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Non-Profit Equine Organization

Message from the President

Good day Members,
Last week I was appointed to the Fair Board by the County Commissioners. While there is a bit of a learning curve, I hope to be a good appointee. This  position will allow the saddle club to be a liaison between the Fair Board and the 4-H. So I'm thankful for this opportunity.
A start-up committee has met to put together a 2-day country music concert for the weekend of June 9-11 , as a Saddle Club Fundraiser. The plan is to have a headliner and local groups. We are looking forward to having more of you on the committee. So stay tuned for the next meeting.

Your President,

            Cowboy's New Year's Resolutions
As one who's been a cowhand since the wildcats learned to spit,
I've made some resolutions for the comin' year, to wit:
Resolved, to ride a shorter day and sleep a longer night;
To never come to breakfast till the sun is shinin' bright;
To draw a top-hands wages when they're due or quit the job
And hunt a wealthy widow or an easy bank to rob.
Resolved, to quit the wagon when the chuck ain't up to snuff,
To feed no more on bullet beans nor chaw on beef that's tough.
Resolved, to straddle nothin' in the line of saddle mount
That ain't plumb easy-gaited, gentle broke, and some account.

Resolved, that when it blizzards and there's stock out in the storm,
To let the owner worry while I stay in where it's warm.
Resolved, that when it comes my turn next spring to ride the bogs,
I'll don the bib and tucker of my town and Sunday togs,
And tell the boss, by gravies, if he craves to shed some blood,
Just try to make me smear 'em tailin' moo-cows from the mud.
Resolved, that when a thunderhead comes rollin' up the sky,
I'll lope in off my circle to the bunkhouse where it's dry.

Resolved, to do such ropin' as a ropin' cowhand must,
But never when the air ain't free from cattle-trompled dust.
Resolved to show no hosses, and resolved, to swim no cricks;
Resolved, no dead-cow skinnin', and resolved, no fence to fix.
Resolved, to swing no pitchfork, no pick, no ax, no spade;
Resolved to wear my whiskers-if I want to-in a braid!
Resolved, to take this New Year plenty easy through-and-through,
Instead of sweatin' heavy like I've always used to do.

As one who's been a cowhand since before who laid the chunk,
It may sound like I'm loco, or it may sound like I'm drunk
To make such resolutions as you see upon my list,
And others purt near like 'em that my mem'ry may have missed;
But gosh, they sound so pleasant to a son of saddle sweat!
And New Year's resolutions-well, I never kept one yet!
So why make resolutions that bring furrows to your brow?
Let's make 'em free and fancy-'cause we'll bust 'em anyhow!
By S.Omar Barker 1966

February 6th 
6pm - Board of Directors Budget Meeting

All are welcome to attend.  If you would like a specific issue to be addressed, please call Annie Kerns to be placed on the agenda, 719-783-2886
Thank you!

Please note: there will be no member meeting in February
The WMVSC will be having it's
next membership meeting on Monday, March 6th at 6:00pm at the 
Saddle Club Building. 
Details will be in February's Newsletter!
See you all then!

Spirit Campaign Update

Thank you to all who generously donated to the Spirit Campaign! Donations to the Country Strong Teens Program and the Rodeo Renovation Project totaled over $900!

Wet Mountain Valley Saddle Club
90 CR 241, Westcliffe, CO

Friday, February 24th -  6:30pm - 8:00pm

*Cash Bingo /  Cards $.25 ea

Including "Growing Jackpots"

*3 Progressive Jackpots! / Cards $.50 ea
*Cowboy Bingo Special Games / Wear your bandana and get an extra card!
Root Beer Floats & Ice Cream
Soda: $1.00
Candy Bars: $1.00
Coffee: FREE!
For more information, please call Annie Kerns 719-783-2886

4-H Working Ranch Horse Program
by Lisa Behrman

The working ranch horse program is to teach kids and adults the different types of ropes, how to properly take care of a horse and how to work cattle along with roping. This program has levels to complete before moving forward which we will do as a team, no one will be behind.  

