News and updates
All important updates, news and curiosities about M&L Horsemanship, our horses, and our clients
Modified business operations during COVID-19
Many of us have been blindsided with the rapid spread of COVID-19 in not just Colorado, but in our whole country. At M&L Horsemanship, we want to do our part to support public health measures to help slow the spread of the disease. With the whole state currently being ordered to stay at home, we realize that this leaves many of our clients unsure of whether or not they can come to their private lessons. However, one of the exemptions of the stay-at-home order is exercise (yes, including horseback riding), as long as it is not in a large group. For this reason, we have decided to continue to offer our lessons albeit with some new restrictions and precautions so that we are not in violation of public health orders. From now until the heightened risk of spreading infection has passed and the restrictions on movement have been lifted, our new policies are as follows:
1. We will NOT be accepting new students at this time in order to minimize the need to interact in person with any more individuals than necessary. We still encourage anybody interested in starting lessons with us to get in touch via email, phone call or text to begin the process of setting up an in-person meet-and-greet as soon as we are able to safely do so. We may also provide you with the paperwork for you to go over at your leisure, and answer any questions you may have to the best of our ability so that when the time comes, we can get you on our calendar to start lessons as soon as possible. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
2. Our lessons may take place as long as we are able to maintain the recommended social distancing buffer area of at least six feet to remain in compliance with public health orders. This means that we cannot help you to put on equipment, groom the horse, tighten your girth, or change your stirrups, so if you are not yet able to do these things by yourself, you may have to postpone lessons until after the pandemic. Parents or guardians from the same household may assist their children in these tasks.
3. We will be sanitizing all of the common equipment and surfaces between each lesson, so this may mean that we will have to schedule a little extra time between lessons to be able to do this effectively for everyone's safety.
4. While we are normally quite happy to accommodate friends or extra family members who wish to observe your lessons or meet the horses, during this time we must regrettably ask that the student come alone to his or her lessons until the health orders have been lifted. Of course, in the case of young children, this means that they may be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult caregiver, but we ask that extra family members and friends remain at home during this time.
5. For payment, we will currently only accept Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, or a personal check. Please, NO CASH at this time.
6. Although it probably goes without saying, we'll say it anyway. If you feel at all under the weather or have a fever, sore throat or a cough or have been exposed to someone exhibiting any symptoms of illness, PLEASE stay at home. We will temporarily refrain from charging students for last-minute cancellations if it is due to potential illness or exposure to illness.
We hope this clears up any confusion regarding lessons at this time, and that we will be able to continue to serve our clients to the best of our ability during the uncertainty that lies ahead.
M&L Horsemanship welcomes Astoria
Last weekend, Astoria (aka "Story") came to join the herd here with us at M&L Horsemanship and we're very excited to have her. Story is a 16.2 hand, 21-year-old Hanoverian mare who was previously owned by Don, one of Laura's old mentors, who can lamentably no longer ride due to a slipped disk in his back. She is sensitive, highly trained in dressage, and has also done many, many miles on the trails of the Gila National Forrest in southern New Mexico. She is a bit rusty on everything since she has been out of work for over six months, and prior to Don acquiring her around a decade ago, she had only been minimally trained and handled and was essentially a pasture ornament to her previous owners. All of this means she has a little bit of re-learning to do of essential and polite horse behaviors before she will be safe to be handled by everyone. As soon as we are able to knock the rust off of the old gal's gears, the plan is to find her a new forever home with someone who will appreciate her gorgeous, floating movement, her high level of training and her unbeatable work ethic. For the right person, there's no doubt Story will be a wonderful horse who will further her rider's skills and knowledge while becoming part of their family. Check back on more news on Astoria or visit our Facebook page to see photos and more updates on all of our beloved equines.
Getting ready for this summer's fun!
Summer of 2019 is well underway, and we've already had some 90+ degree days to prove it! So far this summer, we have some exciting things planned, and some already executed, such as the adoption of a new barn dog, Laika, and one LD endurance ride at Spanish Peaks in La Veta, CO, already under our belts (and girths). One of our longtime students, Karen, was able to initiate the lease of a horse, Dancer, who is staying at Michelle's barn and also taking on some lessons when Karen is not using him.
In sad news, Sadie Lou, the old barn dog and M&L mascot, died in July, and Luna strained a suspensory ligament in her left fore, essentially rendering her out-of-commission for the rest of the summer (and hopefully not longer). In fact, at the Spanish Peaks ride, Cariah had to take her daughter's place on race day, which made the old mare very happy and she surprisingly did quite well considering her age and the fact that she hadn't been conditioned much at all for such an undertaking.
Our planned activities include a couple of schooling shows for our students to get their feet wet in a competitive environment, the continued participation in the monthly local gymkhanas, and hopefully a few more endurance rides (minus Luna). Come ride with us!
Summer is officially over
Following the first snowstorm of the year, we take some time to reflect back on our awesome, busy summer. We attended a total of three gymkhanas, giving some of our clients a chance to take part in an equestrian competition for their first time. Everyone had a lovely time, and learned some invaluable lessons about sportsmanship, preparation, goal-setting, flexibility, performing under pressure, and of course, riding and horse care in the heat of the summer. In attendance of at least one of three gymkhanas (and some in attendance of all three) were Leah S., McKenzie B., Leah M., Kasyia K., Aliana, Katia S., Hope S., and Kayleigh. Michelle and Laura also decided to compete in the barrel race, and even won a couple of ribbons at the last one (after Luna decided to get over her fear of the barrels)!
