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Hugh Templeton | Larimer County Horseman’s Association
Larimer County Horseman’s Association (LCHA) celebrates its 50-year anniversary in 2022. The organization, a 501(C)3 non-profit, continues its mission: To promote the welfare, use, and enjoyment of horses through advocacy, community, and education. I recently heard two people talking about LCHA: “You know, that trail riding group.” But there is so much more.
Yes, we have lots of trail rides (weather permitting). There’s more. Added to the trail rides are the program meetings featuring speakers who inform horse owners on best practices for horse well-being, great places to ride horses, and current issues. In keeping with our mission, all our program meetings are open to the public. They are a way to build community and to educate as people gather to hear and discuss these informative presentations and to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
Not only do we have events that build community, but also, we serve the community. We go Christmas Caroling on Horseback in Berthoud, decorating our horses and ourselves for a fun trip through town streets. Beyond that, we offer clinics, special rides on private properties, and a Poker Ride in the Fall (a great way to have a good ride and have loads of fun).
Program meetings are only one way we take care of the equestrian community. LCHA serves as a valued resource to Larimer County, For example, several of our members, and members of another equestrian organization, representing equestrians in the area, developed input to the updated management plan for Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. The county has included several of our suggestions for improvements to the Horsetooth trail system, ensuring additional safe, enjoyable recreation in Horsetooth.
We also have a group of members who are beginning to work with the USDA Forest Service to plan the rebuilding of Jack’s Gulch campground, which the Cameron Peak fire destroyed. When it comes time to build a new trail in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, build new grounds and facilities at Jack’s Gulch, or maintain trails to keep them open and safe, we’ll apply elbow grease.
And when it comes to disasters, we serve anyone who owns large animals from horses to cattle, goats, sheep, and others. In fact, one of our teams, realizing that their trailer was already full of horses, spread towels over the seats and put two small goats on the towels in the back seat of the truck, evacuating the goats while evacuating the horses.
LCHA recruits, trains, and deploys large animal evacuation teams. Our 38 team members come from LCHA and Northern Colorado Back County Horsemen. Working with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, for the High Park Fire we evacuated over 50 animals, and from the Cameron Peak Fire, we evacuated over 60 animals.
With these and many other activities, our 50years are a good start. Now we are looking forward to continuing our mission for many more. If you enjoy being part of a like-minded group having fun and serving the community, join us on the journey. Go to larimerhorseman.com to learn more about us, and then use the link to join.