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!

May 072021

By Patty Wilber

Well, the family left last Saturday and Sunday, and the sheer volume of food the eight of us consumed was remarkable.  Feeding eight people instead of two required several extra shopping trips.

I am missing the jumble of 30 year old kids toys all over the house!  Yes, we have home-made wooden blocks, paper blocks, bowling, ancient matchbox cars, books and more that we had saved for just this occasion.

Here is one more picture from last week.

Last Thursday we rode the Sandia Tram to the top of the mountain and the wee Hawaiians got to see snow!

But now, we are back to “normal”.

Normal around here is not typically boring, but I am still missing everyone!

Andretti, with 12 rides, is loping in the round pen with no pre-lunging, and has also been on a short trail ride by himself (well, I was there–I rode). I did hand walk him up and down the very steep part of the trail with the railroad tie steps, just to baby him a bit.  He was outstandingly settled.

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Apr 302021

By Granny Patty

We had not seen our kids or grandkids for quite some time, so what a treat for Granny Patty to have everyone here for a WEEK!

Leilani (3 and a half) got off the plane and came directly to the horse show I was at in her boots, helmet, and princess dress.  She got right on Lucy for a ride!

We also got to go to the Tucker’s to visit the lambs, bunnies, new calf, show calves, cats and horses, including Penny who is staying with Heidi, and Biscuit who was willing to go double!

Checking out the four day old bull calf, in full princess mode. And boots.

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Apr 232021

By Patty Wilber

Andretti came almost two weeks ago and he is nice stout bay solid appaloosa gelding out of a Peptoboonsmal mare owned by Whispering Spirit Ranch. He is coming along well and should be the sort of horse that can get a job done!  I really like him.

Beauty is a gorgeous solid appaloosa two year old filly, owned by Judith Huchton that came a week ago, so I figured Beauty and Beast would be a great title for this weeks blog…except then it turned out that upon initial impression, maybe Beauty actually WAS the Beast…

(Fortunately, it turns out she just needed a day or two to adapt to her new surroundings. Whew!)

Our place was a little busy for Beauty to start with.  “oh my!!!” she said.  “horses go out, move around, get tied over there, get moved over here, disappear with some people, come back. i don’t know what is going on!!”

She spent the whole first day moving moving moving all around her big pen.

I knew she could lead, was familiar with a drag rope from work done with her before she came, but had not been tied.

Beauty, a drag rope, a bareback pad and some random polo wraps. “rope shmope,” she said. She also had no reaction to the bareback pad, but the polo wrap around her butt was not pleasing at first. The polo wraps are for desensitizing. The red one is part of a set I bought when I was 16 (~1977) Before Velcro was a thing! Before fleece was a thing!

The beauty of a drag rope is the horse learns to give to the rope, gets used to ropes around the legs and usually will also lead and tie pretty well.

“So, let’s give tying a try”, I thought.

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Apr 162021

By Patty Wilber

Last Sunday, Heidi took Penny to the NMBHA show.  I probably had as much fun as Heidi since I got to tell her what to do all the time!  Much like when Sydney was riding Penny, Heidi UNDERSTANDS what I am talking about and, then she can go do it.  

Photo by Derek.

Of course, then she and Penny beat me and Lucy in open ranch trail (she got second, and she also got second in W/T ranch trail–Lucy won that one) so I might need to give worse advice so I don’t start losing all the time to Heidi!

Heidi also placed about middle of the pack in the open (mainly grown ups) in ranch rail, ranch pleasure and ranch riding! AND she showed in boxing.  It was a nice no-drama go.

This week we worked on lead changes, we worked the flag, and we are going to work live cows!  Next weekend we will have a another crack at stuff at the NM Paint show, and this time, there are even youth classes!

 I had to toss in a photo of Lucy. I like how her front feet are crossing in this picture.

Photo by Derek.

James brought his horse Biscuit and he held herd for me in the cutting!

Lucy was apparently planning to run over Biscuit. Photo by Derek.

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Apr 092021

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend, we (me, Jim, Lucy and the two dogs) hauled south to  WestWorld of Scottsdale (AZ) for the Western States Desert Classic, run largely by the Arizona Appaloosa Club. (NM pitched in some bucks to help out.)

What a blast!  (A fun blast and also like a blast furnace–it was hot!)

We got to share a tack room with Christy H. and Nancy K.! I got to hang out a little with Judith, Doc and Kathryn! The 4K barn was there, too!

We stayed next to Nancy, on site, in our “new” trailer. It was hot, I say again!  In the upper 90’s (F)!  And we showed outside. Yikes.  High sixties is about as warm as it has gotten at our house so far this year.  Fortunately, my prescient purchase of the electrical package for the trailer allowed us to plug in a fan, and it did cool off nicely when the sun went down, thank goodness.

