Animal Cruelty in Weld County


You may have seen the image and story circulating social media and the news about a Weld County horse that was severely underweight, with very overgrown feet, unable to stand or eat. That horse has been euthanized and the horse owner was cited with one count of animal neglect, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail.

What you might not know are all the details leading up to the charge and euthanasia. So here they are:

“I called the weld county Sherriff to report a downed horse on June 29th, 2020. The Animal Control Officer, Perun, went to the ranch on CR 68 in Briggsdale CO. I followed up with a call later that day, only to discover that the Animal Control Officer was allowing that horse to stay there for 3.5 more days. I was not happy with that decision, so I called the Weld County veterinarian, the Weld County district attorney, and the Colorado state attorney. Then I posted the photo and the Weld county sheriff department’s plan to social media. I asked for calls to the Weld County Sherriff to demand that horse get help ASAP. The next morning the sheriffs went back out with the state vet and sadly euthanized the horse.”

We spoke to Jodi M. of Zuma’s Rescue Ranch who has been involved in this case since day one and received this information.

For 36 hours I tried to get this horse help, sadly I was too late, this poor horse suffered for months down the mile long driveway hidden from view while Sandy and John Thomas did nothing. Horse rescue is hard, and sadly animal protection officers lack training to properly address situations like this. The first officer on scene allowed the horse to lay ther for what would have been 3 more days. Then I forced the issue with a public cry for help. Thanks to the 800 plus people that heard my cry, Weld County Sherriff returned to the scene of the crime and did their job. It should not take public shaming for authorities to understand and do their jobs.Animal control officers need more training and judges need the throw the book at animal abusers to set precedent with harsh penalties and jail time. Please don’t let this horses suffering end here. Join me in continued calls the Weld County DA to ensuer the maximum penalty is imposed on both Sandy and John Thomas . We will be gathering September 1st at the Weld County court house to sit in on the court hearing, join us! Let’s let that poor horses’ voice be heard until things change and animal abusers are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Please respectfully call and request that Sandy and John Thomas be charged with felony animal abuse. Also request that the animals in their care be removed.

We spoke to Jodi M. of Zuma’s Rescue Ranch who has been involved in this case since day one and received this information.

“A Weld County man was cited Tuesday with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty after a horse was discovered suffering from a severe case of founder.

Founder is a common and painful condition affecting the feet of horses. It occurs when there is inflammation of the laminae, or the folds of tissue connecting the pedal bone to the hoof.

“Essentially, the horse’s hooves were so overgrown it was too painful for it to walk,” said Weld County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer Rebeca Farris.

Weld County deputies first responded Monday to a report of animal neglect at a property located in unincorporated Weld near Briggsdale. Deputies returned to the property on Tuesday with an independent veterinarian and a veterinarian from the Colorado Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian’s Office. The veterinarians agreed it had been at least one year, possibly two, since the horse’s hooves had been trimmed.

The horse owner was cited with one count of animal neglect, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail.

Veterinarians at the scene were forced to euthanize the horse, determining the founder was too severe to make rehabilitation a viable option.

To see the Weld County Sheriff’s social media post about the case, go here:

Weld County Sheriff’s Office

Allowing an animal to degrade, in pain, while laying down because it physically cannot stand for days if not months is a choice. Not getting proper care is a choice. Not doing right by your animals is a choice. Please make your voice heard (in a professional/respectful manner) by contacting the District Attorney.

District Attorney Michael J. Rourke
Phone: (970) 356-4010
Fax: (970) 352-8023

Jodi M. is currently working with Douglas County animal control to develop a training program for officers to better understand and manage animal cruelty charges. To get in contact with Jodi or Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, please visit their website

What does the Stay-at-Home Order Mean for Me and my Horse?

With this tragic COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic that has hit the world, many states are issuing Stay-at-Home orders (including Colorado). While every municipality/county/state is going to be different, we will highlight some of the important facts for you especially revolving around us here in Colorado.

