The Pegasus Project Newsletter
MARCH 2017



In order to create more buzz for our annual, amazing, crowd-pleasing, gravity-defying, aviation extravaganza  Wings Over Pegasus (it really is that good),  we are hosting two preliminary events at the ranch in early April. In anticipation of the big April 22nd event, we invite you to join us for the following: 

OPEN HOUSE / HAYRIDE / TACK SALE: The Pegasus Project open house will be held on Sunday, April 2nd from 1pm - 4pm.   Four times per year, we open up the gates of the ranch and invite everyone to come get to know the Pegasus staff and see the facilities. We offer a hay ride tour around the ranch to allow everyone to meet the horses and hear their stories. We also have a huge tack sale, filled with every horse item imaginable, both new and used. We open up the Pegasus gift shop and sell our beautiful logo merchandise. Admission is free! Since the Pegasus ranch is a closed facility, the open house provides an excellent opportunity to see the ranch and learn more about what we do. 

HAPPY HOUR / HOTDOG ROAST / S'MORES PARTY: We are pleased to announce that we will also be hosting a Pegasus Partner Happy Hour open to the public on Saturday, April 8th, starting at 5pm. As you likely know, our monthly donors are called Pegasus Partners, and those who give at least $25/month are members of our Happy Hour Club. Once per month we gather to celebrate all the good things happening with The Pegasus Project and have dinner and drinks together. A good time is always had by all, and many strong friendships have formed. Because we want to share our joy, we've decided to invite EVERYONE to our next Happy Hour and make it very special! We'll have a small bonfire, roast hot dogs, and make s'mores. Bring your own lawn chair and a cooler filled with your favorite beverages. Our Pegasus Partners will provide the food, including a variety of appetizers. 

We hope to see lots of old friends and new faces at these events. Both are kid-friendly and will be fun for the entire family. If you want to meet people who share your love for horses and fun, come on out. Mark your calendars, and we shall see you there!!

Click here for all upcoming events and a map: UPCOMING EVENTS

~Mark Rashid & Crissi McDonald~
April 28 - 30 Clinic
Mark & Crissi sharing a moment at a prior clinic at Pegasus 
Throughout the year, Pegasus has the great honor of hosting clinics taught by internationally acclaimed horsemen, Bruce Logan, Mark Rashid and Crissi McDonald. We will host Bruce on March 10 - 12  and June 23 - 25 . Mark & Crissi will be at the ranch April 28 - 30 . Additional clinics will be offered later in the year on dates to be determined. Participants may audit or bring their horses and sign up for private sessions with the clinicians. We are so fortunate to have horseman of this caliber offering their talents to us. Last month we put a spotlight on Bruce. This month we highlight Mark & Crissi.

Mark Rashid, who serves on The Pegasus Project's board of directors, is an internationally acclaimed horse trainer and author known for his ability to understand the horse's point of view and solve difficult problems with communication rather than force. He began working with horses at age ten, when he met the "old man," who taught him to work with horses, not against them, and to listen to what the horse is trying to say. Mark's clinics center on one-on-one work with horse and rider and are immensely popular with people around the world. 

When Mark decided to study the martial art of aikido as a way to improve his horsemanship, he brought the same quiet determination to it that he exhibits in his work with horses. After years of practice, he has earned a second degree black belt in Yoshinkan aikido and now teaches the "way of harmony" in the local dojo. 

Mark worked full time on ranches for many years gathering herds, managing stock, and training horses. When time permits, he still enjoys working on ranches near his home in Estes Park, Colorado as well as playing guitar professionally with his friends.  Mark has been a guest on NPR's The Horse Show and was featured on the Nature series on PBS. He is the author of nine books - Considering the Horse, A Good Horse is Never a Bad Color; Horses Never Lie; Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse; Horsemanship Through Life; Big Horses, Good Dogs, & Straight Fences; A Life With Horses; Whole Heart, Whole Horse; and his novel, Out of the Wild, which was made into a movie of the same name. Mark also has a solo music CD Song of the Prairie and enjoys singing and playing guitar with a local band The Elktones.

Mark's wife, Crissi McDonald, was born and raised in Arizona, sat on her first horse when she was two and began riding lessons at eleven. By the time she was twenty, she was a certified Camp Horsemanship Instructor, giving lessons and managing a Girl Scout riding program in New Mexico during the summer months. She also worked as a trail guide and horse wrangler for a ranch in southeastern Arizona, where she helped out with cattle work. Though she initially learned to ride Western, in the mid-1990s, she expanded her skills to include riding and showing Hunt Seat and later, Dressage, which she continues to pursue. She has also trained in the martial art of Aikido.