Any questions, please call Lisa Behrman, 4h Leader at 719-371-0352.

2017 Schedule of Events

Please keep in mind that more events will be added and some event schedules may vary. 
Keep an eye out for updates!



As we are all aware, it can be a challenge to get thru the winter months financially for our Saddle Club.  Please consider sending in your 2017 Membership soon!
2016 was a fantastic year as we increased our volunteer base.  
It is our members and our volunteers who keep this organization moving forward!
Thank you to all who have donated your time & talents.
We hope to continue our success and increase memberships and volunteerism in 2017!

Thank you for your interest in  upholding our promise to the community, our youth, and our members in the struggle to maintain common interests and goals!

2017 Westcliffe Stampede Queen
Miss Katlyn Freeburg

2017 Westcliffe Stampede Queen's Attendant
Miss Megan Frahm

2017 Westcliffe Miss Stampede
Miss Brooke Flynn

2017 Westcliffe Stampede Princess
Miss Skyler Rose Smith

A Message From Our 2017 Queen's Ball Chairperson
Ginger-Dunam Smith
(719) 783-2115
Beat the winter blues by supporting the
Second Annual Rodeo Royalty's
-- Queen's Ball "Boots & Bling" --
Friday March 10th, 2017 6pm-Midnight
Premier Dinner and Dance!
Catered this year by Sangre's Best Beef !
Menu includes Beef Roast tenderloin, sour creamed horseradish mashed potatoes, whole green beans, salad, rolls, and a dessert extraordinaire table for various samplings!
Dinner is from 6-8pm; Followed by the Dance 8- Midnight.
Cash Bar and items for sale!
All donations go towards the Rodeo Royalty 
Mark your calendars and start spreading the word! 
This year, limited seating for the exclusive dinner/dance tickets and they will only be sold in advanced - so get them early to insure your spot!
Ticket sales and pricing coming soon!
Dance-Only Tickets will be sold in advance or at the door
If you can't make it for the dinner, you will not want to miss the dance! 

Brittanee Bohannan
2016 Westcliffe Stampede Queen
2017 Royalty Chair & Royalty Coordinator

Sponsored by the Wet Mountain Valley Saddle Club
Location: Music Meadows CTR (Type A Two Day, B1 Saturday only)
Address: 6076 CR 119, Westcliffe, CO 719-783-2222  
Date:    August 19-20, 2017   Rider Limit: 60

The Wet Mountain Valley is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The ride will be on the valley floor with the Sangre Cristo Mountains and its many 14ers as a back drop. Trails will travel through rolling hills, pastures and light forest. Water will be from the historic Grape Creek that runs through the Music Meadows Ranch.

Directions to Camp : From the North or West: Go south of Westcliffe on HWY 69, 4 miles to Colfax and turn right. Go 6 miles and turn left at the T and follow signs to Music Meadows Ranch. From the South you will turn left on Colfax. We will have lots of signs and ribbons for you to follow.
Camp : Is a private dude ranch, there will be a $10 per horse charge. Horse water will be provided. Please bring people water. Days can be warm and nights cool, so bring a blanket for your horse. Shoes are recommended. 
Emergency Phone: Custer Sheriff 719-783-2270 Limited cells work at camp. Numbers will be shared at briefing.

Schedule : Ride check in starts at 1 PM, Pre-ride vet check-in begins at 2 PM Friday, Aug. 19, until dark. Please let management know if you will need an early Saturday check in. Ride briefings for all riders will be held each evening. 
Meals : NATRC chef Chuck Smith will be cooking Friday dinner, Saturday and Sunday lunch. Saturday dinner will be catered by our host Elin of Sangre's Best Beef. Friday night happy hour is 1 hour before dinner. Please bring something to share and what you want to drink, for a fun meet and greet. Volunteers will be fed all meal all weekend. There is a $30 meal charge for non-rider, non-volunteer.

