Sep 042020

By Patty Wilber

I have these two youngsters in the barn and I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying them.

Sombra, the Placitas Mustang, is owned by Mary Ann Shinnick.  She picked him out last year and he arrived in July 2019 as an unhandled (uncatchable), but friendly two year old.  He is now, yes, three, and has been under saddle since April 2020. 

He was SUPPOSED to be a “rescue and sell” project, but we have all kind of fallen for him, and since he has turned out to be a super solid citizen, he gets to stay for the foreseeable future! 

Mary Ann and Sombra. Sombra has even more mane on the other side, by the way. He has enough mane and tail for three ordinary horses and fourteen more sparsely haired Appaloosas like Lucy!

I am probably, maybe, I think so, going to enter him in Christy Harding’s Virtual Trail Challenge in the Green Horse division. Mary Ann will probably, maybe, I think so, ride our old faithful Spanish Barb, Cometa, in the Intermediate division. Entries are due by the 16th or something!

That is not me on him. The rider shall remain nameless, and also claimed they needed to dress up more if I was going to be taking photos all over the place. I am pretty proud of the two of them!

This other guy is Black Jack, a four-year-old goof ball of uncertain parentage that Shirley Wilson rescued. He just finished ride 39 (two months under saddle).  He gets lighter and more consistent every day!

i am not a goof ball! i don’t, oh, say, remove fly masks and hide them in the water tanks on a daily basis or anything.

He is a ton of fun with a nice forward (but not overly so) and uphill way of going. He is stout and not more than 14.2 hands high but he has a big stride and is so smooth at all gaits!

He is going to do a Back Country Horseman project this weekend, and will learn to cross water, one way or another! (If I felt he was going to be a problem, I would not be taking him!)

I don’t think I have quite enough finesse work on him for the Virtual Trail Challenge, but he is definitely going to be a fabulous and engaging trail horse down the road (or single track or mountain or UP the mountain)!

Happy Friday!


  9 Responses to “Two fun youngsters”

  1. Sombra is absolutely adorable. I fell in love with him from here!

    • He is turning out really well. If I had riding photos of BJ, I think you would really like him, as well. He has a really nice way of going!

      • Yes, it is not fair to leave him out based on a head shot that clearly says “I hide things.” 🙂 But I have a soft spot for a little spanish-looking horse, it must be said.

  2. Entries due the 16th, and videos due the 30th!

  3. I like both of these. I love seeing horses with no fancy breed organization behind them being trained by someone with your skills. Every horse deserves good training that recognizes their worth and their unique ability/personality. Sombra is flat gorgeous and much handsomer now than when you first showed him (he wasn’t an ugly-bug then, but now…WOW), and BJ reminds me a lot of my Ragtime in a head shot. Also the removing fly masks thing (though Rags destroys them.)

    I also love horses of known breeding, but…the “grade” horses are just so often ignored because they don’t have papers…out in a field, not getting trained or ridden or driven. Rags was in that state when his owner died. I’ve liked so many of those you’ve shown going through your training. Hurray for you (and them.)

    Is Sombra a true grey, and that gorgeous black mane and tail destined to go white, or is he a blue roan with dapples? Whatever, gorgeous fellow.

    • Sombra is true gray and his light colored face and graying tail give him away!
      I am impressed with the free movement both these horses have! And they are good minded. Hybrid vigor perhaps!

  4. 🙂 Good job!!

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