Oct 272017

By Patty Wilber

Despite the fact that I truly enjoy training horses for the intrinsic rewards, I do like to win stuff when I show.

This past weekend, at the New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association Ranch Horse Show, LT proceeded to get top marks in Boxing (won Open, tied for best score in show), Ranch Cutting, Working Cow and Reining (for the last three: won open and had best score in show).

We got big trophies!

The trophies were for the best of show scores. We also won a stall front bag for winning the over all Open high point. Cool!

Lori went, too, and she rode Penny.  They won the non-pro novice American Stock Horse pleasure pattern!

LT and I had a small issue in trail.  My rope flew off my saddle at the lope and LT, being such a great fan of ropes, gave a jump and a big side eye as I pulled her to a stop.   So, despite my very game effort to add an increased level of difficulty to the pattern, we did not place.

We also were only 3rd and 4th in Open Ranch Riding and Stock Horse pleasure (out of 6 or so).  There is that pesky bit of walking involved in those patterns. LT generally prefers to occupy our walking time by anticipating the next gait and trying to implement that, ASAP, while also checking out everything that may or may not be happening outside the arena.  Meanwhile, I am reduced to muttering “easy” and trying to keep her looking straight ahead while attempting to make it appear as though I am doing nothing beyond having a very pleasurable ride on the ranch. Ha! We are good as soon as we can long trot!

LT last year. I didn’t get any pictures from this show. I did wear the same shirt and chinks, though.

It was a really beautiful day and lots of fun!

In other news, the feral mare, Onyx is catchable, leading, picking up her feet (not well enough to be trimmed, yet) and TRAILER LOADING!

I learned from the last mustang, Slim, that I needed to teach her to load into the trailer on her own and not by having her follow me in.  Slim would come into the trailer with me (halterless, even), but he also would panic if I tried to exit without him. No very useful if one needs to load up and actually go.

Day 1 of trailer loading, she put one foot in and scared herself so I took her to the bridge and we walked over that (which she found pretty easy) and then practiced standing in front of the trailer.

Day 2 of trailer loading, we worked the bridge first and then came to the trailer. She stood in front of it and with not much urging, jumped in.  A little too fast for my liking, but she was very calm in there.  On her second try, it was a much more poised entrance.

Day 3 of trailer loading:  Watch the video in which Mary Ann loads Onyx. Pretty cool for a horse that just last month could not be touched!

Along with the trailer loading, at feeding times, Onyx has stopped hiding in the corner and is moving all around her pen (which I have to walk though to feed the others), gathering up any scraps I have dropped.

She is pretty shy horse, so it is fun to see her coming out of her shell.

She will go back to Walkin N Circles rescue next weekend, where she will continue to be worked with by the dedicated volunteers! Of course, she is also available for adoption.



  • EMoonTX

    Wow, that is a *perfect* load…just walks right in, no fuss at all. Good mare, Onyx. Congratulations on all those trophies and wins. LT may never agree to walk quietly with her head pointed forward, but she’s sure good at those other things.

  • Doranna

    Oh, good girl! Very nice!

    I keep wanting to read her name as Onyx…

  • Patty

    Which would actually be her name… Onyx. Ay. At least I am relatively consistent…3 out of 4 times spelled Onxy and 1 time Onyx. And now I will fix that.

  • Patty

    I was especially pleased that Mary Ann was able to load her so easily!

  • Doranna

    LOL! I feel your pain! (The previous blog about her was pretty much all Onxy, I think…) She is a cutie! She looks confident and relaxed in that video–amazing progress.

  • EMoonTX

    Yeah…that was impressive. Loading for trainer…OK. Loading for someone else that easily…that was a triumph.

  • EMoonTX

    I looked at it and said ‘letter reversal” because I do that a lot myself. Sometimes I give up and just do a global search and replace at the end, instead of fighting my aging and uncooperative fingers. So many more words end in -xy than in -yx. Exp. horse names: Foxy, Roxy, etc. (No, I can’t think of more tonight, but a lot more *sound* like that…actually knew a horse years ago called Socksy, and others in other -y sounding names. Fingers aim for that final -y.

  • Patty


  • Patty

    Thanks! And Disqus won’t let me post just “Thanks!” as it thinks I already did that in this thread, which I did, but for a different reason, so there, Disqus

  • Patty

    Slim, the mustang, would let me do a lot with him, but no one else, so I have been trying to ask (coerce?) Mary Ann into doing things with Onyx to prevent that hole. Also, Onyx has not formed as strong an attachment to me as he did.

  • EMoonTX

    Kudos to you for that plan, and to Mary Ann for helping you out. It has to be someone experienced with horses, because a timid novice could accidentally convince the horse there were horse-eating dragons in the trailer after you’d convinced her there weren’t (“I don’t care…there aren’t horse-eating dragons in the trailer when *you’re* next to it holding my lead rope, but when that person’s there, they rise out of the ground and will EAT ME if I stick even my nose in.”) You and Mary Ann have prevented a lot of future problems for Onyx’s future owner.

  • Doranna

    Especially by starting so early, so different handlers = status quo instead of a new thing to learn.