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Thank you for gathering under the spotlight of Centaur Rising!

Centaur Rising is a non-profit organization. We are dedicated 1) to helping people become more compassionate toward horses and 2) to developing youth through classical horsemanship. Centaur Rising’s programs take place at Anchorage Farm. Jim and Kris Cooper are our trainers.

Seeing Triple
Our first mission is horse welfare. We are honored to be able to assist three of our students in training their three-year-old young horses. One horse is a paint filly, -Leo’s Easy Baby Doll (right), owned by Nicole Schill and her daughter, Bayley Taylor. The second is a quarter horse gelding, Sonny’s Captain McCall, owned by Marlene Schulte. The third is a pinto gelding, Jordan, owned by Cathlin Rice. Jordan was adopted by Cathlin as a Premarin foal.
Read more about Cathlin and Jordan here. Thank you to these three special women for giving three wonderful horses a great start in their partnerships with humans!


New FEI-level Horse
Centaur Rising’s commitment to youth was reinforced by an unexpected trip in June to Topanga Canyon, California. Kris was helping Karen Filkins select a quiet horse to restore her courage after a fall last year. Mill Creek Riding School has 31 quality school horses – ridden by wonderfully friendly students – right next to one of the US’s most highly regarded dressage trainers. What an inspiration! We are committed to helping Karen accomplish her dreams through her wonderful new partner, De Fileu.
Read more about Fileu & Mette Rosenkrantz here.


Getaways in the Rockies
Numerous guests traveled from out of state this summer to enjoy our scenic beauty, our cool mountain air and our knock-your-socks-off riding lessons.
YOU can have a vacation like this.

Rhythm and Blues
Claire Filkins, sophomore pre-vet student at Colorado State University, has been campaigning her mom’s former horse, “RaB”. After spending the winter in training with Kris, RaB won 73%, 71% and 71% at his first show this year with Claire. This brings to eight the number of horses that have won scores over 70% at first/training level under Centaur Rising’s tutelage. Congratulations, Claire, for your success in the show ring. We are even more proud of your academic accomplishments. Way to go, Claire!




In the News
Articles about the impact of Centaur Rising’ programs have been featured locally in the Mountain Connection and the High Timber Times. The chairman of our Board of Directors, Suzanne Stevenson, wrote about her own personal equestrian growth. Her article has been tentatively selected for the national publication, Dressage Today. Congratulations, Suzanne!
Check the links above to enjoy these articles.



American Youth Horse Council (AYHC) Presentation
Our Executive Director gave a presentation in March called “Youth Involvement with Horses: Future Success in Life?”
The results of her interviews with former students can be seen here. Do horses make a difference in kids’ lives? A quote by classically trained Charles de Kunffy sums up the findings: “The virtues of horsemanship [are] the virtues of a life correctly lived: courage, empathy, compassion and understanding.”




Horse Camp 2007
One of the ways we help get kids get started with horses is through Horse Camp, now in its
fifteenth year! Steve Kinney, Vice President of our Board of Directors, took professional photos and printed t-shirts to be sold as a fundraiser. Tricia Pollard volunteered her time to promote team building. Marcy Newman, board member and Head Start teacher, gave freely of her time to help keep Horse Camp running smoothly. Thank you Steve, Tricia and Marcy! Read more about our Horse Camps for 2007 here.

Environmentally Friendly? Wow!
Centaur Rising literally bloomed this summer in its pristine natural habitat. This was captured through Steve Kinney’s wonderful wildflower photos! Tom Massopust helped get our front gate up and running. Thanks to Tom, our horses are not (up and running down the highway)!





The Show Must Go On!
It’s doubtful that three horse shows at Colorado Horse Park could have operated this year without the dynamic volunteers from Centaur Rising (CR). Suzanne Stevenson was volunteer coordinator for the Paragon Shows I, II and III. CR students also worked at Dressage in the Rockies and Dressage at High Prairie. Our volunteers included the following: Jim, Tish and Ana Joros; Connie Williams, Marlene Schulte, Mike Lacey, Sheryl Woosley, Sam and Alex Stevenson, Cathlin Rice, Nicole Schill, Bayley Taylor and Jim and Kris Cooper. Thank you everyone for your generous commitment to our equine community.

“Conifer Tales and Trails”
Anchorage Farm was a proud sponsor of the Mountain Area Land Trust’s annual fundraiser. We were hosts to two of the performers: Kip Calahan, Academy of Western Artists’ Female Vocalist of the Year; and Royce Hodge, Cowboy poet. What a joy and honor it was to listen to their tales and tunes! Please help us support this event next year.




Fred Kappler
One of our favorite trainers and friends will visit CR on Oct 19-22 and December 7-10. Fred works with all kinds of people and all kinds of horses. Don’t be afraid to sign up for a lesson with Fred. Experience his magic with you and your horse. There will be a potluck dinner on Saturday, October 20, and again on Saturday, December 8. Non-riders can still come and “talk horses”. Visit with Fred and friends. Even spouses have fun at our potlucks!
Sign up here to ride in Fred’s clinic.

Last Chance
The final Rocky Mountain Dressage Society’s show of the season was held September 16 at Table Mountain Ranch. For three of our students, it was a beginning. Students Mike Lacey and Connie Williams were very successful in their very first dressage show. Mike was riding a phenomenally improved (and beautiful) Splash. Connie showed her young Belgian warmbood, Rocky Mountain Watchman. Connie bred and trained this horse herself!

