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!

Jan 192018

By Patty Wilber

The good news was that Penny behaved very well and she and Lori took the Novice High Point award!

Also, all the horses got along just fine at the trailer.

Atti (light) and Indy (dark). Happy at the trailer.

The bad news was neither Atti nor Indy demonstrated their true skills and I was so disappointed I shed a few tears. I got a big ol hug from my friend Janet. (Thanks Janet!)

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Jan 122018

By Patty Wilber

In December, Jim and I went hiking in the Ojito Wilderness.  We accessed it via Cabezon Road and hiked the Hoodoo Trail (red dot and line)  over by Bernalillito Mesa.

The hoodoos are surreal, like being in a different dimension, but as far as horseback riding, it is a short trail.

So, Tuesday, us ladies in our big trucks (cuz we might be AARP age, but we are formidable, especially in a group) went on US 550 3.5 miles past San Ysidro to the gray road on the map. We went in the green gate and parked right there.  Then, we followed that gray road on horseback into the Ojito and saw a different side of it.

Marianne, Siri, Linda, and Lily.

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Jan 052018

By Patty Wilber

u can tell we are show girls because we keep our tails up!











Patty says: Our first show of 2018 is Jan 7.  We are going to the New Mexico Buckskin Shaggy show and we are bringing three mares. One of them likes other horses.  The other two…depends.  Hope they all survive the trip down and the day tied to the trailer, near each other.

The three suspects are:

Penny, Indy and Atti (short for Attitude…)

Here is what they have to say.








i am 11 this year! i am not quite as long in the tooth (literally) as cometa who is 21 this year. but back to me.  sydney came home over Christmas and that really helped to get me closer to show shape. jordyn helped this week, too.  lori is the one that gets to show me tho, and i have not decided if i will make her life easy or not.  it might depend on where i have to stand tied. i might try to kick indy at the show if she is tied too close to me.  i am her boss in our pen, but she is bratty.

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Dec 292017

By Patty Wilber

Yes, it is time for the Year in Review in rhyming form.  Some of them are really forced, just to warn you!  This year instead of going through all the horses, I am going to rhyme month by month.  Here we go!

January, 2017

We took a great trip:  Cochise Stronghold ,
We went with a fun group and were sold!
We rode in the rocks and we hiked in them, too.
These friends are all moving! We say BOO HOO!

L to R: Melissa, Sid, Stacie

Justin and Ruby. Miriam on the horse.

February, 2017

There once was a horse in Tijeras,
Who is very near and dear to us,
She was supposed to win prizes,
of all different sizes,
But had problems that dwarfed a lesion hamartomatous.

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Dec 222017

By Patty Wilber

Merry Christmas from our barn to you!

Sydney (who used to lease Penny) is home from college (West Virginia!) for Christmas and she came out to ride, so I solicited her help for the annual Christmas Hats blog.  I added people and a garland this year, too.  Whoo!

When Sydney had Penny, they got along well, which is saying something as Penny tends to be a bit on the grumpy side.  (No wonder people like geldings…) Penny perked her ears when she saw Syd and was obviously happy to see her. (That made two of us.)

Penny and Sydney. Merry Christmas!

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Dec 152017

By Patty Wilber

If you are alive, you have probably looked at your own poop.  (You can just admit it to yourself.)

If you have horses, you probably have looked at LOADS of poop.  Partly, because someone has to clean the stuff up, and partly because the state of the “matter” can give some indication of equine health.

Roger and Mary Ann recently sponsored a horse from Walkin’ N Circles rescue and he got to come here.  His name is Durango and he is a 12 to 15 year old Appaloosa gelding.


He started having trouble with soft stools right away. I wasn’t concerned because we were using the hay from the rescue, so no change of diet, and horses will often get a little runnier when stressed.  Since he had just moved to our place, with opinionated mares and bossy Cometa as his neighbors, perhaps he was a wee bit concerned with his newest housing situation.  But that sort of softening usually doesn’t last more than a day.  Also, his back legs got a little “stocked-up”.  Which means they got a little swollen,and while that is not terribly unusual, it isn’t often associated with simple stress.

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Dec 072017

By Patty Wilber

We have gotten a big FAIL when it comes to keeping the floors halfway clean at our house.

I wonder why?

Perhaps it is the dogs.

us? surely u don’t mean us?

Or maybe the barn dirt.

Or maybe dogs covered in barn dirt.

Or the two indoor cats (sleeping on a sweatshirt that seems suspiciously coated in barn dirt and now cat hair).

Two former Bosque Farms Rodeo Arena cats, now living the cushy life.

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Dec 012017

By Patty Wilber

This Thanksgiving, the whole clan on the Hannon side got together in California, and as a new Granny, it was, well, ESPECIALLY AWESOME.

I am not one that is normally drawn to babies, but since she is my grandbaby and my own baby girl is her mother, I guess a whole different set of emotions come into play.  I was, once again, (just like when she was first born and we went to Hawaii), very happy to sit still and hold that sweet thing!


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Nov 242017

By Patty Wilber

Travelling without the horses might be almost as bad as travelling with them as you have to find a horse sitter (and a dog and cat sitter) and prepare all the food in such a way that the horse sitter doesn’t have to kill themselves.

First, I make signs, and it has to be a new set of signs each time because there are new horses or new pen mates or dirt of unknown origins (maybe rodent) on the old signs.

Then, I stack up daily servings of hay for each horse. Usually, I have a would-be helper, thinking I might just give out snacks since I am in the feed room, anyway.

“i need more food,” says Durango.

Then, the supplements must be measured out.

Then, make sure the emergency information is up to date.

Then, check that the waters are all full.

Then, pull up the weather app. Oh good!  Not too cold this trip, since the winter bubblers and tank heaters are not set up.

Then, cross my fingers that all goes well while we are gone!

Happy Day after Thanksgiving!


Nov 172017

By Patty Wilber

There is a real danger of over kill (uh, well, maybe that is a bad choice of words for this topic) when it comes to safety recommendations for riding in the backcountry. It is impossible to be prepared for every possibility, so the trick is to be reasonably well outfitted without having to take the kitchen sink and the inflatable helicopter.

At the end of a 20 mile ride!

Here are some ideas.

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