Show time is here folks. Check out these useful tips for making your show a successful one.

  1. If you haven’t already, attend a show and watch the classes you plan on entering so that you know exactly what to expect.
  2. If your horse is a greenie, take him to a show and don’t enter any classes; just evaluate how he/she handles the new surroundings.
  3. Make a list of everything you need to take to the show; then pack the day beforehand, checking each item off your list.
  4. Have a friend or family member on hand at the show to help with last minute grooming, giving your boots a wipe before you enter the ring or just providing moral support.
  5. Before each class, visualize how you want your ride to be—professionals find this technique helpful.
  6. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on show clothes, stick to classic colors and avoid flamboyant trends.
  7. Dress up your everyday tack by using a special pad or blanket reserved only for show.
  8. Teach your horse to trailer load confidently, well before an event. Show morning is no time to discover that your horse hates straight loads or won’t travel alone.
  9. If your discipline calls for show-day braiding or banding, start practicing well ahead of time, or hire an expert to do the job for you.
  10. Bathe your horse for the show, and then cover him up for the night with a sheet/blanket; add a stretchy hood if you’ve braided or banded. If he has white stockings, protect his legs in standing wraps, too.
  11. School one level higher than you show. That way you can compete with confidence, even when nerves and distractions might get in the way.
  12. Give yourself—and your horse—plenty of time before your classes start to get accustomed to the showgrounds.
  13. Know how your horse behaves in the company of others. If he is unruly, it’s probably not time to show yet.
  14. Warm your horse up, but don’t burn him out. Save his best energy for the actual class.
  15. Don’t school your horse in gadgets and then expect him to perform in the show-ring without them.
  16. Clean your tack the day before the show: Make sure it’s in tip-top shape, and polish any silver.
  17. Know what the show-ring turnout requirements are, and make sure you comply. Poor turnout shows lack of respect to the judge.
  18. Some disciplines have strict rules and regulations about equipment. Study your rulebook closely to be sure that your tack is “legal.”
  19. Warm-up ring etiquette: Pass left shoulder to left shoulder; if you’re working at a faster pace, stay well to the inside. Keep your eyes on horses that are circling or changing direction.
  20. Hunters and jumpers: In the warm-up ring, call “heads up” on the fence you’re jumping.
  21. Hunt-seat riders: Attach your entry number on your back by threading a black shoelace through the number, then through your coat’s last buttonhole; tie off and hide the bow under your coat.
  22. Never hold a class up; you could be disqualified. If you are making a quick tack change, or have classes running simultaneously, have someone inform the show steward immediately.
  23. If you’re new to showing, pay your trainer a rail fee to coach you for the day.
  24. Your day isn’t done just because your classes are over. Attend to your horse’s needs before relaxing with friends.
  25. Ask a show steward if you can see the judge’s scorecard or sheet to gain a greater understanding on how he or she pins a class.
  26. Don’t forget to close out your check before leaving the showgrounds!

The Modern Farmhouse


Many of you may know Kim Marvel Harrison and have been following her documentation of building a modern farmhouse in Arvada, Colorado. Here at HH we loved seeing this process unfold and couldn’t wait until its completion to ask Kim a little bit about her new house and how it came to fruition…

Explain a little about yourself?

I’m Kim Harrison. I’m originally from Bucks County, PA, but have lived in Colorado for 17 years. I work in marketing for a food company and volunteer at The Grey Tail benefiting the Baco Fund tack shop in Golden. I’m married to my best friend, David Harrison, and we have 3 rescue pups named Roswell, Chico and Zeke. I’m currently shopping for a new hunter/equitation horse.

How long have you been riding?

I started riding when I was 8 and rode until I went college. After nine long years without horses, I started riding again 6 years ago.

Who do you ride with?

I ride with Debbie Bergman of Rocky Mountain Riding Academy based out of Capricorn Farm in Golden.




Can you tell us a little about your new home and how you decided to take on the project?

We just moved into our newly built modern farmhouse and workshop that sits on an acre and half in Arvada, Colorado. It’s an open concept house with a great room, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a loft, a mudroom, a dog room and a bonus room that isn’t quite finished yet. We worked with Ken Bridges of BlueLine Architects on the design and Walker Melzer of Walker’s Woodcraft was our carpenter extraordinaire. David and GeoBuilder managed the project. We embarked on this project after my husband, David, went back to school for fine woodworking several years ago and fell in love with it. So the original plan was to turn the garage at our old house in Denver into a workshop. But after running into some zoning and space issues, we realized we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. So we started searching for properties just outside the city that had more room for a workshop and some more elbow room for everything else in our lives. From riding at Capricorn Farm, we knew about the Fairmont area right on the Arvada/Golden border, but we just didn’t find an existing home that was right for us. Then we got SUPER lucky and an empty lot went up for sale in the same area. We visited it the very next day and were there for all of 5 minutes before we decided to buy it and build on it.

What was your goal with building your new home?