Are you stuck in your house until this is over? No. You may travel out for essential needs (See a list below for what falls into this category). However, please be responsible. If you do not NEED to go someplace, just don’t. The faster we all comply and help stop the spread of this virus, the faster things can go back to normal.

Can you visit your horse? This is a tough one. If you live in, or your horse lives in, any of the areas under a stay-at-home order (which is the entire state of Colorado), UNLESS you are the main caretaker of your horse, you should not go see your horse. While this really is inconvenient, it is for the best for everyone involved. Your horse will survive without being ridden (they will actually probably enjoy their staycation). The last thing we want to do is accidentally bring the virus to the barn and get the fulltime caretakers sick.

If you do absolutely need to go to the barn, if you have any symptoms of a cold/cough, indigestion, or any fever, just don’t go (or if you have been in contact with anyone in the last 2 weeks that has been sick). If you believe yourself to be healthy, keep as much of a distance from others as possible. Bring your own disinfectant with you and disinfect literally everything you touch. Get in, get out, and touch as few things as possible (see your horse only, avoid public areas, etc). Some barns have setup sanitization areas as if there was a strangles outbreak (gloves, bleach wipes, wash stations, hand sanitizer, boot buckets with bleach, etc) in case owners do need to come out. But please don’t rely on your barn to provide this for you at no cost, it will add up exponentially for them!

Please remember the barn is someone else’s home. So if they specifically request you to not come, understand they are doing their best to protect their family, their staff, the horses, and their boarders. The sooner this virus is under control, the happier we will all be.

Some barns are closing their doors to boarders/visitors which is due to a variety of reasons including; immune-compromised staff/owners, insurance not covering them (actually not covering their business activities AKA boarders) during stay at home orders, wanting to ensure everyone stays healthy (including the horses, being guaranteed to have proper care from healthy staff).

We have heard some great things local barns are doing to keep horse owners in touch with their horses and to make this difficult time easier:

  • Updating Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, etc with daily photos of each horse and updates on the care etc.
  • Doing quick FaceTime or Skype with owners and their horse.
  • Sharing Barn Cam logins so owners can watch their horses from home.
  • Dropping training requirements, etc. since many owners are without income right now.
  • Offering extra turnout.
  • Offering to lunge client’s horses at minimal or no charge.
  • If you have other suggestions, comment them below!

If you are still unsure if going to the barn is a good idea, consider this: Doctors might have to choose who lives and dies because of the spread of this virus. Just don’t risk spreading it if you can avoid it.

PermittedNot Permitted
Getting medical care for you, a family member, or your pet.In-person public or private gatherings of any size with people outside of your residence.
Visiting a health care professional.Traveling, except to get or provide essential services or medical care.
Getting medical supplies or medication.Carpooling with anyone outside of your residence.
Going to get groceries, food (via take-out, drive-thru, Foodbanks) or other essential household items.
Picking up materials from your child’s school needed for distance learning.
Going outside for physical activity, as long as you stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not in your household and follow social distancing practices.
Going to work, ONLY if you provide essential products or services at an essential business ( Critical infrastructure employers include utilities, fuel supply and transmission, public water, telecommunications, transportation, hotels, organizations that provide services to disadvantaged people and those in the food supply chain. Critical manufacturing includes those who produce food, beverages, chemicals, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and sanitary products.  Critical retail includes grocery and liquor stores, farms, gas stations, restaurants and bars for takeout or delivery, medical marijuana dispensaries, recreational/retail marijuana but only for curbside service; and hardware stores. Critical services include trash and recycling, shipping, laundromats, child care, building cleaning and maintenance, auto supply and repair, warehouses and distribution, funeral homes, crematoriums, and animal shelters and rescue.)

We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available. Also feel free to reach out to us directly if you have helpful info or ideas! Together (from a distance) we can get through this!

USEF Offers Health and Other Insurance Options

Did you know that as a member of USEF, you have the ability to purchase health and other insurance at a discounted rate?

