Webmaster Dawn Lanning ©April 2015
Sharing Trail Experiences
2015 DOG SEASON
We had an early start to our season this year with an invite to be part of ArliDazzle celebration in Arlington, MN. Had a great time doing meet and greet in the afternoon and then our HHH crew and dog team actually got to lead their lighted parade in the evening pulling Santa & Mrs. Claus in their sleigh through town! We had a great crew —thanks to Shawn, Mike, Akoni, Bethany, Melissa, Matt, Emma and Laura for all the help! Great fun and they have already asked us to join them again next year — can’t wait!
ArliDazzle was followed by a weekend on Nicollet Mall as part of the Holidazzle Village with some more meet and greet then running dogs for a block on Nicollet Mall! Lots of fun and the “pups” were a big hit! Tank & Waldo did great for their first public outings, Ruby and Reba made the Morning Show with Rachel too! We even got a new cart to do more “no snow” events.
Just can’t end this dog season without comment on this year’s Iditarod— what an eventful race! Lance Mackey is truly a legend and I think this race will go down in history as the passing of the guard to a new younger generation of mushers as many of the veterans consciously made the decision to enjoy the race instead of win it and that is a lesson well learned for any of us in life! Congrats to Bethany— the HHH connection to the Last Great Race on Earth—she was a handler for Southern MN musher Cindy Gallea who successfully completed the race this year. Thanks to both Cindy and Bethany for transport of a new sled direct from Alaska in support of another young Iditarod musher.
MORE PRESS COVERAGE
HHH Ranch had some great coverage this past year as well in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Star & Tribune, the Northfield News and locally on KDWA. In October we took a reporter from the Star & Tribune for a ride to discuss some of the issues stables in the South Metro faced including land use issues and rising costs. In February we took a reporter and her family along with the photographer for a dogsled ride for a family column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She did a wonderful job describing what we do for families and it was a great article and there were some great photos! That article was followed by front page coverage in the Northfield News and some more great photos— this season is the first season we have gotten any photos of Shawn running dogs. This article brought much attention from my coworkers in Northfield to be followed up with an article in our employee newsletter. The other fun thing about the front page photo — the team in that photo was three generation of dogs started with Zeppy, a dog given to me my one of my coworkers.
LEBANON HILLS ADVISORY PANEL
I volunteered and was selected to participate in the Citizens Advisory Panel to review and make recommendations on the proposed Master Plan for Lebanon Hills Regional Park. I volunteered not only to represent equestrian interests in the park but also because I have a long history and love for the park as do many others in the area. I have ridden in the park for over 20 years but more importantly I remember taking my kids to the park to go fishing, hiking, swimming, etc. and look forward to doing the same with my grandkids. I honestly went into the meetings initially very opposed to a paved trail in the park. However after listening to presenters, looking at demographics and with panel recommendations to follow on implementation and reroute of a paved trail, it is something I can live with. I know there are many in the equestrian community not happy with the panel recommendations however the fact remains that our population is getting older but remaining much more active in their later years. A paved surface provides good footing for an aging population and those with special needs, design of the trail will be done to discourage high speed traffic on the trial and it is a good opportunity for families with young children to explore the park with their bikes. I have fond memories of biking the root river trail and the Sparta trail with my kids in younger days and think that should be an option in this park too. There are some nice improvements planned at all the trailhead including the equestrian trailhead and I believe the parks people have a true desire to involve all user groups in these improvements. As population grows and demand on trail systems increases, shared use trails are the best option especially for user groups considered to be a small percentage of users in the park. I recommend that we all try to make the best of it, share the park and be considerate of each other and most especially support your trail system by buying your trail passes, annual pass holders—drop a note in the box to let parks people know how often you are there and volunteer when there is an opportunity
Here at HHH Ranch we take very good care of our animals and they generally live to be a ripe old age but unfortunately at some point we have to say goodbye. This past year we lost many of the old ones out of the WW herd we took in a few years ago with only Copper & Jesse left of those eight rescues. I also lost two good dogs this year— I knew I would not put Sammy through another winter. Up until last season Sammy came with me every weekend at Tomahawk Scout Reservation for the last ten years—it was tough to put a different dog at his post this season. Then I lost Gracie this spring — she was the last of the core group of dogs that HHH was built with—they were all great dogs and she will best be remember for her five minutes of fame a few ears back with a Finding Minnesota piece that Angela Davis did for WCCO.
The toughest goodbye this year here at HHH Ranch was the loss of Laura’s Dad— Roger and his grin will be missed by all of us.
Summer of 2014 brought a huge change in our programs here at HHH with the addition of six YMCA day camp session and one session for the City of Inver Grove Heights in addition to four of our own full daycamps! Add in Special Olympics, lessons and lots of trail rides at Lebanon Hills Regional Park we were BUSY! I love having all the bustle in the barn and even better yet was the great crew I had helping with all this BUSIness. I am so fortunate to have such a great group of people in the barn but most especially my young people— gives me confidence in our future to see the greatness in the youth of today. THANKS MELISSA (x2), EMILY, EMMA, GRACE, MATTHEW, RICK and of course Laura! This summer looks to be just as busy and is right around the corner.
We took on several new horses last fall knowing that my old horses just could not keep up that pace and looking forward to seeing what they will be doing for us this summer— the girls —Celtie, Crissy & Coco all came together and are all Haflingers—Coco is too young yet only being three so her training will start this season. Josie is a pretty little Sorrel TWH mare that so reminds me of my Buzz in his younger years. Abi & Duchess came from the same neighbor Rosie came from— Abi looks to be a Rocky Mtn cross and Duchess is a Welsh/Arab cross. good to know — thus an increase in our fees for the year.