How about incorporating horses into your holiday plans! Here are some ideas:
Carriage and sleigh rides
Old Town Fort Collins hosts a carriage company on the weekends, giving Christmas shoppers a chance to take a break and enjoy the historic district’s beautiful decorations. For rates and hours, or to hire a carriage for special occasions, call 970-490-1958 or visit http://www.ColoradoCarriage.com .
Several resorts near Estes Park offer horse-drawn sleigh rides. A day trip to enjoy the snow and mountains would make a perfect winter escape. For the more adventurous, the YMCA of the Rockies’ Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park (http://www.ymcarockies.org/snow-mountain-ranch-winter-park-colorado.html) also offers sleigh rides and winter horseback riding. Their dinner rides offer some of the best steak I have ever eaten and are worth the drive.
For any of these activities, make sure to dress warmly. Higher elevations are prone to intense cold and quick weather changes.
Several horse-rescue organizations in and around Fort Collins always can use donations, volunteers and people to adopt their horses.
·* Denkai Animal Sanctuary (http://www.denkaisanctuary.org/) has its adoption center in Greeley and does a wonderful job taking care of a wide variety of animals including horses and donkeys.
*· The Shiloh Acres horse rescue (http://www.shilohacres.org/) would love donations or volunteers.
*· Hearts and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center (http://www.heartsandhorses.org/) uses horses for therapeutic and educational purposes. It offers therapy for people with a wide variety of physical and cognitive needs as well as lessons for the general public, proceeds from which support the therapeutic program. As a Christmas gift, signing you, your friend or your children up for riding lessons will be fun for them and help people get needed therapy.
Horse tack and supplies
Several great tack shops serve the area, and most have a gift-card option. Happy Horse Tack & Saddle Shop (http://happyhorsetack.com/) is my favorite tack shop in Fort Collins; their employees will have great ideas for gifts and will help you find exactly what you need. Jax Farm and Ranch (http://www.jaxmercantile.com/) also has a great selection of horse supplies as well as clothing for riding and working needs.
For those looking for ideas and who don’t want to just get a gift certificate, here is a list of things horse people can always use more of:
* Polo wraps
* Hoof picks
* Boot socks
* Riding gloves
* Saddle pads
* Saddle bags
* Show Sheen
* Rubber bands
* Mane and tail combs
* Horse cookies or treats
* Picture frames (for pictures of horses)
Happy horsey holidays!