After riding Pawnee for 17 years I have learned that a good horse will take care of you - not the other way around. I am happiest when we are riding in the mountains enjoying the beauty that surrounds us.
We joined NCBCH to enjoy the company of others who enjoy the same. I enjoy giving back to the mountains by repairing trails.
I am a Charter Member of NCBCH (2003). I am a past State Vice Chairman for BCHCO. I headed up the Leadership Symposium for 8 years but stepped down to an advisory position. I am currently Chairman of the Education Committee for the State of Colorado. (BCHCO).
I have attended two Wilderness Workshops where I spent five days in Montana to become a LNT -Leave NoTrace Master Trainer for Stock.
I ride a Quarter Horse (Blackjack) and a Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse (Jose).
I have always had a love of horses, even when I got bucked off and had to walk home. I enjoy working on horsemanship, riding the trails and camping with my wife and horses. I believe in both preserving and keeping access open to our trails and backcountry. I joined NCBCH in 2008 because of it's commitment to our wilderness through service rather than protest. One of my favorite quotes comes from late President Ronald Reagan, "There's nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse."
I have a Missouri Fox Trotter named James. The two of us have traveled many miles in the mountains and I feel most at ease when riding.
My parents say I was born in a saddle on a trail and my brother tells people I was born 200 years too late. My love of horses, riding and packing compare to no other. Now in my later years I have added camping to the list of things I enjoy. The wilderness and mountains are my heaven on earth.
I'm excited to continue my work with NCBCH and to continue to clear trails for the enjoynemt of future generations.
I founded NCBCH in 2003 because there were no BCHA Chapters in Northern Colorado. I believe so much in the Mission Statement of BCHA. That is why I am so passionate about it.
We need to preserve our packers, guides and outfitters. Their talents need to be taught to our younger generations. We also need to make sure trails stay open to all horse and pack stock use.
I always feel at home when I am on a mountain trail with my horse and dog. It is so much a part of who I am. So I will do all I can to keep our trails open.
I was a rodeo cowboy in high school and college. Loved it! Thought there couldn't be anything better than sitting astride a wild horse that was determined to get me off it's back. I wasn't good a roping. Never cared for the bulls. But I couldn't get enough of the horses! I have to tell you though, sitting on a good saddle horse at the top of a mountain ridge, fording a stream in the backcountry, gliding silently through an aspen grove in full color or riding a narrow trail on a steep mountain side on a horse that you know you can trust, those are the experiences that bond the human soul to the soul of the horse. I still can't get enough of the horses, I just prefer they don't buck theses days.
I grew up in Oklahoma. For many years my husband and I vacationed in the Pasgosa Springs area and we fell in love with Colorado. We moved here 16 years ago.
Dollar is my aged QH gelding who is now 19 and doesn't see much hard riding anymore. He has carried me over some rocky and treacherous trails and has earned his light duty riding and retirement. I am blessed to have two other horses from which to choose. Sam, a Paint cropout gelding and Cougar, our first Mustang.
I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of our organization and I agree that we need to preserve and protect the trails so we, as well as our kids and grandkids, can enjoy them. Jay and I have practiced LNT all our riding lives. We have packed out other people's discarded items on many occasions. Each year I look forward to getting out to repair, rebuid, reroute and construct new trails as necessary following the September 2013 floods in this area. I enjoy just going for a nice ride in the mountains with friends.
I have ridden and packed the trails in Colorado for more than half a century. I have a deep appreciation for wilderness, pack and riding stock and keeping our trails open for our next generation. My love for teaching and passing on my craft keeps me young and on the trail.
My association with the Back Country Horsemen of America is a big part of my life and mission and helping do what little I can is important.
Thanks to BCHA for the opportunity.
Incorporated: September 23, 2003
Non Profit 501c3 Corporation
As I look back it is hard to believe the Chapter is 15 years old!
It all started with my search for back country riders. I had moved to Colorado and wanted to find like minded horseback riders. Get me out of the arena - I had my share of that. I wanted to be out on a mountain trail.
My searches led me to the Colorado Back Country Horsemen but all the Chapters in Colorado were down South. I met with Jan Swarm, Colorado's State President at the time, at the Horse Expo in Denver. We talked about me joining a group down there but that was going to be too far for me to drive when I wanted to ride every weekend or on my days off. I left disappointed but at least I had found a group of riders I wanted to be involved with.
So, my search continued, until that one phone call that changed the path I was on. Jan said "why don't you start a Chapter in Northern Colorado?" Panic, shock, terror washed over me. "I can't do that! I don't have a clue how to start a Chapter, let alone run one. I'm not a leader; I follow really well. It can't be me!"
Well as you can see, it can be me. My passion for keeping trails open was stronger than my fear. So - on June 25, 2003 we had our first meeting and to my surprise I found "My people, I found my home, I found where I belonged." Northern Colorado Back Country Horsemen had a start and with the help of several people we started the next Chapter in Colorado.
We were off and running. We had a lot to learn but we pulled it together and made it work. There are so many people I need to thank for always having my back; for showing up to the first few meeting, that believed we could make NCBCH one of the best Chapters in Colorado.
Over the years people have come and gone all leaving a little part of themselves with me. I have learned so much from these people, their families, horses, mules and dogs. Yes, I did learn from their animals. It is amazing what a four legged animal can teach you. Like the saying says; 'You have left a footprint, hoofprint or pawprint on my heart.' NCBCH is more than a group of people it is family.
For a small Chapter over the years we have done some amazing things. We started educating people on Leave No Trace, clean up after your horses at every trail head, leave your camp better than you found it. Respect others on the trail and safety for all. We've had some amazing rides; we have gone on road trips together to try out new trails and to some amazing places in different states. We've camped together, rode together, fought to keep trails open and worked on trails to keep them open. We signed the Adopt A Trail form with the Forest Service and offer our services to any project that came up. We contacted other horse groups and explained what BCH was about and along the way we made many new friends.
We've done small projects such as designing and placing signs to remind people to clean up after their horses. We installed a wheelchair mounting block for Larimer County Open Space, put on packing clinics and done tons of educational programs. We've attended FS training classes and send two members to Montana for LNT Master Trainer Classes and now have LNT Master Trainers.
Our largest project to date was obtaining a grant, designing and building 17 corral horse camp for Colorado State Forest State Park near Walden, Colorado. A few years later we assisted Larimer County Open Space design and build a horse camp with corrals and hitching rails at Hewlett Gulch near Estes Park. Our 2017 project was rebuilding the corrals at Pelton Creek, just across the border between Colorado and Wyoming. Working in conjunction with Wyoming Great Divide BCH we revamped the 14 corrals that were constructed in 1997 by Snowy Range BCH, a now defunct group. What a fun project that was! Cast iron and cream can cooking kept us well fed.