Crissi is an outstanding clinician and has been an instructor and horse trainer for over 25 years. She currently divides her time between giving private lessons in and around Colorado, as well as occasionally traveling and teaching with Mark. While guided by the same principles of building trust, communication and seeking softness, Crissi offers additional perspective on the work to help people and horses fully understand the skill they wish to improve. 

Crissi is an accomplished horseman in her own right. As a student of Mark's, she has taken his concepts of softness and communication and developed her own brand of horsemanship. Crissi is wildly popular because of her quiet, clear, and practical approach in teaching students how to improve their relationships with their horses. In 2014, Crissi decided to train and study with Jim Masterson (The Masterson Method) to further her knowledge of equine anatomy, and began the process of Certification in this method of bodywork for horses. Crissi works her magic with students' horses at clinics to improve their mental and physical well being using these techniques. 

Mark and Crissi will be at the Pegasus ranch for sessions throughout the days of April 28, 29 and 30. Some rider slots are still available and auditors are welcome. Click here for details:   Rashid/McDonald Clinic 

Please feel free to contact Allyson DeCanio (903-539-9851) with any questions about these clinics.


A Note from Allyson
Cautionary Tales
I'm a maniac about safety. People's safety around horses and safety for the horses themselves are both paramount concerns every day around the ranch. There are three things I commonly see in the horse world that absolutely drive me to distraction: 1) horses turned out with halters left on; 2) horses with their heads sticking out of trailer windows; and 3) the failure to dispose of hay string and hay wrap. 

1) Halters: A halter, particularly an ill-fitting one, is an invitation for a horse to get hung up. Too many people leave halters on for their own convenience because they have trouble catching their horse. The solution is to learn how to catch your horse! If you need help learning this skill, give us a call. We will teach you. A horse can get a halter hung up on a tree branch, a post, a gate, and just about anything else you can think of. The consequences can be as severe as gouged out eyes, irreparable facial damage, broken necks and death. If you don't believe me, google "photo horse injured when halter hung up." You'll never leave a halter on again. 

Every horse owner's nightmare

2) Trailer windows: A horse traveling down the highway with his head out the window may look like freedom, but this practice is true idiocy. Serious eye injuries commonly result. In addition, due to neck length, a horse has significant reach, which can result in his head striking near-by objects. An opening in front of a horse can also seem like an invitation to jump out. Should a horse become spooked, he's much more likely to try to jump out of an open window than a closed one or one with a guard. A horse with his head out a parked trailer window also poses a risk for jumping. In addition, horses often strike their heads on the top of the window opening. It's best to always have your screens shut to keep the horse's head inside at all times. 

3) Hay wrap/string: Finally, a sk any equine vet and he will tell you that ingestion of hay wrap and hay string has killed many a horse. If you use round bales, please, please please remove ALL the wrapping and dispose of it. NEVER allow hay wrapping to remain in the pasture with horses or other livestock. Horses (as well as cows) can die an excruciating death from eating hay wrap that tangles in their complex gastrointestinal tracts, resulting in severe colic. Ingested hay string poses the same problem. Hay string wraps around a horse's gut, choking off all passage and killing the blood supply. Death is usually the result.

The three things I mention here are very easy to control. Horses have a tendency to get into enough trouble on their own and don't need extra help from us! Every horse owner can provide this simple level of care to ensure the safest environment possible for their horse. 

Allyson DeCanio
President, The Pegasus Project

Send inquiries to:

March 10 thru 12 - Bruce Logan Clinic

April 2 - Open House/Tack Sale 

April 8 - Special Pegasus Partner Happy Hour - Open to Public

April 22 - Wings Over Pegasus / 
ASPCA Help a Horse Day

April 28 thru 30 - Mark Rashid/Crissi McDonald Clinic

June 23 thru 25 - Bruce Logan Clinic

September 14 - North Texas Giving Day

November 4 - Ride for a Rescue


Saturday, April  8th
5:00 pm
DeCanio Cabins
Pegasus Ranch

The Pegasus Partner happy hours are usually members only. However, in preparation for Wings Over Pegasus, we are holding a unique event open to the public. It will include a bonfire, hotdog roast, and s'mores making party! Bring your lawn chair and ice chest with your favorite beverages. We will gather on the DeCanios' front porch and around their fire ring. Appetizers will be provided. 

  Click here to join:  

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