May 182014
 

Doranna & DuncanThis is Doranna Durgin’s WordPlay Blog. I’m glad you’re here–whether it’s to learn more about my books, or chat about dogs, horses, and reading.

On Fridays, The Write Horse usually stops by for life with horse training, written by Patty Wilber.

If you’d like to reach my Webstead, you can clicky on that link you just passed. Right there. Behind you! The one that said Webstead.

PS although I use a plug-in that allows commenters to sign in, it’s easy to post as a guest and guest commenters are welcome!

Nov 152019
 

By Patty Wilber

I have three geldings I am starting this autumn and they fall on a continuum of personality. It is fun to figure out how hard to push and when to go slower. That is something to consider everyday with colts, and generally, I tend to go slower rather than faster.

Coincidentally, I recently read “When Slow is Worse”  (thanks Barb K.) which discussed  the pitfalls of not moving quite fast enough in training (and thank goodness she was talking about A LOT slower than my pace).  Still, the article got me thinking about the differences between the three geldings.

H

I saw a cartoon on facebook (I couldn’t relocate it) that showed a glaring mare, a glaring stallion and a goofy gelding.  Now H (co-owned by me and Judith Huchton), at two, isn’t actually super goofy but he has a really chill attitude.

He is also responsive, smart, and has a ton of try. You just can’t beat this combination.  He has a high spot on the “Easiest Horses I Have Ever Started” list.  Now, with all that hype, I better make sure I help him live up to his potential in the show pen!!

At a show on 25 rides.

H (in the middle) “helping” put up the new panel. LT (left) waiting to give her two cents, and Lucy (right) inspecting the footing placement. So very thoughtful of all of them! I penned up three others that would have been on my side of the panel because six helpers would have just been too many!

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Nov 082019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend was the end of the Back Country Horseman trail season.  We had nine riders and ten equines that rode out of Red Canyon trailhead in the Manzanos on Box Trail. I rode H and Lucy got to haul the tools. Cometa was the lead horse with Jim.

Lucy packing tools and H tooling along behind.

 We did a fair amount of lopping (not loping) and cleared a few small trees.  H got to practice standing tied to a tree.

Mr. Cool as a Cucumber.

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Nov 012019
 

By Patty Wilber

After our fun hunting trip, Lucy got a day off and then she convinced H that we should go to the NM Paint Palomino Buckskin Pinto All Breed Fall Color Round Up show at NM EXPO fairgrounds 10/27 and 28. It was a good choice as the weather was nice, the people were friendly, and it had a good set of ranch classes (but no cows, alas.)

Photo by Jo Ellen!

We had a fun crew of five riders (Mariah, Me, Nancy, Jo Ellen and Ryanne) sharing the tack room! I think I managed to hog up a little more than my allotted space, but everyone was kind about it!

I sure enjoyed the company!

Jo Ellen on Mocha,, Nancy on Moses and me on H. H is giving Moses the side eye for some reason!! Photo with Jo’s camera.

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Oct 252019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend we went to the Cruces Basin near the Colorado border for Jim’s elk hunt. It was a darn site better than last year where all our food flew out the back of the camper on the way there and the snow and wet made it a bit tricky getting out. Click the link if you want refresher on that!

This year we got to enjoy the full Camp Kingsbury instead of the barebones Camp Wilberry! Camp Kingsbury included a wall tent, Richard Kingsbury as camp help and elk advisor, food, nice thick sleeping pads, a wood stove (ahh heat! The best!) a cooking stove (hot food!), lanterns, a latrine and other amenities. It was SOOOO nice. And so nice of Richard to take a weekend and all his stuff to be with us! We bought him a Blake’s Itsa Burger on the way home to thank him!

Camp Kingsbury was actually cached up near Toltec Mesa from the muzzleloader hunt two weeks ago and we rode in Friday with our personal gear, and fresh provisions for equine and human.

Richard Kingsbury rode one mule and pulled a string of five pack stock (four mules and one “bell” mare that all the mules love, whose name is actually Belle!). It was very impressive and beautiful!

This is on the way out, but was the best shot I got of the full string.

We took our Appaloosa girls (Penny, LT, and Lucy).  Old man Cometa (22) had a bit of a cough, so he stayed home. Continue reading »

Oct 172019
 

By Patty Wilber

My life seems to be a little like living on a hamster wheel (thanks Terri for that image) and of course it is no one’s fault but my own.

Last weekend was no exception, but it did involve Mountain Magic.

On Friday I worked with one of my colt starts (Koh-Doh) and then loaded Penny and another colt start (Sombra) and drove to Albuquerque Trail trailhead in the Manzano Mountains to meet my friends (and meet new friends) with whom I don’t ride nearly enough (because I must keep the hamster wheel rotating).

This area of the Manzanos has maples that turn a lovely red in the fall. The trees arch over the trail and at times it felt as though we were riding in a movie like Lord of the Rings!

This was a bit magical! Siri in the corner, then  Sandy, then Marilyn at the head of the line.

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Oct 112019
 

By Patty Wilber

I started working with cutting horse trainer Ed Krauss in the Fall of 2016 and I pretty much enjoyed every minute of it.

Ed helping me with Indy. Indy had a bone chip in her hock which ended her show career. She is with some friends and we are hoping she has a foal in 2021. Photo by Janet Cochran.

