December 2011

Year in Review

It's hard to believe 2011 is almost over. Time flies when you're having fun. It's been a great year and we've been so fortunate to meet so many new people and share time again with old friends and great horses. It seems not long ago we were just getting things started in Denver for the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo.


Despite the slow start to the clinic season due to the EHV-1 outbreak, we ended up with great groups for our clinics. We ended up kicking off clinic season with our Riding The Horse Of A Lifetime™ clinic hosted by Front Range Equine Rescue. With some schedule changes, we were able to work in their brand new Spring Valley facility. We introduced some new exercises and riders learned how to use spoons, hula hoops, tennis balls and a lunge line to improve their riding skills.

Our popular Creating the Ultimate Trail Horse clinic returned to our home at Running D Ranch this year. This meant all-out playtime with our vast number of obstacles (many of which are too hard to transport to other locations). All riders were challenged at some point by Mark's variable bridge which adapted to feature railings, steps, teeter totter, and a stream crossing. The water crossing Mark builds is also always a huge attraction as well as the big ball with a mind of its own. Everyone had fun learning how to prepare their horse for the trail the first day and tackled the obstacles on day 2. At the end of the clinic, we took a short trail ride on the ranch to practice everyone's new skills.

More riders tested their skills on the trail for our 3-day Advanced Trail Clinic at M Lazy C Ranch. I took turns riding with each rider at various points of the trail. The riders received step-by-step instruction for issues such as slowing a horse down, speeding a horse up, crossing water, mounting, trail etiquette and more. Randy, Brenda and Jamie at the M Lazy C are great hosts and do wonderful jobs in helping us organize this great "clinic on the trail".

MannaPro Feeds:

A huge thank you to MannaPro Feeds. MannaPro joined with us again for 2011 to help provide great learning experiences for our clients this year. MannaPro provided feed information and special gifts and prizes for various riders at our expos and clinics. MannaPro helps us provide a well-rounded learning experience for our supporters. Not only does MannaPro produce great feeds and supplements, they also have some great products for caring for your horse, including shampoos and fly sprays. Visit their website for more helpful information at

Today's Horse Trader Magazine:

This summer I took the plunge and started writing training articles for Today's Horse Trader Magazine. I've written a variety of articles on fire evacuation, trailer loading training, dealing with spooky horses and trail horse preparation. Check out a copy of the November issue for the cover picture of me riding through one of the many water crossings at Dome Rock Wildlife Area. They are currently running my four-part series called "Getting Fit for the Trail". In this series, I focus on fitness for riders with a variety of activities to include in your fitness program. The series runs November through February. Thanks to my sister, Kim Bennett, from down in the Orlando area for some great stretches and core exercises for this series. You can access articles online as well at


Don't forget to check out my Facebook page - It's a great way to learn about upcoming clinics and other events. I also post a Weekend Training Tip every Friday morning. Become a fan and you'll be eligible for special offers for clinics and merchandise.

Trail Information:

This summer I was elected to Trails and Open Space Coalition Board of Directors in the Pikes Peak area. It is a great opportunity to share with others what riders need in upcoming trail projects and help create new opportunities for riders. I've been participating this fall in the Red Rock Open Space/Section 16/White Acres planning meetings. Although these meetings are temporarily on hold, it seems like some promising opportunities for trail riders in these areas. I'll be posting and emailing updates to these meetings when they resume (and others). I encourage you to attend any meetings you can so you can have some input in what you feel is important to you in trail riding opportunities in this area. We've had some great suggestions so far. One of the most promising ideas is an area with practice obstacles for horses.

TOSC is one of the chosen non-profits for the annual IndyGive fundraising campaign. Donate to trails and open space through this program and you can receive free gifts while supporting your love for the outdoors. Go to to donate today! The campaign runs through December 31. Need some incentive? Your $50 donation will be rewarded with a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolate bar; $100 donation nets you a coupon for a free bottle of Manitou Incline Wine from D'Vine Wine. IndyGive also has some nice gift packages for donations as low as a $33 donation!

In other developments, Cheyenne Mountain State Park is in another planning phase for developing the upper portion of the park. We're hoping there is enough support and the sustainable terrain for some of the new trails to be open for horses. For more information and to fill out a survey for park use, visit their website at Click on the menu items on the left side of the screen to access materials from their November 29 meeting as well as the survey you can fill out online.

With the opportunity to have more access for trail riding in this area also comes the opportunity to be part of the movement to make it a reality. I anticipate many opportunities to help with some trail building projects in the upcoming year. I've started a list of people who are willing to volunteer their time and skills for some of these projects. Please contact me if you would like your name added to this list.

Looking Forward to 2012:

We received word just before Thanksgiving that I have been chosen to present again at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver March 9-11. At least one demonstration each day will be part of the Ride with the Experts program. This is a great opportunity to get your horse out in a new place and improve your skills. The other demonstration will be "Crossing Obstacles - at Speed". I'll post more information as it's available. We are also working with some other expos for some potential out-of-state appearances.

Our clinic schedule is now available online. My trail clinics are tried and true ways to prepare your horse for the trail and receive some great trouble-shooting help as well. Front Range Equine Rescue will be hosting my brand-new trail-related clinic, The Art of the Trail - Trail Equitation™. Stay tuned for more details of this clinic that focuses on getting your horse down the trail in style! And, don't forget our Advanced Trail Clinic at M Lazy C Ranch. This will be our fourth consecutive year here. There is a huge variety of terrain to cover and we always seem to find something new. Come join us August 3-5 for a great weekend on the trail! Online sign-up for all of these clinics will be available soon. Please check the website for more information. We are also booking clinics at other locations for both 2012 and 2013. Ask about hosting a clinic. You don't need anything fancy - just a safe arena, room for parking and a small sheltered area (like a porch, barn or garage) to use a classroom and lunch area.

Today's Horse Trader Magazine will include parts 3 and 4 of my "Fitness for the Trail" series in January and February. Following months will include more training articles to help you to enjoy your horse on the trail.

I hope to have some more educational products complete and available this spring. And, yes, we are still working on a plan to provide some great training videos as well. My goal in all of these endeavors is to provide a quality product that is truly useful to everyone.

Hope you all have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!! Hope to see you in 2012!

May You Ride The Horse Of A Lifetime!

Copyright 2008-2013 Debbie Bibb "Building The Horse of A Lifetime"™