US Equestrian knows that finding quality, affordable health coverage for individuals and your small businesses is important and challenging. That’s why USEF has added new customized health coverage options for your individual and small business needs including short term medicalaccidentcritical illnesshospitalshort and long term disabilitydental, and vision.

USEF paid-fan and competing members can take advantage of guaranteed issue benefits with discounts ranging from up to 35% or more off of market prices.

Learn more at:

Finding the Right Shelter for your Horses

Finding the Right Shelter for your Horse

I recently moved onto some acreage and needed to get it ready for the horses to move home. One of the things needed was outdoor sheds for in the paddocks. There are a LOT of shed and shelter manufacturers out there, but finding a quality one that was safe and aesthetically pleasing was super important to me.

After messaging with a lot of manufacturers, one really stood out to me: Colorado Shed Company. A variety of reasons made me go with them, but above all was their commitment to helping me find what I needed, within my budget, to match the existing structures on the property, and really offering quality products; all without making me feel pressured to buy.

The design of their sheds is a lot prettier than many out there (IMO anyway), you can get them in wood or metal siding with shingle or metal roof, they deliver and anchor for you, and you get a discount for buying multiple shelters at once!

Also, they have a great warranty policy:
1.) If you are not satisfied with your product within 30 days of the delivery date of your structure, they will pick it up and refund your money.
2.) They offer a 7-year workmanship warranty on their structures that covers the construction and workmanship of the unit.

My poor sales guy, Bradley, had his work cut out for him. I hadn’t made up my mind on size, finish, etc. and he really helped me understand all the options available. I also went back and forth on the color a couple of times (if I wanted the roof to match the trim or siding) and he just rolled with it like it was no big deal.

After speaking to the Douglas County Permitting Division, I realized that shelters under a certain size don’t need a permit, so that really helped make up my mind regarding the size I wanted. (I highly recommend you speak to your local permitting division before adding any structures to your property!)

So I decided on two 12’x12′ Shelters. I ended up going with metal siding and roof because they will last longer, my horses cannot chew on them (because let’s face it, horses will chew on things), and the metal siding came in a color SUPER close to the existing structures on the property (Bradley helped me figure out the best one to match – and holy cow are they close!).

Because I have wanted chickens FOREVER, this is the first time we live somewhere I can have them, AND you get a discount for doing multiple items at once, I had them build me a chicken coop too while they were at it. One big enough for me to walk in was important due to some physical limitations I have, and not lots of places offer them (for a reasonable price, anyway) that is also super high quality. They painted it to match my house 100% (for a small extra cost since it wasn’t one of their normal colors), and the shingles are even the same color!

They kept me up to date on the production of all the buildings and worked around my schedule for delivery. Their delivery driver was super professional, placed the shelters exactly how I wanted them, anchored them in the ground for me, was efficient, and was really knowledgeable about the buildings because I had some questions. Not to mention the wicked cool trailer they use to deliver these things with. Plus the driver got into some crazy tight spaces without any issues (the trailer can turn without the truck moving!!!)!

If you are in the market for any sort of shelter (tack room, any sized animal shelter, chicken coop, garage, storage shed, gazebo, pergola, etc.), you owe yourself the favor of reaching out to Colorado Shed Company!

Colorado Shed Company
(719) 372-7433
Located in Penrose & Walsenburg, CO

The Colorado Horse Park **UPDATES**

Press Release from Colorado Horse Park:

Parker, CO. – December 18, 2019 – Colorado Horse Park (CHP) will continue to operate as a horse park in 2020 despite recent rumors to the contrary. The Colorado Equestrian Partners are enthusiastic about the 2020 schedule and have implemented changes to ensure that the horse show operates at peak performance.

Read More

Black Friday for Equestrians – 2019

Black Friday Deals for Equestrians

We’ve found a few great deals on horse/equestrian items across the internet for Black Friday through Cyber Monday! Happy Shopping!

If you know of others, message us and we will add the link to this list.


