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Western horse dreams

“It’s for sale!” Shirley Lindsay excitedly exclaimed one day as she drove to work in Fort Collins, Colo. Her longtime Western dream was suddenly accessible.

The Pierce, Colo., woman had loved a particular, sprawling Ault, Colo., horse property for many years. Now a realtor’s sign teased that perhaps the change of hands it sought might stand a chance of being her hands.

For more than 20 years, quality American Quarter Horse Association broodmares and foals had called that land their home under the meticulous guidance of Sam Shoultz, owner of KeSa Quarter Horses. Carefully selected bloodlines flowed like liquid gold through the veins of prepotent stallions.



Shoultz’s dream of producing the “golden cross” of line bred Driftwood and Blue Valentine performance horses resulted in decades of successful equine genetics. Progeny of the top notch stallions standing at KeSa, including MR Junewood, Blue Fox Hancock and Driftwood Sensation, had secured the breeding program’s stellar reputation through points garnered at highly competitive AQHA venues and rodeo arenas across the country.

A trio of 8-year-old campers pause on a trail ride. Children learn basic safety, riding position and have fun touring the ranch. Photo courtesy Malorie Acott

When Shoultz decided to conclude his equine efforts, KeSa’s dispersal sale held Sept. 1, 2018 punctuated the final chapter of that remarkable legacy. (Or did it?) And, as its longtime breeding program officially ended, its Ault property went on the market.



A DREAM FULFILLED

“It’s for sale!” Shirley Lindsay shouted to her husband, Dave. Her upbeat tone of voice wasn’t some vague ag acreage news flash; it was an explicit pronouncement that the Lindsays were about to buy the place, a place of horse-filled dreams. Dave whole-heartedly agreed.

Campers ages 6 to 12 complete an in-hand obstacle course and end by taking a group photo with their horse of the day. Photo courtesy Malorie Acott

In October 2019, Triple L Farms assumed ownership of the 115-acres. The Lindsays also retained their 120-acre home base and winter cattle grazing land. Farm work was about to greatly increase.

Born into an Air Force family 64 years ago, Shirley moved from exotic France to then-small, rural Fort Collins at age 5. She ultimately married Dave Lindsay; together they raised son Cale, now age 30. The family always had a horse or two around, including one very noteworthy Quarter Horse.

They’d bought that good sorrel mare, Red Pep Pet (barn name “Pet”), when she was just 6. Many years later, the pleasure horse was still contentedly grazing with them at age 43 (confirmed by her registration papers) when she peacefully crossed over the rainbow bridge. With the 2019 property purchase, an actual equine business expanded the horse dreams Shirley Lindsay had nurtured all those years.

She retired from her career as an appraiser for the Larimer County Assessor’s Office; Dave retained his position as owner of Tiger Steel in Fort Collins.

Bathing horses is one of the steps campers learn to prepare for the day’s competition. Photo courtesy Malorie Acott

Initial farm modifications had included addition of a round pen and roping chutes; fence painting; some minor barn repairs; weed cutting and lots of cleaning. Even with Cale and Dave toiling by her side, the new but ongoing venture required more full-time grease than their combined six elbows could provide.

So Lindsay hired a young woman as barn manager. Although perfectly fitting most facets of the position Maile, who rode English, eventually relinquished the Western-themed job — but not before beginning to date Cale. That decision turned into a far longer commitment: the two are now engaged.

Campers ages 6-12 learn to brush horses. Photo courtesy Malorie Acott

MORE CHANGES

The original goal for Triple L was as a full-care boarding facility. That mission is now accomplished with six owners boarding 15 horses. These represent the disciplines of team roping, Western pleasure, English eventing and pleasure.

Expansion of Triple L’s services has further filled the calendar with summer horse camps for children; plus evening roping clinics and classes (open to all), conducted by Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association Team Roper Brett Steele.

Lindsay couldn’t be more pleased with her dream land.

“It’s just my happy place!” she delightedly declared. “I love walking along the creek, (encountering) wild turkeys. Everything about it!”

Shirley Lindsay, Triple L Farm’s Western horse dream No. 1… Fulfilled.

Campers practice basic pattern maneuvers that include poles. Courtesy photo

DREAM NO. 2

Lora Stuehm graduated from Laramie Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo., in May 2021 with an associate of applied science degree in equine training and management. She sought an equine-related career and felt that major would best take her in that direction.