Awards :  1 st thru 6 th place will have awards as well as Sweepstakes and High point combo. Novice will have ribbons too.
Rules : Ride will be conducted under current NATRC rules. Distance Only (DO) offered for those who wish to compete in mileage only. Health Certificates and Coggins are required for out-of-state horses. Panels will be allowed, they must be attached to the trailer and no larger than 12x12

Judges : Vet - Carrie Porter DVM (region 5)                 Horsemanship: Sarah Rinne (region 6)

Entry and Fees : Price includes all NATRC fees and Friday and Saturday camping fees: $145 Adult Member, $156 Adult Non-Member, $90 junior member. $101 Junior Non-Member (Region 3 has junior discounts, please check website) 1 day B ride (Saturday only) $120 Adult Members, $131 Adult Non-Member, $ 75 Junior Members, $86 Junior Non-Members. If you want to come in early or stay late it is $10 per trailer per night. If you have any questions please call Lin at 719-371-6008.
Remember NATRC is offering free membership to all first time members in 2017!
Checks payable to:    Lin Ward, 200 County Rd. 326, Westcliffe, CO. 81252
Deposit : $50 due with entry and if not paid by June 1 you will lose your entry place and be put on a Wait List. The balance is due at Ride Check-in. Refunds until July 28, 2017, less $15 administration fee. No Show, No Refund! 

Management : Jim and Lin Ward, Secretary: Lin Ward,  
     719-783-9 645 Cell 719-371-6008

Cyn Williams has stepped up to coordinate our Saddle Club Day Rides.
Email for more info
Thank you to Cyn!!

Watch your emails for the next scheduled ride!

I am sure that weather is going to be warming up before you know it!
Instructional Riding Group

We will resume the riding group in the spring!

Presented by
Kim Seng, Professional Trainer and Instructor
Kim Seng, is founder of  "Nature of the Horse" TM
Kim is a Certified: Centered Riding Instructor, Natural Methods Trainer,
Equine Behaviorist and Communicator, Path Intl Riding Instructor,
and  Horse and Human Development Expert
For more information and sign-up contact:
Kim Seng at 719- 989 -0466 or
Visit my website at:

Saddle Fit

When was the last time you broke in a pair of boots?
Did they rub your heels or pinch your toes? If so, you probably found a way to make it better-either with a well-placed moleskin or a pair of special socks. And chances are you didn't just keep walking around the barn in them for hours on end.
Guess what?  Your horse may be having the same problems with his saddle. It might be rubbing, pinching, or putting pressure on a sore spot. The difference is that he can't make it better on his own. Your horse depends on you to see when he's uncomfortable, and to do what it takes to make it better. That's why it's so important that you learn to recognize subtle signs of saddle-fit problems before they become severe.
I'll help you recognize seven common signs of saddle-fit trouble-from girth galls and pressure sores to bad behavior. I'll tell you what to watch for; what to do when problems do occur; and most importantly, how you can prevent such issues in the first place.

Sign #1:  Withers Swelling
What you see: A small, raised area on either side of your horse's withers that shows up every time you ride, and that often disappears before you ride again. If you press firmly on the swelling, you can make a dent in the middle, as if you're pressing on a firm loaf of bread dough. This swelling is edema, or fluid that's accumulated under his skin. Although edema is most common on the withers, it's also possible to see this type of swelling at any point along the edges of a horse's spine. In more serious cases, these swellings will be hot and painful, and may not resolve completely between rides.
What it means: When you see edema on your horse's withers after riding, chances are your saddle doesn't fit him properly. A tree that's too wide will sit too low in front, causing pressure on his withers. One that's too narrow, or with a too-narrow gullet, will pinch and put pressure along the sides of his spine. If you don't correct this problem soon, these pressure points can become very painful. They may even progress to open sores. Even if they don't break open, the affected areas can experience pigment loss, leading to telltale patches of white hair.
Action: Check saddle fit. Ideally, you can find a saddle fitter in your area to help. If not, go to, and find informative videos with a search for Western saddle fitting: proper way to fit a horse. Once you know that your tree size and gullet width are correct, avoid using pads that are too thick. A too-thick pad can cause pressure even with a properly fitted saddle, because you must cinch the saddle extra tight to keep the pad in place.  If the swelling is painful and persistent, avoid riding until it's resolved, and ask your vet whether it might be advisable to treat the area with a topical anti-inflammatory medication (such as Surpass) to quiet it down.