We wanted to create an inviting, yet modern home. We wanted something that had a good separation between public and private spaces and was great for entertaining. We also wanted a home that fit our life well and had designated spaces for our needs (i.e. a dog room, a walk-in closet with an attached laundry room, space for 2 home offices, a private space for guests, an oversized garage for storing horse stuff, and a workshop for building furniture.)



What was your inspiration?

I grew up in an historic farmhouse and have always loved the utilitarian simplicity to their designs. I also love mid-century modern architecture, so when I stumbled across the modern farmhouse style I obviously got really excited. Thankfully David was on board with the style too! We found aspects of a few different modern farmhouses on Houzz & Pinterest that we liked and we ended up blending together ideas from all of them with the help of our incredibly talented (and patient!) architect.

How long did it take to build?

We bought the property 4 years ago. We spent 18 months coming up with the design. Then it took exactly 2 years 5 months and 5 days from the time we broke ground to when we passed our final inspection for the house and the workshop. There is still a long list of projects that need to be completed, such as landscaping and interior build out, but it feels really good to finally be living here! One of the benefits of the project taking so long is that it gave us the time to really focus on the important details. Along with the craftsmanship assistance from our friend Walker Melzer, he and David were really able to put their own special “woodwork-y” touch on the place.



Can you explain some of your favorite details?

The details in the great room (kitchen, dining, living room) are my favorite. The walls and ceiling are clad in shiplap that took Walker a full 6 weeks to hang. The precision and craftsmanship of his work really shines in this room – it’s truly a work of art! David built the kitchen cabinets and did a great job of adding unique touches like walnut kick boards and a nook for a dog bed in the kitchen island. There’s also a lot of reclaimed materials in the room from Front Range Timber and McPhee & McGinnity, such as beams from old mines, wood from the bed of an old tractor trailer and the front doors from the old Denver Hardware building.




What was the most difficult part of the process?

The design process was really hard! We had an amazing architect to help guide us, but when you’re building from scratch, there’s a lot of pressure to make sure you get things right from the start vs. working things into an existing design or floor plan. Also just the sheer number of decisions that you need to make when doing a custom home gets a little overwhelming and even hard to keep track of at times! But at the same time, it was really fun to get to make all of those decisions too!



What part of designing and building the home was your favorite?

I love how the silo came about. It started as the crazy idea of having a hot tub inside a metal grain silo. Then we ditched the hot tub idea, but incorporated the silo into the plans as part of the bonus room. We couldn’t do a basement because of how high the water table is in the area, so we wanted to add on some additional space for overflow living and dining, and to help balance the structure aesthetically from the exterior. A custom steel worker fabricated the metal skeleton of the silo and once it was framed in, David decided to Shou Sugi Ban the exterior boards, which is an ancient Japanese finishing technique where you burn the wood to seal and protect it. So this meant that poor David had to stand outside in the middle of the summer and burn every board that’s on the exterior of the silo with a blowtorch! Walker then finished the inside with dark beams and trim as well as a tin ceiling. We plan to add bookcases to the inside of the silo at some point down the road to give it a cozy library feel.


Everything you need to know about the ASPCA Maclay Finals

It’s that time of year folks where our local riders are readying themselves for the Maclay Regional Finals with hopes of qualifying for the 2018 ASPCA Maclay Championships held at The National Horse Show in Lexington, KY October 27 -November 4, 2018.

This coming Sunday, September 16, 2018 the Colorado Horse Park will host the Region 6 Maclay Finals during their second fall show, Autumn in the Rockies II. Please congratulate the following Colorado riders on qualifying for this prestigious event, as well as those who participated in the qualifying classes throughout the 2018 season. Best of luck to all!


Tali DeJong


Abigail Grace Kelley


Grace McRenynolds


Ellie Morehouse

Portya Muenke


Jaden Olson

Katie Pelzel


Hannah Rohrbach


Olivia Stordahl


Emery Volkert


The National Horse Show, scheduled for October 27 – November 4, 2018, has announced the judges for the prestigious ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Championship as well as its other important hunter and equitation divisions. Each year the country’s top hunter and jumper riders come to Lexington, KY to compete in some of the most difficult classes they will do all year, including the ASPCA Maclay Championships.

This year, the ASPCA Maclay Championships will take place on November 4. This year, the judge’s booth will be occupied by esteemed horsemen Walter T. Kees and Chance Arakelian at the helm. Both men have an incredible history of success in Equitation and will be charged with determining which rider will take home the 2018 title.



Information regarding vendor participation, entry requirements and advertising is available through Sponsorship inquiries can be made directly through Ariel Weisman. Those seeking information on the recent addition of the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3 Equitation Championship, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, or the Leo Conroy Maclay Grant can also find the most recent news online.

