West Winds Farm

Oh where the winds blow in from the West, over the clear Rockies, where the rain seems to avoid the fields when most needed, where the horses have kept their herd mentality and graze freely, where the arenas are filled with construction cones, fences, tarps and colorful kites, where the music of Buena Vista Social club and Andean flute is as common as Bob Marley and Paul Simon, where the smiles and laughter of people of all ages are matched by the whinies of the horses, where the sweet aroma of hay and manure wafts through the aisles, where carefully tended magical and exotic plants lay hidden in a greenhouse, where nothing can replace the beauty of a cup of warm tea and conversation huddled between wooden beams in the biting winter, or in the summer, a cold beer to quench the thirsty throat and a wet towel to wipe the sweat after a hot day of work irrigating the fields….

Yes this is the haven of West Winds Farm, a slice of paradise created by Maria Wasson in Longmont, Colorado.  Of course I am biased towards this farm, and my “horse mom,” as this is where, over 10 years ago, I clutched leather reins for the first times and putzed around on an old, faithful horse named “Yankee.”

I find inspiration not only in landscape, the horses with their large, intelligent eyes and flickering ears, but in Maria herself, a woman who has immersed herself in pursuing her passions; there is nothing more admirable in my opinion.

As this blog emphasizes the pursuit of social change, I find it fitting to include the work she has done to benefit both local and global communities.  Using her horsemanship as a catalyst for change, Maria founded an equine dance company which donates money to local and global charities.  In recent years these charities have included “The Fistula Foundation,” “Central Asia Institute,” “Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center,” and the “Colorado Horse Rescue.”

At the event, teams of horses and riders performed six choreographed pieces to music from around the world. In addition to the main horse-riding event, 28 artists donated work in a variety of mediums for a fantastic art show and sale. Local businesses donated raffle items, food and drink.  This year they had a sold-out show of over 100 adults and children for a Sunday matinee and about 80 people for the Saturday night “Black Tie and Blue Jeans” performance. Other than the fact that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the show, they were able to double their fund raising efforts from our premier event in 2007, netting over $4,200 that was evenly distributed between the two chosen charities.

The West Winds Equine Dance Company is a perfect example of how people can come together, using their passions and a little creativity, to make a better world.  Individuals and local communities CAN impact the world we live in… If we all got engaged in small, deliberate ways, much the way the Equine Dance Company has, then we would be faced with a brighter, more compassionate future.

For more information go to: http://www.greatexpeditionstravel.com/WestWindsFarmBenefit.php

Do Horses Dance?  Watch this video clip and you won’t hesitate to say YES!

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Comments
One Response to “West Winds Farm”
  1. maria says:

    Oh Erin,
    Your writing brings me so many tears of joy, seeing Odessa, feeling her spirit and all the people and animals that make my life shine.

    You are a bright light in my life. Thanks for such kind and eloquent words on my behalf.
    Keep writing. I love it.
    Maria

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