Back in the day, horses were a common sight in Colorado Springs.
This was the West, after all.
Unless you live on Columbia Road. Here’s a look at it from FlashEarth.com:
The stables were established in 1928. Since 1934, the stables has been leading trail rides into the Garden, using Columbia as its main route.
Here, wranglers wait to lead a trial ride.
Academy Riding Stables general manager Walter Hampel, below, cinches up saddle as a trail ride heads out of the corral, onto Holly Street and up Columbia Road on the way to the Garden of the Gods.
The riders stay to the far west edge of Columbia to let cars pass.
An Academy Riding Stables wrangler brings up the rear as a trail ride leaves Columbia and heads into the Garden of the Gods.
Even folks who complain about the horses acknowledge that Hampel and his wranglers do a good job controlling their horses and cleaning up after them.
And they acknowledge that Academy tries to be a good neighbor by offering each resident of Columbia two free passes every summer for a trail ride. That’s an $86 value, at $43 per hour ride.
A wrangler in a golf cart buzzes up and down the street all day with a shovel, scooping up manure.
The horses have made so many trips up and down Columbia over the years that their hooves have worn a groove in the blacktop pavement.
Hampel said the longest string of horses allowed is 21, including three wranglers. They never ride closer than 200 yards apart. He said horses and wranglers are trained to avoid emergency vehicles.
Resident Bruce Lindsey complains about the horses and worries they might prevent emergency vehicles from quickly reaching a victim.
But most cherish the unique quality they lend the neighborhood. They view it as a daily celebration of our Wild West heritage. They enjoy the “clomp, clomp, clomp” of the horses.
And some suggest they make the neighborhood safer because they slow speeding drivers.
Instead of inhibiting emergency care, Hampel said his wranglers have called ambulances when they’ve noticed neighbors in distress.