Sign #2: Armpit Pinch
What you see: Patches of hair loss or crusty skin on his side, underneath the girth. In some cases, this area can develop a hot, painful, weepy sore-known in horseman's circles as a "girth gall" or "cinch sore"-even after a single ride.
What it means: Your horse's cinch is irritating his skin. Cinch sores can happen for a variety of reasons. It's possible your saddle is sitting in an incorrect position on his back, causing his cinch to slip forward beneath his elbows where the skin is likely to get pinched. This problem is more common for some horses with conformation that lends itself to the cinch slipping forward. Your horse also may be sensitive to the material, or reactive to a piece of hardware or other design feature of the cinch.
Action: If your horse develops a cinch sore, it's crucial that you avoid riding him with a saddle until it's healed completely. Keep the area clean, and treat it with a soothing ointment. Ask your vet whether an ointment containing a steroid might be recommended to help reduce inflammation in the area.
Check your saddle fit. If the saddle fits properly and it's simply impossible to prevent the cinch from sliding forward, consider a cinch that's designed with a curve to help minimize pressure and pinching under the elbows. Some horses are sensitive to neoprene; if you're using a neoprene cinch, try leather instead. Rope cinches also can cause troubles for some horses, particularly if such cinches aren't kept clean. A sheepskin-lined cinch or sheepskin cover is another good alternative for some sensitive horses.  Once you've found a cinch that fits, keep it impeccably clean and well-maintained. 

Sign #3: Dead Back
What you see: When you run your flat palm along our horse's back, underneath where the saddle sits, you detect a flattened, "dead-feeling" area-most commonly located right under where you'd be centered in the seat of the saddle. Sometimes you can even see these flattened areas.
What it means: These dead zones often appear when pressure on the area causes decreased blood flow to the underlying tissues. It may mean your saddle isn't fitting properly, although the issue can occur even with a well-fitted saddle.
Action: Check saddle fit. If your saddle fits properly, consider using a pressure-distributing pad to help minimize localized pressure on your horse's back. But don't make the mistake of simply adding extra layers of padding, as that will just make matters worse. It's similar to adding an extra pair of socks when your shoes don't fit.

Sign #4: Going Bald

What you see: Bald spots or patches of broken hair underneath your saddle.
What it means: Your saddle is rubbing against your horse's skin, causing the hair to break. This can happen if your saddle doesn't fit properly, and moves too much when your horse is working. These types of rubs can occur in almost any area, although they're especially common under your seat. Isolated rubs also can appear if there's a piece of loose leather or hardware, or if something is broken and rubbing against the horse's skin.
Action: Check saddle fit. Find a pad that helps to hold it securely in place, even when your horse is working. For an isolated rub, check the area of your tack that's in contact with that location on your horse's skin, then fix anything that could be rubbing. If everything seems perfect with your saddle, consider a sheepskin pad directly against your horse's skin. Sheepskin is an excellent choice for reducing friction, and really can help a sensitive horse. Bald spots and broken hair are early warning signs of trouble. As soon as you see them, take steps to correct the problem before they progress to open sores.

