How Hay Bank Is Helping Rural Coloradans Weather the Recession

March 1 2010, 11:05 AM

When Amy Ryals saw a notice online from a married couple that was struggling financially because of illness and unemployment, she decided to do something to help. What troubled Ryals most was that the couple had a horse and were down to their last bit of hay. Ryals, who lives near Parker and has three horses of her own, wanted to ease the burden for the couple and help the horse. So she started a food bank for horses called the Hay Bank. "We're talking about responsible horse owners, people who need help but their options are very limited," she tells The Denver Post of her fledgling nonprofit, which seems to be a source of much-needed recession relief in rural Colorado. Meanwhile, horse riders will want to head for Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space at some point this year. The massive swaths of land---with unspoiled views, crisp air, and wildlife just north of Fort Collins---officially open for their second season today, although snow and ice will restrict visitors to lower elevations, notes the Coloradoan.