2019 Rocky Mountain Draft Horse Seminar

On September 7th & 8th, 2019 the Percheron Horse Association of America joined forces with the Colorado Draft Horse Association Inc. to Host the 1st Rocky Mountain Draft Horse Seminar at the Grande Hills Arena in Eaton, Colorado. As “New” Percheron Association board members, Brenda Grant and I were given the task, by Anne Clary, Chairperson of the Youth & Education Committee, to organize a “Youth and Novice Seminar” in the Rocky Mountain region. As president of the Colorado Draft Horse Association, a multi-breed draft horse association for Colorado and surrounding states, I asked our membership for help. Three of our Percheron farms brought their Horses, T.J. & Stacie Kiefer, Jack & Kelly Taylor and Steve Beitz and with our organizational committee made up of Bud Walsh, Christy Staab, Shandy Staab-Daubert and Cody Muse, all Percheron owners. As we worked to put together the pieces and parts of the event, Brenda was planning for the Clinicians, Brian and Stacie Lynch from Utopia Percherons. As we got closer to the event Stacie had an unfortunate accident and broke her ankle, so Brenda and Stacie reached out to past Percheron Horse Association director, Linda Klinger, to come and take her place.

Linda and Brian combined their efforts and gave our participants a “Super” experience. The two days were spent explaining conformation, shoeing, showmanship, mane rolling, tail tying and harnessing. Saturday afternoon we had
a BBQ where we sat around and shared what we learned and got to visit with Linda and Brian in a relaxed situation. On Sunday, we used our time to prepare for driving and actually driving the horses, in both single and team. All participants had multiple opportunities to drive and most did. At the end of the day, T.J. and Stacie had brought four of their hitch geldings to hook up to my farm wagon and we all got to ride with Brian at the lines. One of our young participants, Morgan Muse, sent us a note which summed up her weekend. All of us who worked on putting this together had the same feelings when it was all said and done; watching all the folks learning and enjoying themselves, as well worth the work. Thanks to my partner, Brenda Grant, and all of the folks that attended the seminar to learn and the folks that volunteered to make it happen. We are already looking to next year for another venue for a 2020 western states seminar.

From seminar participant, Morgan Muse: My name is Morgan Muse. I am 13 yrs old from Milliken, Colorado. For the past seven years I have attended the Big Thunder Draft Horse Show in Loveland, Colorado. One of my favorite memories is when I won the stick horse race while attending the show when I was younger. My Grandma and I would walk around the barns looking at all the beautiful horses. I immediately fell in love with the dappled gray Ames Percherons. They are still my favorite horses to this day. Every year I look forward to the Big Thunder Draft Horse Show.

I have been a Colorado Draft Horse Association member for four years. I have been mentored by many of the other members of the association including my older brother Cody who has also been mentored by so many generous people in the draft horse community. Cody taught me how to drive and handle such a big, and gentle giant. He also just completed his two-year term as the youth representative for the Colorado Draft Horse Association. I am blessed to have a brother who has taken the time to help me and shares the same love of the Percheron horse. I am so
grateful for all the time that many caring people have invested in my continuing learning and experience!

This past fall I had the chance to attend the Rocky Mountain Seminar. Throughout the clinic I learned many things including how to braid, harness, showmanship, how to correctly adjust my lines, and how to hold my whip just to name a few. My personal favorite was braiding and of course driving! During the driving portion of the clinic, I was given the chance to drive hitch horses. Wow what an amazing experience! Alongside me were knowledgeable clinicians that took the time to explain and answer any questions. I had a great time learning more about the Percheron, driving, and helping anyone during the clinic. I hope to attend another clinic again.

And the next time I climb into that wagon and grab those black leather lines with gentle and beautiful, black Percherons in front of me, I will be grateful for the opportunities and those that have mentored me along the way!

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