Jan 172020
 

By Patty Wilber

It might be apparent from the blogs that I kind of like horse training and horses.  Each horse is different and despite the fact that I have started a good number of colts (100? 150? I have not kept track) I like that it is not uncommon that I say to myself, “Well, I haven’t seen THAT before!” So much to learn!  So little time!

I also have really enjoyed having my own trainer/coach so that I can continue to get new ideas and techniques, because part of the fun for me is finding which keys to use to unlock the potential of each horse, as best I can.  I find getting in-person coaching with a particular horse under me really helpful and more fun than videos or reading.

BUT, right now, the cow guy I am working with is in Clovis (200 miles away) and so I can only go once a month at best, and thus I have “resorted” to books and video.  On dressage.  Not even western dressage. Gasp.

But, why dressage you may ask?  

1.Two of my friends have horses that have been diagnosed with mild cases of kissing spine.  One found an article about exercises that can help alleviate the problem and those exercises are dressage based. 

Kissing spine.

Radiograph of the mid thoracic spine showing evidence of kissing spines. (picture source linked above.)

Continue reading »

Jan 102020
 

By Patty Wilber

My WW three horse bumper pull stock horse trailer is 15 this year.

2018, at the Cruces Basin Trail Head.

Labor Day, 2018, in the Manzanos. Indy and LT by the trailer.

It has been a great trailer and while it is no longer pretty (if it ever actually was), it is still good to haul down the highway or on a 4-wheel drive road to the wilderness.

But, I thought it might be ok to step up and get something a little bit fancier.

Continue reading »

Jan 032020
 

By Patty Wilber

I hope you don’t cringe,
As the rhyming beings,
But here
is the year,
From the start to the fringe!

January was cold and there was lots of snow,
Training in snow makes progress quite slow.
The barn was still full of horses to ride.
Unfortunately, perhaps, the rides were outside!

February was quiet, for the most part,
Lucy worked cows with Ed for a start.
Atti tried to quit them and fall apart,
But soon she perked up and showed me some heart!

Yes, I am talking about you again, Ms. Atti!

Continue reading »

Dec 272019
 

By Patty Wilber

We got lucky and got to spend the Christmas Holidays with the grand girls in Hawaii!

On Day 1 we dragged them to a polo lesson while Mom and Dad went to work!

If I lived on Oahu, I think I polo might be a horse sport to try.  Cows are not especially numerous and most cow stuff appears to be on the Big Island (at least based on my brief Internet research). It also seems a bit tricky to trail ride on some of the steep, slick jungle trails!

We have a been to a few polo matches here and I thought a polo lesson would be fun.

Of course, it was!  

I went to Hawaii Polo Lessons. I rode a nice solid gelding that went when asked, picked up both leads and was easy to steer.  Perfect, because I did not have to think about riding and could concentrate on trying to hit the ball!

My instructor, Khai, on an Appaloosa! And me on Pep. Khai is a United States Polo Association certified polo instructor!

 

For introductory purposes I used a softer and slightly larger rubber ball than the standard game ball.  I tried to find a photo of one like it, for the blog, but struck out. Continue reading »

Dec 202019
 

By Patty Wilber

I was going to pass on the Annual Christmas Hats Blog, but I had a request, so what could I do?  Also, we are now in Hawaii so I figured I could get this blog written before we left!

We have four Appaloosas, two Spanish types and just sent Koh-Doh home.  He is a tobiano that was rescued from a kill pen in South Dakota and I think he has some Spanish characteristics, so he can be in the Spanish category!

Appy Navidad!!

Penny: “i just want to note that i have been subjected to this silliness for something like 10 years now! but in the big scheme of things, i suppose it could be worse!  appy christmas!

Continue reading »

Dec 132019
 

By Patty Wilber

I am still really missing Ed (my cattle coach and friend who passed away earlier this year).  I think he would be telling me that it is time to get moving forward on the cattle training, though.

I have some local contacts in the works; some that could coach and some who might let me MOOch use of their cattle (and I will chip in towards feed).  But that might not be until January,

So, I set up a time to drive to Clovis to work with Clay Hight of Hight Performance Horses. I have been working my flag at home, but was excited to get H on real cattle and get some feedback on Lucy.

Not the greatest picture I have ever taken, but this is Clay at Hight Performance Horses, Clovis, NM

I was planning to leave between 8am and 9am to make the 200 mile drive, but when I went out to feed, 22 year old Cometa was not hungry.

Cometa is the consummate consumer.  He has never met hay he does not like.