Equitation Championship Weekend
October 27-28
• The Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Equitation Championship
• Taylor Harris Insurance Services NHS 3’ Adult Equitation Championship
• NHS KHJA Equitation Championship
Hunter Highlights
• Cismont Manor $50,000 Hunter Classic sponsored by the Wheeler Family
(Class winner will receive a car courtesy of Audi of Lexington)
• Leading Hunter Rider Cash Bonus
Show Jumping Highlights
• $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Lexington
• Leading Jumper Rider Cash Bonus
• Leading Jumper Rider to receive a car courtesy of Audi of Lexington
• Hollow Brook Wealth Management $50,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Series Grand Prix
Equitation Highlights
• ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Championship
(Winning trainer to receive a car courtesy of Audi of Lexington)

Founded in 1833, the National Horse Show is the culmination of the east coast summer equestrian season. With $810,000 in prize money offered, the National Horse Show has been designated a CSI4*-W event by the FEI. International Open Jumpers will compete for almost half a million dollars in prize money, while the top-rated hunter sections will vie for a total purse of $195,000. For six consecutive years, the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame has named the National Horse Show the Horse Show of the Year.

To learn more about the National Horse Show, click here.


What a fun day had by all at the inaugural Celebration of the Horse event at the Denver Polo Club this past weekend. The weekend started off on Friday with a “Pretty in Pink” memorial warm-up class continued by drinking and dancing on the lawn. Saturday featured a polo match and a $5,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic followed by PBR and Rough Stock Rodeo as well as an outdoor concert with the Colorado band, The Movers and Shakers.




Helen Davies of Helen Hands and Co-host Tara Hieb


The guest of honor, Dr. Marvin Beeman, made a grand entrance on horseback commanding the hounds of the Arapahoe Hunt across the field on Sunday prior to the polo finals and the $20,000 Grand Prix.


Dr. Marvin Beeman



Kristin Hardin was the winner of the Grand Prix on Aran and took home the inaugural trophy along with a beautiful flower bouquet by Lisa Florista. Brooke Cudmore was second on Roselyn as well as third on Igor, both coming in with double clears and the exact same time. Fourth place was earned by a Colorado fan favorite, Karen Cudmore and Southern Pride.


  Kristin Hardin & Aran pictured with co-host Erica Gandomcar-Sachs


What a huge hit this event was. Thank you Denver Polo Club for hosting such a fun and exciting weekend for the entire Colorado equestrian community and alike. We can’t wait until next summer!


To Ride Better…

A horse is only as balanced and disciplined as its rider. Anyone who has spent a significant chunk of time in the saddle learns to be very aware of his or her body. Often, we know the little quirks we need to fix – sit up taller, put your heels down, look up – but turning those improvements into muscle memory can be challenging. Here are six fun and interesting tips to help you create good riding habits.

  1. Stick quarters under your thumb

It’s good to ride with a soft hand, but your thumb needs to hold the reins securely so they don’t slip through your fingers. Stick loonies between your thumb and the rein. Concentrating on holding the coins in place will teach you to pinch the reins tightly between your thumb and the knuckle of your forefinger.



  1. Ride with a driving rein

If you brace on the reins or use them for balance, try this simple change: carry your reins like you’re driving a team of horses (see example to the right). This will immediately soften your wrists and forearm, making it impossible to brace on the reins. Eventually your muscles will make a habit of riding with a soft, elastic contact and your horse will thank you!

  1. Hold newspapers under your arms

Holding arms your close to your body helps keep your elbows and wrists soft, so your hands can gently follow the movement of the horse’s head. If your horse doesn’t like to accept contact on the bit, check your elbows. If they’re sticking out like a chicken, they’re locked up and your horse can’t relax on the bit. Place rolled up newspapers under your arms and concentrate on holding them in place. It will help you form a habit of keeping your elbows close to your body.


  1. Post with just one stirrup

If your saddle always slips to one side, you’re probably riding with more weight in that stirrup. Most people have one leg that’s stronger than the other. Mine is my right leg. When I post, I push off my right leg more than left. After about 15 minutes, I’ll notice my saddle sliding to the right. If you’re like me, here’s a simple fix. During your warm up, drop the stirrup on your strong leg and post the trot using only your weak leg. It’s pretty challenging at first – the stirrup under your weak leg will feel like its swinging all over the place. But after a few sessions, your leg will get stronger. Soon, you’ll be more balanced in both stirrups and your saddle with stop sliding.

  1. Stick a towel under your butt cheek

If you tend to lean or collapse your body to one side, here’s a quick and easy trick to help you level out. Fold a dishcloth into a small square and stick it under your butt cheek on the side you lean into. That will teach you what a level pelvis feels like, and it will also lift your weight back into the center of the saddle.


  1. Pretend you’re Beyoncé

If you bounce all over the place at a sitting trot, you’re holding tension in your hips. Interestingly enough, the only way to sit still on your horse is to move! Swallow your pride and thrust those hips like you’re Beyoncé. Your hips should swing up with the up movement of the trot, and down with down beats. Concentrate on following the motion of the horse and pushing your pelvis into the deepest part of your saddle. Trust me – you won’t look as silly as you feel.