BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. After many years of wishing it were so, I started a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I take a maximum of 3 outside horses at a time. I have two 3 year old fillies of my own as well and a Spanish Barb. I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a community college.

Feb 232018
 

By Patty Wilber

Over the last month I had begun to notice a slight decrease in stride length and impulsion in Indy’s trot, but I kept trying to tell myself I was imagining it because she was going square (evenly on all four legs, no classical lameness), and we were just getting back into training after her bone chip surgery last July.

Photo of Indy by Janet

But last Wednesday, when I went to work cows, Indy declined to pick up her right lead readily and when she did, she kind of popped her head up to get into it instead of rounding up and driving from behind.   Ed Krause also noticed that she was short striding with her left hind when I did get the lope. I could not feel that from on her, but I could see it in the round pen and when she would stop and roll back, we both commented that she didn’t want to drive off her left hind.

Talk about depressing. First because she was not right, and second because I ignored two clues–the shortened trot and the reluctance to lope off on the one lead.

So, I called Dr. Lane Dixon and he came out on Friday.  He thought she looked fine at the walk and trot, too, but also saw the short stride at the lope.  When he performed the flexion test, it took her two steps to go sound on the right hind but five steps on the left.

He X-rayed her hock and found that it looked really clean.  Whew!

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Feb 162018
 

By Patty Wilber

I was listening to a Stuff You Should Know podcast called “The Wind Cries Typhoid Mary” and it mentioned the unsanitary conditions in New York City in the 1800’s.  They estimated the number of horses, determined the amount of poop/horse/day to be about 25 pounds, and concluded that more than SIX MILLION pounds of manure were deposited on the city streets EVERY DAY!

I found an extension site that estimated horses create 37 lbs of feces and 2.4 gallons of urine per day!

That made me think about input vs. output. If a horse that is not gaining or losing weight eats 20 pounds of hay and drinks 5-10 gallons of water (at 8.35 lbs/gallon), the horse is taking in between 60 and 100 lbs of material and excreting 25-37 lbs of poo and 20 lbs of pee for a total of 45 -67 lbs. The maximum input doesn’t quite match the maximum output, but that could be balanced by loss of water mass through breathing, sweating and normal evaporation on the skin.

Right now we have six horses x about 20 lbs  of food per day or 43,800 lbs per year.  At 25 lbs of  fecal output per horse per day x 365 days, we generate 54,750 lbs of manure  each year. Or if we go with 37 lbs of manure per horse per day, 81,o30 lbs!  Who needs a gym membership if you have horses!

So, what to do with all that waste?

First off, it has to to be picked up.  We have dirt pens and use plastic manure forks.  We do not have bedding to deal with.

Forks come with a handle and a head.  The heads break.  It is possible to buy replacement heads.

I recently bought two of this type of head from State Line Tack (6 bucks) and each one lasted approximately two days before snapping.

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Feb 092018
 

By Patty Wilber

Judith and John Huchton’s Ms. Atti and Indy had some fun last weekend.

On Friday, we hauled down to Peralta to work cows with Ed Krause.  Both horses perk their ears when the cows come into the arena.  Indy wants to be more aggressive, which can be fun.  Atti is more level headed and doesn’t tuck her butt up under her if the cow behaves unexpectedly.  Both are making progress.

I am going to start using the flag here at home a lot more often to see if we can increase our rate of progress.  I would really like one of those programmable flags so I could just follow it and not have to mess with the controller in my hand while trying to manage the reins.  Perhaps an upgrade is in my future!

The flag is on a string and the horses will track it back and forth. A remote controller in the hand moves the flag–unless you have a programmable machine that will run the flag on a pattern for you…I want that right now.

On Saturday, those two horses, plus Cometa, me and Jim, joined the Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen for a ride in the Galisteo Basin Preserve. We had 19 equine and 16 riders.

Photo by Elisa Bohannon. Indy is the last horse in this picture. Three of us are not in the shot.

I often like to be at the end of the line if I am on a young horse to try to keep out of trouble.  This was Atti’s second trail ride with horses she didn’t know and I wanted to keep her comfortable.  Turns out I need not have worried.  When the horse ahead of her gave a wild spook and later a big buck, Atti barely even raised her head. And as we walked, she poked along back there, not seeming to care that her slow old walk didn’t keep her caught up.  We worked on increasing her walking pace, but I often had to suggest that she go ahead and jog to keep up.  That is a a much nicer problem than a herd bound horse that coils up in panic if the animals ahead of it get two horse lengths away. Continue reading »

Feb 022018
 

By Patty Wilber

I am happy to report that the backing therapy (getting off and backing her up if she sulls up and threatens to rear) has made a big change in Ms. Attitude’s, well, attitude.  She might still try to pull a thing or two, but I swear she has learned the phrase, “Don’t make me get off!”, because if I get off, she will be backing up, with alacrity.

The backing seems to really make her think and it doesn’t scare her.  I do not think this would have worked on LT or would work on Indy.  I think they would both take it very personally and fall apart.

Indy is dong well, too. She is getting sharper and smoother on her transitions and she is stopping.  Boy, we have a long way to go, though, since we lost  a lot of last year.

I took them both to Ed Krause’s work with cows last Saturday.

This was doubly fun because Leah and Janet were both there.   Janet took some pictures of me and I took some of her, too. We were there from 10 to 2.  Things haven’t changed, as Janet mentioned, from when we were kids (and didn’t know each other).  We still don’t want to get off our horses!

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Jan 262018
 

By Patty Wilber

I have the privilege of of judging the Trail Classes at the Walkin N Circles Fuzzy Show Fundraiser February 17th!   Last year, the show raised over $2,000. Click the link for more information, or just show up to show! (There is a $20 break if you pre-enter–55 bucks for the whole day!)

Walkin N Circles is a horse rescue that in 2017 adopted out over 45 horses!

I just spend 20 minutes checking out their adoptable horses page. When I was a kid (in the dark ages before the Internet) I used to read the horse want-ads.  This is a BIG upgrade from want ads. The website has beautiful photographs and descriptions of the horses.

Of course, I found several horses that I fantasized for a minute about bringing over, because I have so much extra time.  NOT.  LT is currently the barefoot boss mare (boss of Indy and Atti, only) on vacation for a few more weeks until the days get longer and I have more riding hours!  Too bad for her: she is not barefoot on vacation at the beach!

Ok, back to the show!  It will be low pressure and lots of fun.  It will be at the Edgewood Arena, in Edgewood, NM, Feb. 17th and will start at 9 am.  Hopefully the weather will be great!

The Edgewood Arena is a public arena that also has a nice obstacle course that is perfect to use for the walk-trot trail pattern.   There will be 9 and under, 10-18, 19 and over, and in hand classes.

Trail courses in a typical show include things like negotiating logs, backing through things, walking over a bridge, turning around in a small area, opening a gate, side passing.  We will have this sort of thing, as well as the cowboy curtain made of pool noodles!

The show is not all trail classes!  There will be arena classes as well.

Did I mention that it will be low key and lots of fun?  And ALL the income goes directly to Walkin N Circles for the horses, so if you don’t want to show, sign up (click the first link above) and donate instead!

 

 

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.

Penny:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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