Living free: Horses, people celebrate independence in Moffat County |

Living free: Horses, people celebrate independence in Moffat County

A group of 14 people from the Northwest Colorado Center for Independence visiting Sand Wash Basin to watch wild horses.
Ashley Simonet/Courtesy

What they do

Northwest Colorado Center for Independent Living helps people with disabilities, and their families, remove barriers that limit their access to an independent and fulfilling life.

Where: The center serves Routt, Moffat, Summit, Rio Blanco, and Grand County. The Moffat County office is located in the CNCC Bell Tower, 50 College Drive, Craig.

Core services: Independent living skills training, peer support, individual and systems advocacy, and information and referral programs. ASL and Spanish language interpreters are available.

Cost: Core services are free.

Who: Any individual, of any age with physical, mobility, sensory, health, learning, intellectual, psychiatric and mental health disabilities and seniors with mobility, vision or hearing loss, or other health challenges.

Bouncing along bumpy back roads, one group of people overcame personal obstacles to visit the wild horses of Sand Wash Basin last week. 

The trip, made by 14 people from the Northwest Colorado Center for Independence, demonstrated that wild horse watching is one of the many recreational opportunities possible for people with disabilities.

“My experience at Sand Wash was incredible and amazing… the horses are free to roam around the basin and be free,” wrote Craig Resident Adam Mercier in an email.

He expressed gratitude to the center for facilitating opportunities for people with disabilities to come together to support each other and enjoy a variety of activities.

There are four more summer activities planned in the Craig area:

July 13 — Fishing and fun at Loudy-Simpson Park

July 27 — Horseback riding/picnic

August 3 — Wyman Museum

August 17 — Fishing and picnic at Freeman Reservoir

The activities are part of the center’s peer support program and one of the many ways the center “serves anyone, of any age, who has a permanent condition affecting the ability to live independently in the community,” stated Executive Director Ian Engle in an email.

The idea for the trip to Sand Wash Basin arose from surveys submitted by the Craig peer group who worked together with center staff and volunteers to make the trip happen.

One of the volunteers was wild horse advocate Cindy Wright. She provided advice to the group during trip planning.

“Everyone loved seeing the horses and we actually got to see some action and foals,” said Independent Living Coordinator Ashley Simonet of Craig.

It was the first visit to the basin by the organization, but it isn’t likely to be the last.

“We would love to do it again,” Simonet said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education


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