Sep 112015

By Patty Wilber

For the last four or five years I have spend part of my Labor Day weekend in the Pecos with the Back Country Horsemen working out of Beatty’s Cabin.

The Cabin is located in the Wilderness, and we get to ride there and use the Cabin.

The ride in on Saturday morning just made me glad.

At the Cabin, there was more grass than we have seen in a while, and more mud.

I wore my muck boots almost the whole weekend. The tack shed area was pretty swamp-like, and at one point, the mud sucked my boot right off my foot!

I wore my muck boots almost the whole weekend. The tack shed area was pretty swamp-like, and at one point, the mud sucked my boot right off my foot! I moved some dirt to fill in the bottom of the step and stabilized one tie rack.

The horses were hobbled and had a field day.  Well two field days, actually!

We brought three horses, Boswell’s brought three and the Tucker’s had four.  These 10 all grazed (while hobbled) together and by and large stuck to their “family” groups.  There were 10 other animals on this trip, but they were in other areas.

We worked hard on the Cabin and the “grounds”.

Springs above the Cabin and Tack Shed were rerouted (Jeremy and Jackson did a lot of this) to reduce the bogginess of the area.  The wet year had the horse pens running with water and several of the tie racks unstable and thus unusable.  A bummer with that many animals!

Richard redid the spring box and he wore waders to do this.  I did not get a picture of him and I sure regret that now.  He was mud from head to toe!

Peter spend both days he was there on some some rotten wall and the indoor plumbing.

Peter and Richard conferring.

Peter and Richard conferring.

Lots of people worked on putting the linseed oil on the Cabin!

Jim sprayed linseed and then redid the drainage all around the Cabin. Heidi got some pics of the process and I did NOT get a picture of the end product, but I can tell you that water is unlikely to be flowing under the Cabin during the spring melt of 2016, because Jim worked hard on the slope and then Stacy, Jim and I lined some areas with rock.  (It looked really good, and it might even end up in an article in Horse Around as the editor came up and took some pictures of the overall project!)

James and Heidi also made worm farms.  Jim supplied most of the worms.

Worm Farm.

Worm Farm.

We had very tasty and abundant food, wrangled by Mary Ann and Nichole.  Our normal Food Queen, Amber, was sidelined at home.

Nichole and Mary Ann kept the crew fed.

Nichole and Mary Ann kept the crew fed.

Peter, Jim and I rode out on Sunday, and the trail goes through the 2013 Jarosa burn.

Here are a few shots of the burn in 2014.

And 2013, just weeks after the fire had ended.

In 2014 and ’13 we worked on the bridges (there were blogs: Bridge Club! and Burn n’ Bridge). Next year we are hoping to stop with structures and do some trail work north of Beatty’s!

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with great people and my horses in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico!


  • EMoonTX

    Man, that’s a lot of work. Bet you wish you could’ve had some yards of gravel delivered by chopper (or magic–less noise & mess) for French drains where you needed ’em.

  • Jan Henfling

    You all have done a great job. I wish I could be with you.

  • Doranna

    Looks like magic would have been the perfect fit!

  • Patty

    We could have used a lot of gravel, for sure. And a tractor. BY helicopter. Or magic. Why not?

  • Patty

    Yes, it would have!