The trailer slots were pretty narrow, and Jim got to test his backing skills, big time.  With Nancy’s help (while I was settling Lucy), he got in and then set up our camp!

Despite the close quarters, we really enjoyed having arena-side accommodations!

Lani (left) and Coulson (right) seemed to have a good time hanging out, too!

Lucy felt that travelling all that way alone was a bit unfair and she nickered whenever we stopped for fuel. But she is such a low key soul (except for wash racks…she really hates wash racks and hoses, though she is easy to bathe, go figure) that overall she travelled very well.

Lucy ready to head out and limber up on Thursday evening.

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Mar 262021

By Patty Wilber

Outdoors #1:

Last Saturday was the first Back County Horseman training ride of 2021!  Thirteen or so of us went to Galisteo Basin, parked at the Cowboy Cabin, and took the outermost loop, for an 11 mile ride. 

Me and LT, leading the ride! Photo by Patty S.

I took a whole bunch of pictures that apparently I did NOT actually take because they did not appear in my camera, but fortunately Patty S. got some nice ones!

This year, I did not lead us into a bushwhacking adventure, no one fell over, no one got rolled on, and no one got kicked.  Whoop!

And we had some new people join us!  My friend Mary rode Cometa (I really did try to take a picture!), and Janet came along with Bain (who is an actual member).  

Janet and Rowdy. Note that Rowdy not only can do the trail, but he and Janet are super stars in the show pen! Photo by Patty S.

We have one more training ride and then we get to start on trail projects!

Indoor #1.

It snowed buckets in Colorado the other week, so the outdoor arena at Cody Crow’s was still unusable.  Thus, instead of hauling a bunch of horses, I drove me and my spiffy new little (um December 2020 and it still has less than 2000 miles on the odometer due to my lack of driving to work and back) Kia Rio. That thing can hum along at speeds I don’t normally attain.  Who knew!?

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Mar 192021

By Patty Wilber

This horse was having an issue or two with pain, and ejecting his riders.

His, mom, Nancy, did a great job getting him evaluated and realigned, and once that was addressed, he came here.

Landon has been at the house for about three months now, and we are definitely making progress!

I mean, take his mane, for example.  You can see that is it now laying down!!

He is improving his personal hygiene in other areas, too, like tail washing.

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Mar 122021

By Patty Wilber

Penny is 14 this year!

We have had her for 12 years now. Last week, Heidi T. took her to a show and has two more planned for this month, so that got me reminiscing.

Penny is a red dun Appaloosa, but has no spots. She is also registered with the American Buckskin Horse Association, which is where she was shown most.

Penny, two. She was ponied and ridden a little on a Back Country Horsemen project Fall, 2009, while learning to carry stuff and be a horse.


She is three in this picture.  As a four-year-old she earned Open Register of Merits in trail (her favorite) and Hunter Under Saddle.

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Mar 052021

By Patty Wilber

(I apparently just discovered the fun of GIFs….)

Thursday morning I woke up to a text from the NM Dept. of Health saying I was eligible for my COVID vaccine! Apparently it was teacher day because a lot of my college colleagues also got appointments!

I tried to log on. It said I was not registered.

Well, that was clearly wrong, as they are the ones that sent me an alert and that would not happen if I had not already registered. I went to my computer instead of my phone and got everything typed in correctly and whew, I was in.

I went to the schedule a shot area, and entered all the information and my event code then it said I was NOT eligible for a shot today.

So I sent a text.  I sent an email.  I tried seven more times. 

I got in!  I got an appointment!

I got to the vaccination site about fifteen minutes before my appointment.  There were LOTS of people there to get vaccinated and lots of people helping out.  

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Feb 262021

By Patty Wilber

I was trying to figure out what to write about and somehow I got to thinking about how far I rode each day, and then I thought about the free phone app, Equilab

I have not used it all that much and I have a more to learn about it, but it really is pretty fun.

I do know that it does not track well if my phone is on airplane mode.  I get maps with major portions estimated as straight lines, and the mileage is WAY off.

 I am not 100% certain of its accuracy when my phone has mobile data turned off, either, but it does make cool maps without a ton of estimated straight lines when mobile data is off and also gives fun statistics, and the base version is, did I mention? FREE!

I have been having trouble, I realized a few days ago, with my new phone not staying connected to our Wifi and I ate up almost all the mobile data I had been rolling over, IN ONE MONTH, and then I about ran out this month, so mobile data is currently off until the 1st and I could not test Equilab with and without mobile data on.

But! Still fun!

This is one view of a workout I had with Lucy in the arena. 

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