Dover Saddlery:

Centerline Style:

Tractor Supply:

Asmar Equestrian:

State Line Tack:


Premier Equine:

Solo Equine:




Riding Warehouse:

Big D:


Total Saddle Fit:

Levade Kentucky:


Horse Loverz:

Chicks Saddlery:

Schneider’s Tack:

Kastel Denmark:

Adam’s Horse:

C4 Belts:

For an even more robust list, visit one of our favorite blogs, The 900 Facebook Pony:

Thefts in Local Barns

Thefts in Local Barns

We have been informed by a local Deputy that there has been a slew of thefts in barns spanning across multiple counties here in Colorado.

There are 2-3 males entering equestrian centers, both private and public, and getting into vehicles. They steal purses, cell phones, and anything of value in your car while you are out riding your horse. They then go buy gift cards and other items with your credit cards.

Please be safe. Just because you are at your private barn, does not mean your belongings are safe. Please take extra precautions and lock your vehicle anytime you are not occupying it.

Local News: Horse Dragged by Truck

Horse Being Drug in Grand County

You may have seen the video floating around social media of the couple that tied their horse to their pickup truck and literally dragged it down the road while it fought and struggled. We are happy to report that the Grand County Sherriff is investigating the situation.

Original video of the horse being dragged (caution, disturbing):

Latest News Coverage (with a statement from one of the owners):

Update from Grand County Sherriff 11/25/2019, 2:54pm:

A Brief History of the Pommel Horse

Pommel Horse History
Photo By Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-12352 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,

You may know the pommel horse as a gymnastic device used by men in the Olympics. But it has a much longer history than that. It started out as a practice device for the real-life horse, back in 315 B.C.

The history of the pommel horse goes as far back as Alexander The Great. He and his Macedonian soldiers used an early pommel horse to practice mounting the animals they would ride into battle.

The first pommel horses were not like modern-day versions, and offered no padding like we see today in men’s gymnastics competition. Instead, it was a simple wooden structure modeled after the animal’s back where the rider would sit.

To read more about the pommel horse’s history, check out wikipedia!

Now that Cold Weather is upon us… Be Prepared!

Cold Weather and Winter Tips for your Horse in Colorado

The cold and snow have arrived here in Colorado. And if you are like the rest of us, you were scrambling yesterday to make sure your horse (and barn) were ready for the weather change.

Here are just a few tips to try to make the temperature (and weather) transition easier on all of us:

  • Feed extra hay: the digestive process helps keep your horse warm, so extra hay will keep them warmer. Another benefit is the more constant food supply will help avoid colic.
  • Heated waterers: use some form of water heater to avoid frozen water sources. This will keep your horse hydrated during cold snaps as well as make less work for you. No one likes breaking up ice! Plus, who likes drinking ice cold drinks during a snowstorm anyways?
  • Blankets: if your horse has not grown a substantial winter coat yet, you might want to consider a blanket for added warmth and protection from the snow and dampness.
  • Salt/Minerals: be sure to provide your horse with quality salt/minerals all year, but especially during the cold. Inadequate salt in the diet can result in abnormal eating behavior such as licking or chewing objects which have salt on them or licking/eating dirt. Water intake may also decrease without proper salt/mineral intake, increasing the risk of impaction colic.
  • Shelter: good shelter is important all year in Colorado, but during the cold and winter it is even more important. Horses need a way to get out of the wind and inclement weather in an effort to stay warm (and for their forage to not blow away). This can come in the form of a shelter in a pasture, a stall in a barn, or other methods depending on your property’s setup.
  • Bedding: you may want to add extra bedding for your horse’s comfort. It will give them a soft/warm place to lay down. It will also help soak up any urine before it can turn to ice and become dangerous.
  • Footing Needs: Pay attention to the footing in your horse’s area. Most horses can cope with deep snow, but ice can be dangerous. Where needed, apply snowmelt to help icy conditions. If your horse is shod, you might also need pads to help prevent snow and ice balling up in the foot and causing a slippery situation for your horse.

And remember, our first hard freeze kills off many of our annoying (and disease-carrying pests), so it is not all bad!