The large bales of hay arrived on Friday. The fence builders arrived
on Saturday. The horses arrived on Sunday and on Monday, the Sundance
Stable was open for business.
Horses R Us owner Cindy McCollum arranged the saddles, the bridles and
the clean blankets. She shook her head and said, “I am shocked. I rode
the trails and I feel like crying,” Cindy is referring to the mitigation
work that took place on West Magnolia Road over the fall and winter.
What once were pleasant forested trails with occasional meadows is now
a devastated landscape with downed trees, huge slash piles, open spaces
vulnerable to sun and wind and dangerous holes left from uprooted tree
trunks. But Cindy didn’t cry. She shrugged it off and got to work, knowing
that she would be spending a lot of time clearing the trails, creating
a safe environment for horses and their riders. If she had not been
shut down by the forest service last summer, this would have been her
12th year of offering trail rides to a loyal bunch of customers.
She is worried that visitors will not like what they see; but she is
going to do her darnedest to make the area, though different, a
pleasurable experience for city folk wanting to be on a horse, on a
trail, on top of the world.
On Saturday, the large, sloped corral across from the Sundance Lodge
and Cafe was bustling with workers. Jagger Perez, 13, was helping
repair and build the fence for the corral, wielding a large hammer like
a pro, knocking the large nails into the logs.
Sara Hailey, the new trail boss, painted a large sign announcing that
the stables were open for business.
“We are ready to rock and roll, to check out the old trails and create
new ones,” said Sara, who has a B.S. degree in Equine Science from CSU.
She says she has known Cindy’s horseshoer since they were 10 years old
and he hooked her up with Cindy. She is a substitute teacher in the St.
Vrain School District and is chomp in’ at the bit to get out on a horse.
“I am so excited to be working outside in the mountains this summer,”
On Sunday, the large stock trailers delivered the horses to their new
home. Some of them have gone through the move for many years and knew
the ropes. Most of them just went after the hay that awaited them.