This was the second season for student Cathlin Rice (right), who showed her horse Chantilly Doll at first level. Cathlin owned “Chanti” for 16 years before taking her first dressage lesson at CR. We are so proud of their progress together. Click here to read Cathlin’s story.




New Beginnings
Two of our former students were seen at the Last Chance show coaching their own students. Christina Rudman had been selected to represent United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region V at North American Young Riders’ 2007 Championship. Brooke DeVore earned her bronze medal from USDF this year. These young women took their first lessons at Anchorage Farm and in fact continued here for five or more years.

In Conclusion

We are very proud of what we teach at Centaur Rising. This newsletter has presented, unfortunately, only tangible accomplishments. Many ongoing achievements are harder to describe. Every day, every hour, we build confidence, coordination and compassion. Some of our greatest satisfaction comes from seeing:
  • our students ably teaching others,
  • our students overcoming fears and frustrations,
  • the “light bulb coming on” when a horse or rider has a breakthrough, and
  • the commitment of former students to the lifelong wellbeing of their horses.
The AYHC surveys confirmed that what students learn here DOES carry over to compassion and commitment for fellow human beings. This is our last photo of our beloved Two Blankets. His legacy is golden. Read more here.





Jim Cooper and
Star Duster on the
Colorado Trail
above Lake Dillon



StarDuster Sez

Well look at who has to carry the load again! This little column was supposed to be called “Jim’s Corner”, but you know how Jim is about paperwork…. He missed the deadline and was found watching a ball game! Since I am the senior horse in the place, I got called on again. (You can’t get anything out of those fat lazy warm bloods that requires any thought.) Jim, you know, just blabbers on about how to ride…. “Use the right leg. Shorten the left rein.” In future articles I’m going to tell you some of the little tricks I’ve learned to preserve my sanity as a school horse. For example, I’ll tell you about the stopping-to-take-a-dump trick and the ignoring-the-loose-outside-rein maneuver. E-mail info@CentaurRising.org if you have questions for me in this column. [Don’t e-mail anything to Cooper please. He doesn’t know how to get e-mails.] Well that’s all for today folks. I’m going to pretend I’m colicky so ignorant Kaseem has to do my lessons today. He’s only been here ten years. I’ve not taught him how to “call in sick” yet.



Erin Smith and her family are active volunteers and riders at Centaur Rising. Having relocated to Colorado (from Southern California) this past January, Erin and company have been regular participants since their arrival.

Erin, an active mother who home-schools her five children ( Jonathan – 16, Colton – 15, Lauren – 12, Luke – 9 and David-Jesse – 6) knew that her children wanted to ride and own horses upon moving to Colorado. Erin understood that riding/owning horses required much more than a passion for the beautiful animals and she researched a riding facility that would be able to provide her brood with an all around education about the life commitment horses take.

Through her on-line research, Erin found Centaur Rising’s website and felt that Centaur’s mission matched hers. She agreed that not only should an organization teach how to ride, but also to emphasize the CONNECTION between the rider and the horse. As a teacher, she understood that riding is not only fun, but an excellent way to develop life skills and a great sense of self. Additionally, Erin appreciated that Centaur Rising teaches the children about all aspects of horsemanship – from proper feeding to stall cleaning and even horse training.

The greatest lesson Erin’s family has learned (and continues to learn with each horse/human experience) is that horses can be an excellent mirror to what is going on inside of us. The connection between the rider and the horse is so intense that the horse carries out the feeling (s) of the rider. If the rider is confident, so will be the horse. If the rider seems scared or unsure, the horse will emit the same emotion. This encourages the rider to be gain self-awareness and self confidence. She sees that the “CAN DO” attitude with which her children have approached riding obstacles has impacted other aspects of their lives.

Erin and her family (all of the children and her husband, when available) all participate in riding lessons. In order to minimize the cost of the lessons, the family has enrolled in the work/exchange opportunities at Centaur. The entire Smith clan (in rotation) works at Centaur twice a week caring for the horses and cleaning the barn. They make it their mission to try to clean the entire barn each day they work. They feel a great deal of satisfaction knowing that they have helped lessen some of the “burden” the Cooper family and they know that they are contributing to the great life of the Centaur Rising horses!


Message from the Board

We love Centaur Rising (CR) and all the good its programs do for our students and horses. All of us on the board have been touched in some way by our experience with the organization. The teaching of CR’s founders has reached the lives of 2500 riders over the past 26 years. Many of CR’s riders have grown up, started their own training programs or attained other personal achievement goals through the character-building skills learned here. Costs, unfortunately, are increasing. We cannot continue our programs without your help. Your contributions and your continued support are greatly appreciated…. and urgently needed. Click here for how you can help.



Ways of Giving

Centaur Rising is a non-profit organization and your donation is tax-exempt.

Donate money. Horse feed and veterinary expenses take real money. Help us provide proper care for our generous helpmates.

Support our programs. Learn a lot. Have fun too!

Volunteer your time. Join the CR family!

Consider a CR holiday gift for your loved ones. Watch our next newsletter for ideas.

Tell others about us. You can add them to our list here.

Thank you for your gift. Your generosity makes this program possible.

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