We would like to extend a special thanks to Bri Mondragon for her help at all three gymkhanas--we couldn't have done it without her. Although there were some administrative kinks that still need to be worked all the way out, we hope we can continue to offer this service next summer.
Laura brought Luna and Nacho to three Colorado endurance rides this summer: one at Buffalo Creek Recreation area outside of Pine, one in La Veta, and the last one just outside of Larkspur. Unfortunately, no students could be convinced that riding a horse for 25+ miles would be a fun time, so no clients were in attendance of these rides! Luna and Nacho proved themselves to be steady-eddy mounts, though, and finished within the time limit 2/3 rides (the Buffalo Creek ride was a particularly difficult one that we are still hoping to finish within the time limit next year).
Congratulations to our client, friend and neighbor Shelby S. on the acquisition of her new horse, Percy. He's been a character to work with and it will be fun to continue to watch his development over the next year or so. The two already make an awesome horse/rider team, and it will certainly only get better from here!
We also get the pleasure of getting work with Percy's look-alike brother-from-another-mare, Peanut. Peanut belongs to our client Debbie D., and the two have worked very hard and come a long way in the short amount of time that they've been riding with us.
I'm sure that I have accidentally omitted some meaningful event or another, so stay tuned for any additional stories about this summer that may pop up as we are gearing up for another Colorado wintertime.
Gearing up for the final gymkhana of the year
On the 15th of this month we will be attending the final gymkhana at the Indiana Horse Park in Arvada. We hope to have at least six of our students competing in the event, some of them for the first time and others for the second or even third time. The organizers of the gymkhana are all so friendly and accommodating that it's hard not to want to attend, and we all look forward to this last hurrah before winter time (sniff, sniff).
New Facilities, New Beginnings
We have landed at our new barns! We were unable to find anywhere with enough room for 5 horses, so Duke and Revenue are at one barn on Orion St. and Cariah, Luna and Nacho are at another on Orchard St. Luckily, the two barns are not even a block away from each other. We look forward to serving all of our wonderful clients from our new facilities!
M&L Horsemanship moving
M&L Horsemanship will no longer be operating out of the Brill Ranch. We will keep everyone posted about where our new location will be as soon as we know it. We hope to stay in the same neighborhood so as not to lose access to the all the wonderful amenities in the area. We leave the Brill Ranch with heavy hearts, and wish them all nothing but the best in their new endeavors there. We will keep fond memories of the facility and, most of all, of the people. Wish us luck on our property hunt!
M&L Horsemanship gets to partake in birthday fun!
Luna, Cariah, Duke, Revenue and Nacho all got to participate in the 11th birthday party for twins Sabina and Camila on Saturday. Cariah and Duke gave the birthday girls and their guests rides around Westblade Park, and Luna acted as a canvass for the girls' creativity and was soon covered in neon-colored tempera paint (see our facebook page for photos). A good time was had by all!
We survived the first big snowstorm of 2018!
We won't be down for long--although yesterday's snowstorm was a doozy, we should be back to normal operations quickly. Laura took Luna, Nacho and Cariah up to Jefferson County Fairgrounds' indoor arena for a quick ride and a roll yesterday, but other than that, everyone battened down the hatches and stayed in. We hope everyone is staying warm this January!
GIFT CERTIFICATES NOW AVAILABLE!!
M&L Horsemanship is officially prepared for the holiday season now that we have our gift certificates available for purchase. Contact us for more info.
Job Shadow at M&L Horsemanship
M&L Horsemanship had the honor of being chosen by high school student Isabella S. for a job shadowing project last Sunday, Oct. 8th. Isabella accompanied Laura during her regular Sunday routine, and she even got some opportunities to help out with some training activities and lessons. She also had the pleasure of meeting a five-month-old filly that belongs to one of our clients. We wish Isabella luck in her pursuit of a horse-related career!
Welcome to your new home, Mysty
"Mysty", the mare recently purchased by Heather for her daughter Skyy, has been settling nicely into her new home with her new owners. Mysty will be a great all-around kid's horse for Skyy to grow with and learn on. We are very excited to see what the future will hold for this awesome duo!
Congratulations to Kasia on the purchase of Teak
Pending the completion of a clean veterinary exam and state brand inspection, Kasia will soon be bringing home the 4 y.o. Fresian/QH gelding. We are super excited for her!
Polish Heritage Day was a raging success
Well, we pulled it off, friends--we managed to give horse rides to around 100 kids (some of them repeat-riders) in about 5 hours at the Polish Heritage Day at the beginning of the month and not one person was injured, killed or even so much as spilled tears. All of the kids loved their horsey experience and hopefully learned a fair amount, as well, about horses, their care and how to ride them. Our wonderful horses Cariah, Luna and Revenue were nothing short of perfect angels and we think they enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a community outreach event, as well (not to mention all the carrots and attention from the little people who got to ride them). Thanks for the invite, Kasia, and we hope to see everyone again next year ;)
M&L Horsemanship makes the news--DUI checkpoint on horseback
Laura and two other riders (one of them a student) made local and even national news by riding through a DUI checkpoint late one summer night in 2016. Check out one of the stories here: http://www.9news.com/news/local/not-something-you-see-everyday-horses-and-riders-go-through-dui-checkpoint-in-golden/251900228