Ed and I didn’t talk much about our personal lives, but we liked to swap horse stories and talk politics.

I lean left and Ed leaned right, and we enjoyed discussing the current state of political affairs. Maybe not unlike Ellen Degeneres and George Bush, we did not have to agree to be friends. But because we could talk, we also found plenty of areas where we actually did agree.

Of course, though, we always came back to horses. 

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Oct 042019
 

By Patty Wilber

Every once in a while something comes up that is more interesting than horses. Like grandbabies!

But don’t forget the Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance Fundraiser tomorrow night at 6pm at the Edgewood Community Center!  Silent auction!  Door Prizes! Food! Info on mustangs and a talk by me!

Still in the hospital. About 14 hours old

Amara Kolea Ruggles was born 9/26/19, just after midnight, and we were in Hawaii less than 24 hours later to meet her.  The timing was just lucky–she was due 9/18 and we thought we’d be visiting a baby that was a couple of weeks old!

When Maegan and Mark were born, I was sore and tired afterwards.  Maegan, in contrast, is apparently super woman, and was raring to go as soon as we left the hospital 12/27 in the afternoon. (Yes, that is still less than 24 hours after Amara was born!)

During our four day (9/27 to 10/1) stay, we went to an Octoberfest, where big sister Leilani got her face painted.  She was fascinated by the face painters and held very still while hers was being done!

We went out to dinner twice and saw a polo match.  Two year old Leilani loves horses! Yay!

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Sep 262019
 

By Patty Wilber

Don’t forget the fund raiser for the Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance.  We are hoping for RSVPs so we know how much food to buy! Blog on down below.

I went to the Pecos Wilderness last Friday with the Back County Horsemen (and so very unfortunately had to miss a faculty meeting to do so). It was one of those stunning late summer/early fall days.  Very clear, a bit breezy, and the perfect temperature.  I wore a windbreaker and a silk scarf for “warmth”. The aspens are not yet beginning to turn to their golden yellow, but the air and the light have an end of summer feel.

Richard and Peter in the foreground. Top of the climb out of Jack’s Creek. We went left (toward me, the picture taker) to the junction of Rito Perro and Dockweiler. I haven’t been over there in a while!

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Sep 192019
 

By Patty Wilber

So, Spring is usually the time we think of for new beginnings, with longer days and sprouting greenery, but from my horse training point of view, Fall is a new start.  Fall for me is colt starting.

Yes, the title is the “End of the show season” and maybe, given, my thought processes right now, I should go up there and change it to some “Start” type of topic…

Anyway, so I have three colt starts lined up for the fall. H is coming along, I have a new comer arriving Saturday, and there is Mary Ann S.’s Sombra, the two-year old mustang, who wore a saddle pad, tied on with a polo wrap, (yes he looked silly, but he was calm about it!)  and put one foot into the trailer on Thursday!

Fall is also a good time to start thinking about the next year’s show season, and with H, Lucy and a new senior (= over five, not elderly) horse in the barn, there is a lot to look forward towards!

But what about Atti? What about the World Show?

Well, despite our successes at Red Hot and in Colorado, the hard truth is that Atti really needs another year under her cinch to be in contention at the World Show, and given that, Judith and I concurred that the cost/benefit of keeping Atti in training for another year vs. offering her for sale tilted in favor of sale.

I am not crying. YOU are crying.

(Thanks Jeanne--I stole that from your FB post.)

Atti has been a horse that taught me a whole bunch (including more patience and boy has she been humbling!). But, she now has a list of abilities that is longer than many horses, and it even includes things that were once unthinkable to her.  She is only four!

I am really proud of how brave and giving she has become (and sweeter at the barn, too!). 

She is solid around bovines and even won a cutting class (without really being a true cutter, but hey! We didn’t lose our cow!). I have gone down the fence with her in the show ring in Working Cow Horse, and I have a feeling she’d make a really good team roping horse.

Photo by Ava Charlin

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Sep 122019
 

By Patty Wilber

The most fun I have had a horse show in a long time was this past weekend in Longmont!

The show was well run by the Mountains and Plains Appaloosa Club and the horses performed well. Lucy took the Jr. Ranch Trail Class and got nice high scores and two points in the process, and Atti won the buckle in the All Breed Ranch competition, but what really made it fun was the people!

Judith (Atti’s owner) and I drove together and we caravanned with Nancy and and JoEllen. It was nice to have a group for the 400 mile drive, and Judith and Nancy can both put the pedal to the metal (whereas I tend to drive like an old granny) so the travel time was not too too bad.

Christy came up Saturday night, showed all day Sunday with us (and was reserve high point in the ranch horse competition) and then drove home, somehow, Sunday night.  Judith, Nancy and I  stayed until Monday morning. We left at 5 am and I made to my office hours and the micro bio lab I teach at the college on time in the afternoon! 

Jordyn drove down from Ft.Collins on Sunday and she and her friends and hung out all day and stayed to assist in the pack up of all the stuff (so much stuff!) so we could get on the road early the next morning!

Here are a couple of pictures!

JoEllen and Mocha. They did really well in ranch rail and ranch conformation!! And had a fine time with an unexpected crazy sunbeam in ranch riding!

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