren’t overusing your water resources. If you are looking to purchase a horse property for use as a boarding facility, it is imperative that you involve a trust water attorney to make sure your property is structured (or has the capacity) to accommodate your business plans.
  5. Septic – The placement of a septic system and leach field is usually more of an issue on 5-acre parcels and less. The home will generally have a septic system (commonly identified by two lids coming out of the ground, some can be fully buried) as well as leach field that is appropriately sized for the home’s number of bedrooms. A common issue I see when showing horse property is that many people have horses grazing on their leach field or have even built buildings or arenas over them. This is not ideal and something you really should avoid when looking for a home to purchase. A leach field can be easily damaged when it is subjected to heavy weight consistently and they can be costly to repair or replace ($7,500-$15,000 depending). The ideal placement for a septic system and leach field would be in the backyard of the home away from all horse facilities.
  6. Arena –For those who are looking to purchase a property where you can continue your riding and training, the arena can be surprisingly pricey. If your property does not have an arena and you plan to add one, be sure to figure out the location and what type of base and footing you prefer. From there, be sure to get three different bids so you know you will have enough money left over after the purchase to complete your arena project. If the property has an arena in place already, take care to analyze the condition of the base, existing footing and drainage. It’s not always possible, but incredibly helpful, to visit the property after a fresh rain or snow to see how well the arena drains and give you an idea of how functional it is for future riding.
  7. Setbacks – The county dictates the setbacks of a property. This is the space between your neighbor’s property and where you can build. For example, when I built our arena, we were subject to the setbacks of being unable to build our arena within 50 feet of the front of our property and 25 feet on the side of the property. When evaluating smaller parcels, be sure to know what your setbacks are because 50 feet can radically change your plans if it turns out you are unable to build in that space.
  8. Trailer Access – If you plan to keep a trailer at home, knowing where you plan to park it and how easy it is to access it is a great thing to consider. Identifying trailer parking and access is something that can easily be done the first time you visit the prospective property. Ideally, you’d like to have one way in and one way out but if you only have one access point, having a space to turn around is very helpful. If you plan to have boarders, consider that some of them might come with not only a horse but a trailer too, so taking into consideration where they will park their trailer when not in use is key.
  9. Manure Removal – Horse property ownership is a 24/7 battle of manure creation and removal! Knowing what your plan is for manure removal plays into the first tip to consider of layout. Do you plan to dispose of your manure in a dumpster and have it collected by a waste company once or twice weekly? If so, be sure that the dump truck can adequately reach your dumpster in all weather conditions. Do you plan to dump into a muck pile and have the manure removed every few months by a manure removal company? If so, make sure that the manure truck can actually access the pile. Do you plan to spread your manure? If this is the plan, make sure you truly have enough land to spread that you don’t bog down your pastures with excess manure.
  10. Hay Storage – Ideally, a property should have a good area for at least 3-4 months of hay storage. This provides you the ability to purchase hay in bulk and store during the winter months and other times of low hay availability. The best-case scenario is a separate outbuilding for hay storage that is easily accessible to wherever you plan to keep your horses (paddocks, barn, etc.). Remember, it’s important to keep the hay dry and on pallets so that if you do happen to have any water on the floor it will not soak into the bales and cause them to mold. These are just 10 things to consider when you are beginning your search for your dream horse property. There are many other factors that must be evaluated depending on what your goal is for your property, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

This article was written by Andrea Price Valenzuela of Price & Co. Real Estate. Andrea Price Valenzuela, owner of Price & Co, and Emily Baker run the Equestrian Living Branch of Price & Co Real Estate. They would be happy to help you find the horse property of your dreams.  Like their page on Facebook today to learn more about how you can find the perfect home for yourself and your equine companions! Email anytime at Emily@pricecohomes.com and Andrea@pricecohomes.com!

2019 Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival Coverage

The Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival is going on this weekend. They happen to be live-streaming the classes for us to enjoy! Keep an eye on their FB Page if you want to live-stream, or we will be updating this page with links as they are availalbe!

Friday 1/25 Coverage

Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival Facebook Page

Ride Schedule: http://horseshowoffice.com/info/2019/37-69/Ridesch.pdf

Click here to view the first broadcast from the morning and most of the Prix St. George.

Click here to view the second broadcast with the last Prix St. George rider, Intermediare I.

Click here to view the third broadcast featuring Intermediare II.

~~~~~~LUNCH BREAK~~~~~~

Click here to view the fourth broadcast with the remaining Intermediare II riders, Grand Prix.

Last feed had issues so ended early, this is the new broadcast for the I-2 and Grand Prix.

Click here to watch the fifth broadcast of the CDI 1* Intermediate 1.

Click here to watch the sixth broadcast with the CDIW Grand Prix for the Freestyle, CDI-J FEI Junior Team Test, CDI-U25 FEI Intermediate II (16-25), CDI 3* Grand Prix for the Special.

Saturday 1/26 Coverage

Click here to watch the first broadcast of the day; 3rd Level Test 2, Fourth Level Test 2, part of Intermediare I.

Click here to watch the second broadcast of the day; Intermediare I, FEI Test of Choice, and Prix St. George.

Click here to watch the third broadcast of the day; Fourth Level Test 3, Grand Prix, and part of Intermediare II.

Click here to watch the fourth broadcast of the day; remainder of Intermediare II, FEI Test of Choice Continues, FEI Pony Team Test.

Click here to watch the fifth broadcast of the day; CDI-U25 FEI Young Rider Grand Prix (16-25), CDI-J FEI Junior Individual Test, CDI 3* Intermediate A, CDI 1* Intermediate Freestyle, CDIW Grand Prix Freestyle.

Friday 3/1 Coverage

Click here to watch part 1

Click here to watch part 2

Click here to watch part 3

Click here to watch part 4

Click here to watch part 5

Click here to watch part 6

Click here to watch part 7

Click here to watch part 8

Click here to watch part 9

Click here to watch part 10

The PAST Act has been reintroduced in the new Congress

Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act

Good News! The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act has been reintroduced as H.R. 693 by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ron Estes (R-KS), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Chris Collins (R-NY)!

The PAST Act will amend the Horse Protection Act of 1970 to finally put an end to the abusive practice known as horse soring (Big Lick) – the intentional infliction of pain on the hooves and legs of Tennessee Walking Horses and related breeds using chains, caustic chemicals and other cruel methods to force an artificially high-stepping gait that wins prizes in some horse shows. Though it’s been illegal for over 50 years, this abuse is still rampant in some quarters.

The PAST Act has earned broad bipartisan support – in the last Congress, it had 290 House cosponsors and 46 Senate cosponsors. It’s time to get this bill over the finish line!

Follow the Humane Society of the United States – Equine Protection for updates on this exciting development.