View Full Version : Advice from CO horse owners
Aug. 13, 2009, 05:11 PM
My nonprofit, Tapestry Institute, is relocating to the Front Range of Colorado. We run the Horse-Human Relationship Program, and our main work right now consists of lessons in riding, lessons in training, and innovative classes that incorporate different ways of knowing and learning about horses. I am wondering if I can get some input from some of you who are in the Front Range areas of CO. We are looking to lease property and are on a tight budget - we are still recovering from a wildfire that forced us to leave our ranch in northwestern Nebraska.
How far out from Denver are people willing to drive to take lessons? What about the Elizabeth and Bennett areas? Are they too far east? Do people prefer to go into the mountains?
Is Ft. Collins a popular equestrian location for people to take lessons and attend events?
What about the Colorado Springs area? We're thinking Pueblo and Canyon City don't have enough horse people, but please let me know if you think otherwise.
If anyone knows of any rental property in those areas - we're also considering Boulder and Longmont, so please give opinions on those areas, too - please let us know.
Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. If you would like to talk by email, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Joanne L. Belasco, Esq.
President, Tapestry Institute
Director, Horse-Human Relationship Program
Aug. 14, 2009, 12:56 AM
Welcome! The horsey scene is strong on all sides of Denver. Your best prices will certainly be on the east side (mountain property is big $$$$ and less usable). Boulder is lovely but usually very expensive. CSprings does not have as big of a horse scene, but maybe that is to your advantage if you are pursuing the beginner rider market?
rosijet is a poster here on coth who is also a fantastic realtor - PM her, I'll bet she knows of something.
Aug. 14, 2009, 02:35 AM
In Boulder, Naropa has a wilderness therapy program that features equine-assisted therapy:
So the market there maybe saturated for your niche of horse therapy. Fort Collins is a more conservative area but I don't know if they have anything like this there. Colorado Springs is ultra-conservative and I'm not sure how they would take to your methods. I'm not trying to be discouraging, but maybe if you contacted the Naropa folks they might give you a sense of what the area needs.
Have you thought of Prescott, Arizona?
Aug. 14, 2009, 09:31 AM
Thanks for the advice about CO. We did consider AZ at one point, but we definitely want to relocate to CO.
Both of your thoughts have helped us narrow our search. Now, to find a lease that will work for us and the program and get moving. And packing. :)
Aug. 14, 2009, 09:58 AM
The Colorado Springs area is mostly western, the median income is rather low and people like to do things on their own as far as horses go, not go take lessons and such.
That would be a hard market to thrive in with what you have in mind.
I would stick close to Denver, that sill has more diversity and many of the people that may find your ideas interesing.
Aug. 14, 2009, 10:09 AM
I don't know about Bennett, but a poster here lives there. I lived in Elizabeth for years, and there are lots of horses there, might be a good place to look, or Parker in Elbert County. I LOVED the Elizabeth area, close enough to all shopping and still rural and in the country. Don't miss Elbert County dirt roads though!
Good luck with your move!
Aug. 14, 2009, 10:10 AM
Thanks! We've had the most luck finding possible leases near Denver, to the east a bit and some south, too, so I think we might pursue those leads.
Aug. 14, 2009, 10:21 AM
I'm just north of Ft Collins, in a little town named Wellington.
There are many, many lesson barns. I'm from the Central NJ (sport-horse heaven) and I have been quite unimpressed by the instructors and trainers I have seen here.
As far as I am aware, there are no other horse programs working with kids, besides the theraputic riding program in Loveland (Hearts and Horses). I'm in vet school and can't do as much as I want :sigh: . There is a program an hours east of Ft Collins, but I can not comment as to the truthfulness or integrity of the people who run it :(
Ft Collins can be very affordable (probably much more than Denver), and I have heard of many folks renting. There is plenty of affordable horse properties here, too, to buy.
Ft. Collins is an amazing town and would be very welcoming to a program like yours. There would be lots of volunteers from CSU, if you were close to town.
What I have noticed here is that in Ft Collins, many people who live in town who wold rather not drive outside city limits. It's part of the culture, where lots of folks prefer walking or riding a bike around town. Getting volunteers to drive the 30 minutes from Ft. Collins is tough. We're 5-6 miles outside of Wellington, and one of the kids I worked with asked if I could drive her there again "because they don't have lots of money for things like gas." I never mind picking her up or dropping her off, but it's something to be aware of.
Good luck. I second getting in touch with Rosijet about real estate.
Aug. 14, 2009, 10:29 AM
There is actually a pretty good horse community down in the Springs area that could use some development- I think it has gotten a bad rap in some ways just because there isn't much here, but I doubt it is because people aren't interested; I know my barn gets calls all the time from people looking for lessons that they have to turn away as we don't have a resident begginer trainer. People willing to work with special needs also do very well down in the springs are because of the high amounts of military here as that = disabed vets unfortunately. So depending on what exactly you are looking to offer, you might actually do quite well in the springs. As far as land for lease though, that might be the harder thing to do. Though the Springs is known for being very conservative, from what I read on your website, it seems like what you are presenting is not something to which many people would be opposed as it hardly seems to be in direct challenge to the belief's of others but rather a different way of expreiencing, thinking, and learning. There would be interest in that I would think. Just some additional thoughts....good luck in your property search- I'll look forward to hearing more about what you do as you move in to Colorado as it sounds really interesting.
Aug. 14, 2009, 11:15 AM
So much good advice! FatPalomino, we have thought about the Ft. Collins/Loveland area as well, so thanks for letting us know about it. We're trying to balance the cost of leasing - higher in the Denver area, obviously - with whether people will come to our location - which sounds like an issue in that area. I think we'll keep it in the search, though, if we can figure out a way to draw people to our location.
Myvanya, yes, we believe in a diversity of voices. We are trying to help people to use all the ways of knowing as they have been split apart and thrown aside in our culture.
Thanks for all the good info! We can't wait to get to CO. :)
Aug. 14, 2009, 05:23 PM
I wanted to thank you all for your advice. We have decided to relocate to the Denver area. We're looking at an area that covers a large circle around Denver to find a place to lease. We have a few in mind that we hope to look at next Monday or Tuesday. I hope that once we're settled in, I can get to meet some of my fellow CO COTHers along the Front Range.
Thanks again! You really helped us with our decision. Now, to get all the packing done. :)
Aug. 16, 2009, 02:41 PM
I have to agree that the boulder area seems to be a little saturated with programs like this. In addition to the Narpoa one, there is Medicine Horse, and another one I can't remember the name of that runs out of Joder. I would think it would be hard to break in- but then again there may be so many because the population is more open to them.
Good luck with your move.
Aug. 16, 2009, 02:48 PM
Thanks, 4Martini. We're heading up to the Denver area very early tomorrow morning to look at some properties. We really like the Boulder area, but there doesn't seem to be any property there that fits our needs.
I also want to thank a few of you who have commented about our horse program. We actually don't do equine assisted psychotherapy, but our pages seem to convey that we do, which I didn't realize, so that is *immensely* helpful for me as I redesign them before our move. That feedback is great to get. Thank you!! :)