Then he laid down.  Flat out. In the mud. That is not a good look for him.

Continue reading »

Dec 062019
 

By Patty Wilber

On Thanksgiving, we left for the airport at 4 in the morning in a snowstorm and used four wheel drive all the way there!  A very unusual occurrence.  Our plane got de-iced and we took off pretty close to on time (the crew was a bit late due to the weather.)

We landed in Oakland, CA, took the BART train to near my folks house, and as soon as I could, I got my hands on baby Amara!

Who needs to take their coat off when they can hold the grandbaby! Maegan in the background!

Most of the rest of my photos of my amazing family are terrible, so I won’t post them, but Jim got a couple nice ones (like the one above and the one below).

Granddaughter Leilani age 2 (left) and my niece Avery age 1 (right). My brother (Mike) and sister-in-law (Tina), Avery’s parents. You can tell which kid lives in Hawaii and thinks it is cold!

The entire immediate family got to hang out, and I have to say that while we might be a little competitive, we might have a hard time making group decisions, and we might be a little weird, I sure think the world of all of them!

We got home Saturday night, very late, and Sunday I went down to check out the arena.  I found that it had transformed into a partial ice rink!  This is the first time that has happened.  I guess since we had an inch of rain the week before and then 10 or so inches of wet snow, which largely melted, but didn’t absorb, and cold overnight temperatures, we got ice–2 inches thick in some spots!

I didn’t even try to ride.  I got out the old blue tractor and dragged and plowed and got things pretty well churned up, except in the thickest spots. Then I dug some little drain canals to try to accelerate the drying out process.

That is a definite improvement, but not rideable.

On Monday it was mostly ice.  Tuesday had much less ice, and lots of water.  Koh-Doh did get to  practice ice water crossing, but most of our work was out on the roads.

Tuesday: Lots of water with ice underneath.

But, hey! We got to practice ice-water crossing!

On Wednesday, we were down to almost 100% water without the frozen base, so the pond/arena was rideable (with water wings)! Yay! And the predicted “wintery mix” did not materialize.  Yay! Again.

Thursday, it was still very wet but still improving and Mary Ann, Sombra, the dogs and I had some wet fun!

I did pull the trailer up to the house Wednesday, just in case the weather went bad, as I was planning ahead for my trip to Clovis today (Friday) to do some cow work with Lucy and H at Clay Hight’s!  It will be H’s first live go!

And so I will leave my arena to dry for a few more days and head southeast!

But…woke up to a horse not feeling great, so trip delayed at least for the moment.  Fingers crossed.

 

 

 

Nov 222019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last Friday I wanted to take Koh-Doh for his 20th day under saddle to the Sandia Mountains and do the Cienega Trail loop, but I had guys welding at the house and this was disconcerting to a couple of the horses, so I figured it was better not to take him on his first solo trailer ride with me to meet some new horses and do his first group trail ride. (I took Lucy.)

Every now and then I display good sense.

So, instead, on Saturday afternoon, we did ride 21. Mary Ann came over and she, Jim and I rode from our house to Ale Republic Brewery and had beer and snacks!

Koh-Doh loaded with his first “accessories”–cantle pack and a coat! He appears to be very bothered. Not.

Continue reading »

Nov 152019
 

By Patty Wilber

I have three geldings I am starting this autumn and they fall on a continuum of personality. It is fun to figure out how hard to push and when to go slower. That is something to consider everyday with colts, and generally, I tend to go slower rather than faster.

Coincidentally, I recently read “When Slow is Worse”  (thanks Barb K.) which discussed  the pitfalls of not moving quite fast enough in training (and thank goodness she was talking about A LOT slower than my pace).  Still, the article got me thinking about the differences between the three geldings.

H

I saw a cartoon on facebook (I couldn’t relocate it) that showed a glaring mare, a glaring stallion and a goofy gelding.  Now H (co-owned by me and Judith Huchton), at two, isn’t actually super goofy but he has a really chill attitude.

He is also responsive, smart, and has a ton of try. You just can’t beat this combination.  He has a high spot on the “Easiest Horses I Have Ever Started” list.  Now, with all that hype, I better make sure I help him live up to his potential in the show pen!!

At a show on 25 rides.

H (in the middle) “helping” put up the new panel. LT (left) waiting to give her two cents, and Lucy (right) inspecting the footing placement. So very thoughtful of all of them! I penned up three others that would have been on my side of the panel because six helpers would have just been too many!

Continue reading »