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!

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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Sep 052019

By Patty Wilber

Fall term at Central New Mexico Community College started this week, but that is no reason to put the horses on hold!

I got almost everything prepared for the start of the term before we left for Sweden, so all I really had to deal with was printing my most current class lists, reviewing my first day material and wondering why I still get first day jitters after all this time teaching!

All my classes went well!

But enough of that!  Let’s go to a horse show or two!

A little NM contingent is headed to Colorado for an Appaloosa show, and it looks like Jordyn might come down from college in Ft. Collins, for the ranch horse classes!

There are bunches of things that need to be done to get ready, besides the entries, stall reservations and hotel!

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Aug 302019

By Patty Wilber

We are home!

We had a great time in our second week travelling with my parents (Mark and Erika were only there for the first week), but I am happy to be back in New Mexico with the horses and dogs!

My Mom and Dad!

Our trip was crazy busy as we looped around southern Sweden looking for farms, houses, and churches that our ancestors frequented. We even met some living relatives on Jim’s side on Gotland,  and in Hult and Helsingborg. And we went to an Estenberg Society reunion. “You can become a member of the Society if you are a direct descendant of professor Petrus (Peter) Estenberg born in Stockholm 3 juni 1686 who was the vicar and dean in Jämshög parish from 1727 until his death in 1740.”

Jim is a direct descendant–descended from royalty and all. Oops I got that wrong.  Descended from nobility!

One extra long but not atypical sort of day:  We left our Air B&B on the super cool Island of Gotland really early, took a three hour ferry ride to near Stockholm, and drove south to this little town: Stora Syltvik. 

Me and my mom.

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Aug 162019

By Patty Wilber

It turns out I had some time to jot a little something!

The first couple of nights we stayed at the farm pictured below, which had a magnificent barn with some really nice horse stalls at one end, as well as a newer horse barn.

This barn used to be full of pigs! It has since been renovated. It has the apartment we rented and much of it is rented out for storage, as well.

We stayed in the wing above the car and this was the view from the kitchen window.

You can just make out a couple of  horses. It was a nice view!

The owner of our lodging had–yes–Swedish Warmbloods and is a three-day eventer. Last week they were in Poland for a competition.

Karin and her competition horse.

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Aug 092019

By Patty Wilber

The Red Hot Ranch Horse Challenge is in the bag!  Whew!

Thank-you to our sponsors!  Kenny and Nancy King for the saddle, The NM Appaloosa Club, Joy and Scott Roberts, Pharm Aloe Equine, Bain Cochran Construction, Old Mill in Belen,  T&T Trailers, Western Mercantile in Tijeras and Las Cruces, Horseman’s Feed, East Mountain Equine, Sandia Trailer, Performance Equine, Patty Wilber and Judith Huchton

We had heat, humidity, a flash flood, good cows, and great teamwork by all “our people” and the staff at our venue, NM Expo. Our competitors were just great, as well!! Thank-you all for braving Vesicular Stomatitis. (VS is a viral disease  of horses and cattle that is monitored by the USDA and requires a quarantine if contracted.)

Huge congratulations to Janet Cochran and Rowdy for their outstanding performances!  The points are now audited and they won BOTH the Red Hot and the Ranch Pleasure Challenges (and $2000!!)

Janet also won the saddle donated by Kenny and Nancy King that was raffled off among the top five non-pro riders!

Janet and the saddle! Photo by Joy Roberts.

Here are some of my highlights.

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