Sign #5: Bumpy Back

What you see: Look for hard nodules on your horse's back. Just like dead spots and rubs, these nodules are most commonly seen under where you sit. They're also common on either side of the withers. You may see them only on one side, especially if your horse is asymmetrical or you have a tendency to sit crookedly in the saddle. These hard nodules are rarely painful for your horse.
What it means: Nodules develop when there's tissue death and scarring in the deep layers of tissue beneath your horse's skin. Typically, they're the result of a combination of pressure and friction.
Action: Check saddle fit. Consider a pad that combines pressure distribution and sheepskin to best protect your horse's back. If the nodules are especially large, cutting a hole out of a pad that's placed directly over the area can eliminate pressure on the nodule completely. Although these bumps may never disappear, they won't continue to grow, and can even get much smaller over time if pressure is eliminated.

Sign #6: Ouch!
What you see: Your horse's back is very painful when you run your hand along where the saddle sits. He may express his discomfort with pinned ears, snapping teeth, and a swishing tail when you place the saddle on his back.
What it means: Although this, too, can be related to saddle fit, it's also possible that your horse has a primary back problem causing him pain. For example, a condition known as "kissing spines," where the bony processes extending up from each vertebrae come in contact with one another, can cause this type of pain.
Action:  Have your veterinarian check out your horse's painful back. He might recommend radiographs to check for kissing spines, or medications to help relieve muscle spasms and pain. If no serious underlying cause can be identified, acupuncture might be recommended to help relieve pain. In addition, massage therapy or bodywork could be a part of your treatment plan.
Your vet is likely to recommend a plan that includes carrot stretches, belly lifts, or other manipulations that can help stretch and strengthen the muscles of your horse's back. Of course, you should check your saddle fit, and make sure it's appropriately padded to avoid localized pressure on your horse's painful back. And your training and riding plan might have to be modified to help keep your horse comfortable over time.

Sign #7: Won't Go
What you see: You mount up, ready for your ride. You're ready to go, but your horse says "no!" He pins his ears, shakes his head, and refuses to move. When you push a little harder, he stands straight up on his hind legs or takes off bucking-depending on the day.
What it means: Behavior problems are a common sign of saddle pain. Pay attention when your horse first starts pinning his ears, refusing to go forward, or threatening to rear. If you don't identify the source of his discomfort now, his behavior is likely to get worse and worse.
Action: Have your vet check your horse's back for pain, and treat it as needed (see above). Check saddle fit carefully, and make sure the saddle is padded appropriately. If you believe these kinds of behavior problems have become a habit, find a good trainer who can help you work through your horse's resistance while being sensitive to his discomfort. 

Latest News from the
Colorado Horse Council

Volunteer Time Sheets


To help you keep track of the time that you volunteer with the Wet Mountain Valley Saddle Club, we have created a time sheet.


Please note that a Board of Directors member will need to approve your time with a signature. Below you will find a sample of the time sheet. 


Click Here 




Dear Saddle Club Members,


This year the Saddle Club would like to reach out to our members for your feedback.  The Saddle Club Board of Directors will address specific concerns that you may have as a member.


Below you will find a survey for you to complete and return either via email to, or if you wish to remain anonymous, please return at the next membership meeting.


As we move forward together as a club, an important goal for success is increased involvement from our membership.  Current studies show an average of 40 members out of over 100 attending monthly meetings.  The average number of volunteers is 10%.


We value our members and realize that your talents and ideas are vital to the growth of the Saddle Club.


Click Here 


Thank you for taking the time to respond.  Your input is very much appreciated!

Cowboy Dressage of Colorado

Special Pricing for Saddle Club Members!


6076 CR 119, Westcliffe, CO  81252
Phone: (719) 783-2222


Taste The Difference!

Elin  Parker  Ganschow
PO Box 1061
WestcliffeCO   81252
  (719) 783-2222



3115 County Road 160
Westcliffe, CO 81252
"Experience the Difference a View Makes"
P | 719.783.9100
F | 719.783.9519

George Koons, President (719) 371-3853
Steve Case (719) 783-0973
Marcie Wommack (719) 371-1508
Jim Bidwell (719) 239-0776

Alternates: Bob & Holly VanDuys (719) 783-0920

Annie Kerns, Executive Director (719) 783-2886
Manuel Fernandez, Webmaster

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