Stuehm had grown up around horses, first in 4-H and then by competing in Open and Quarter Horse events.

Shortly after graduation, she came across Triple L on Facebook and was immediately impressed. Following the page, and on a whim, she soon messaged her resume.

An 8-year-old camper saddles Tibbs before going out for a ride. Photo courtesy Malorie Acott

With the original barn manager having traded in that position for one as future daughter-in-law, Shirley Lindsay replied back. Within days, she interviewed and hired Stuehm (and her four horses). After just a little over one year on the job now, the 21-year-old absolutely loves her work, which is intense and multi-faceted as well as creative and rewarding.

Stuehm’s duties include: teaching Western riding, sending out monthly boarding invoices, feeding, cleaning the barn and tack /feed rooms, conducting barn tours, turnouts, holding horses for farriers, assisting new borders acclimate to the lay of the land, etc.

Indoors, she manages the Facebook page, does web design, and responds to emails/phone calls.

She finds everything fun and exciting but her top summer Triple L project is summer horse camp management.

That latter activity is a May through August series of day camps for children ages 6-8 and 9-12. Kids can opt for either one- or two-day camps held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with five participants per session.

Within each age group, campers learn basic riding skills, feeding, barn cleaning, grooming, saddling and bridling, and basic veterinary first-aid (i.e. vet wrap application, monitoring heart rates).

Brett Steele (header) ropes off of his mare Charli in Las Vegas in 2020, where they won $10,000. Courtesy photo

In a cleverly messy way, children learn equine anatomy by painting their horses accordingly. The following day, two-day campers are schooled on bathing horses by washing off the previous day’s “which part goes where?” lesson. A kiddie wading pool is available to youngsters needing more than a quick hose spritz to battle serious summer heat.

Since all campers are ‘horseless’ (don’t own or lease), they use horses provided by Triple L. One is black and white Paint QH gelding “Tux,” owned by Dave Lindsay. Tux’s bold markings make him a colorful standout in a crowd.

The remaining four geldings are owned by Stuehm. She bought Colonel and Tibbs, both now in their mid-20s, from a private owner in Keenesburg. They’d previously been among Sombrero Ranches dude string horses. (Tibbs proudly sports a cute and handsome handlebar mustachio.)

Stuehm purchased registered AQHA “Dakota” as a yearling from a Wheatland, Wyo., breeder. The dark Palomino is now a lovely and willingly compliant 5-year-old.

Now retired, Casper was Stuehm’s longtime show horse. At age 19, the very big, beautiful AQHA grey enjoys working with some of the very youngest campers; thus proving opposites attract… and that Casper is a total sweetheart.

Casper, a registered AQHA gelding and former show horse, patiently helps campers learn how to properly saddle their mounts. Courtesy photo

The fun-filled camps offer children an opportunity to make new friends with horses and other kids while learning what equine ownership would be like.

Lora Stuehm, Triple L Farm’s Western horse dream No. 2… Fulfilled.

DREAM NO. 3

Because the Lindsays reside primarily on their Pierce property, and Stuehm still lives with her family in Nunn, a third Triple L member resides at the farm full-time. Brett Steele works as a property manager, teaches adult and youth Western riding, and conducts roping clinics open to boarders and any outside horse owners who can trailer-in for the evening events.

Brett Steele, Triple L Farm’s Western horse dream No. 3… Fulfilled.

LOPING INTO THE FUTURE

Most fulfilled dreams don’t stop right there. Rather, they evolve and grow with time.

Lindsay looks up ahead to an indoor arena, plus more roping clinics and classes at Triple L Farm.

This spacious round pen, added to the facility in January of 2022, provides extra training space for horses, owners and trainers. Courtesy photo

Stuehm foresees her future as including Versatility Ranch Horse competitions (combined trail, pleasure, reining, cow work and cutting) and training client horses. But that’s down the trail a ways, Stuehm noted, because for now she’s happy right where she is and intends to stay there for at least the next few years.

And who knows how many horse dreams will be fulfilled as Triple L Farm’s many young campers grow into dedicated adult equestrians?

Follow Triple L Farm on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/triplelfarmco/, or contact them at (970) 227-4060 for additional information about ropings, clinics, classes, camps, or boarding.

SIDEBAR — Watch for an upcoming The Fence Post story about KeSa Quarter Horses. Their breeding program is newly updated, with exciting things coming soon!

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