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Horses, Kids, Dogs and Cats at Tractor Supply

Blue Rose Horse Rescue (5)

 

Tractor Supply in Lamar, along with Second Chance Animal Rescue, Project HOPE and Blue Rose Ranch in Baca County, combined their efforts this past Sunday afternoon, April 24th, to introduce area youngsters and families to a day of entertainment and learning. From 2pm to 4pm, representatives were on hand at the Tractor Supply parking lot to provide horseback and buggy rides as well as acquaint people with adoptable dogs and cats, enjoy some refreshments and learn how these groups operate and their mission and goals.

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Cheryl Webb is the Co-Executive Director of the Blue Rose Ranch in Baca County with her husband, John. Their 530 acre ranch is devoted to horse adoption and rescue and she and several volunteers were providing rides and background information on the workings of her ranch, set up years ago through their love of horses and desire to care for them and find them suitable homes.  “We train our volunteers in horse care and management at the ranch.  It’s a full-time effort but it’s also very beneficial and rewarding,” she explained during a break in her busy afternoon.  Webb said horses are social animals and need interaction with other horses and humans.  “We get them either by legal seizure or sometimes someone has lost a job, or become ill and can’t afford the upkeep on a horse, so they can then be passed on to us for care and a search for a suitable owner,” she said, adding, “Sadly, some horses are abused and they do require love and care and some TLC.  Some of them are just turned loose on the ranch with the rest of the herd so they can just become a horse again and after that integration period, we’ll start to work with them.”

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The basic cost for care per horse is about $125 a month and grants and donations supply the funding for the donation. Webb explained, “My husband and I are retired and an income that allows us to work outside the funding of the ranch.  All the donations go towards care of the Blue Rose Ranch.  We take nothing back from any donations.”  Although the ranch is a year-round operation, Webb says more kids are on hand during the summer.  “We are looking for sponsors to help support our youth riding program and some of the horses can be individually sponsored.  The Springfield Credit Union has one such horse in their care.

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While the day at Tractor Supply was enjoyable, Webb said the annual youth horse camp is scheduled for June 13-19 with training running from 8am to noon, Monday through Friday and is open to kids from around southeast Colorado. Riders that day ran the spectrum for age, from adults to some kids who had probably never been that close to a horse before in their life.  One such youngster seemed to grip the saddle horn for all he was worth, while his face showed a level of apprehension that probably equaled a first ride on a roller coaster.  It wasn’t long before he relaxed, held the reins and started to enjoy the elevated view that only cowboys can appreciate when sitting on their mount.  People are encouraged to call to find out more about the Blue Rose Ranch at 303-796-7739.

“Doc” Jones who drove in from La Junta is no stranger to horses, having grown up with them in Otero County for decades. He attended college in Lamar and became friends with Pat Palmer years from their shared interest in old-style farm and ranch equipment, saddles, chuckwagons and western lore.  Jones said he began the La Junta-based Farm Day 33 years ago and it’s still going strong.  “We’re out north of La Junta along highway 809 and we feature cowboy poetry and music along with all breeds of horses,” he said.  Jones has his own large-scale horses, favoring Percherons that weigh out at about a ton, along with some crossbreeds and thoroughbreds for breeding.

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Pat Palmer and his little friend

Jones made a switch from farm machinery to horse drawn equipment several years ago, combining that operation with breaking and training horses for a career. He uses the help of some buddies as drivers.  “We brought in some old cowboys to explain to us how to use the old equipment on the farm years ago, and now we’re the ones who do the education.  We conduct driving classes for horse teams and we also act as intermediaries for some horse and equipment swap and sales.”  He said it’s a business that still has a future, “We replaced six teams for owners in the past few months and when we can find a new owner for a horse, or build a harness or fix a wagon, that’s the kind of day we enjoy.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarCountyEducationEntertainmentEventsFeaturedTourismYouth

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