Apr 192019
 

By Patty Wilber

High AF is, as of 4/1/19, a gelding.  Judith Huchton and I, who are partners on him, are excited to meet him in person, but for now, as a two year old, he is still enjoying the wide open spaces with Heather McLevin at Thunderstruck Ranch in Alberta, Canada.  Thunderstuck Ranch was the high point breeder of the 2018 World Appaloosa Show.  We have high (hahaha) hopes for him. I plan to go get him from Montana in mid-July.

In the video:  This was his first day out after being gelded.  He is the one with the big white Appaloosa blanket!

Atti, who belongs to Judith, sprained her front leg almost two weeks ago, and is slated for a few more weeks of rest.  It was a relatively minor injury that she got while out playing in the big lot.  It is putting a crimp in our show plans, however, and we will miss the May show in Colorado.  Also, she had started working cattle like a bit of a cow horse, she can pony the new horses, is great on the trail, and I was even going to let her give a lesson (and she is only four) so, quadruple bummer. We expect a full recovery and hope to to be back in the show ring in June!

Atti says: i went down to my birth home for stall rest. i can’t wait to get back to my second home so i can keep everyone on their toes. Me: we miss your pesty self! Lots!

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Apr 122019
 

By Patty Wilber

Shameless self-promotion:

I am excited to announce that I will be giving a clinic called Practical Trail June 22 and 23 at the Trout Stalker Ranch in Chama, NM!  We will work on horsemanship skills, play in the horse playground, and apply that to actual trails!   Here is the link if you want to register.  Only $300 for the all inclusive weekend!

Slots are limited.  We have a cap of 12 riders and it is filling up fast!

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Introductory Water Crossing

Penny was the mentor horse.  She was a polite and confidence boosting mentor, and did not bring out her Boss Mare persona!

I got to be the leader for our 18 rider, 20 equine and one hiker Back Country Horsemen training ride starting at the Golden Open Space and continuing to a stretch of live water in the San Pedro Creek Canyon on BLM land.

Running water in NM is a bit of a scarce commodity, so even though this is a small bit, it is still exciting. We had four horses  that wanted some practice (well their riders wanted them to have practice), so we sent most of the group on to see a small pond and kept the four, along with me on Penny and Jim on Cometa, at the practice spot.

This water was shallow, there was no step down into it, and it was not especially muddy, so it was an ideal spot for Water Crossing 101. 

  • First. The riders asked their horses to cross by following Penny and Cometa.  Two of the four in our “needs practice” group, hesitated then went across at their rider’s request.  They came back and then I had them walk up and down the creek bed until they were comfortable.  Bruce’s beautiful Arabian picked his feet up extra high for a good 50 yards before he got used to the feel of the water on his legs and Ginny’s Fresian seemed to take it all in stride right away!

          Two of our four declined to cross. “not right now,” they said.  “our hooves might get muddy.”  

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Mar 222019
 

By Awesome Guest Blogger Phoebe Bechtolt.

Patty Wilber and Doranna Durgin put their two cents in here, there, and everywhere.

In many western states there are still wild, free roaming horses. Managing the needs of horses in conjunction with the needs of the land is not always easy or simple.

The Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance (JMHA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in northern New Mexico.  Its members work primarily on behalf of the Forest Service Mustangs of the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory, especially those animals that have been placed in federal holding facilities.  Barb Kiiper, the Executive Director says, “I started the non-profit…to be part of solution for the abundance of mustangs that are being removed from public lands in New Mexico.”

JMHA’s vision statement is “Connecting Mustangs With Humans”.

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Jan 182019
 

By Patty Wilber

I am not a Lady Long Rider, and after 2.5 minutes of consideration, I don’t want to be one, either.

But, I sure enjoyed Bernice Ende’s Lady Long Rider book tour talk, and had the added luck of lunch with her and her sister (my dear friend Mary Ann) last week. Click the above link go to her website!

Last year, I bought one of Bernice’s old Tucker saddles with 10,000+ Bernice miles on it, so I have a little piece of Lady Long Rider History right in my tack room. I have a greater appreciation for the stories the saddle experienced after spending some time with Bernice!

The saddle fits Penny and Indy pretty well, and I like it for them for Back Country Horsemen projects.

This year, I bought Bernice’s book (less costly than a saddle), and I think it is a book that anyone who has ridden a trail would enjoy.  Click here to order and sign up for blog alerts.

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Jan 042019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last year we had essentially no snow.  It even rained in December. 

This year has been much more like the “old days” (20 years ago when we first moved here).  Over this past Christmas week we got something like 18 inches of snow and New Year’s Day we got another foot or so.

“it is a lot of snow” say the dogs. Lani (L) and Coulson (R).

And it has been cold–below zero at night and teens and 20s and low 30s during the day.  Maybe low 40s by Saturday though–we do live in the Southwest after all, not the far North!! And then, sigh, there is a chance of snow Sunday.

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Dec 282018
 

By Patty Wilber

2018 seems like it got started, barely,
But 2019 will be here, yes verily,
The time fastly going might mean I am older,
But not so much older that I am beginning to moulder!

The highlights of ’18, they were aplenty
I bought two horses and didn’t sell any.
Our sweet island grandbaby, she has turned one.
M and E’s wedding in Homer was tons of fun.

January started with Atti’s worst show,
I am still scarred, if you want to know.
But she improved every week,
Now in great confidence, the World Show we will seek.

Dec. 25th, 2018. Atti (still 3 years old) has become so reliable that my daughter took her out on the trail with the baby.

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Dec 142018
 

By Patty Wilber

This week we had a lot going on in the house.

We got new floors in the bedrooms on Monday and Tuesday, and unexpectedly, a leaky faucet handle led to lack of water in the house for a week and a bunch of brand new piping.

Wait–isn’t that water supposed to be in that pipe? And isn’t that pipe supposed to connect to something? Well, as of Thursday night the floor is dry and the hose is hooked up!!

Um…there is a big hole in the wall. That we have not yet fixed!

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Dec 072018
 

By Patty Wilber

We have had a week of wintery weather, with more on the way. This is good news for our drought stricken state of affairs, which, surprising to me, is actually quite a bit worse right now, as compared to a year ago

All this cold and snow, however, is not so great for outdoor horse training, especially since it had been in the 40’s and 50’s up to now.

I am quite happy to be outside for hours if it is 25 F and sunny, but 15 F? at 9 am?  I just need another cup of coffee.

Monday 12/3/18. There is a ridge to the east of us, so the sun hasn’t quite made it to us yet. It was  15F. Looking west.

Later on Monday. Getting better, but by the time it reached 25 F, it was after 11 am, so not really enough time to get anything done before I had to head to town to teach one of my last microbio labs of the term.

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Nov 162018
 

By Patty Wilber

It is getting late in the trail work season, but the forecast for last weekend was looking good, so we put together one last Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen trail project for the Manzanos.

We were scheduled to have seven riders but lameness (in a horse) and a dead battery took out four, leaving just Jim, Mary Ann and me.

It was a good thing we picked last weekend, because Monday, a storm came in and now there is snow!

View from my house, at 6800 feet. The trails we clear in the Manzano Mountains, 50 miles south, go up to 9,000+ feet, so the snow is probably going to stay on the ground there rather than melting. There were already some small patches last weekend.

We cleared a big log a few weeks ago, and the trails were clear, but then we got reports that there were a lot of down branches on the Albuquerque Trail-Mosca-Crest-Cerro Blanco-4th of July loop. (This is a pretty cool map and it even shows the horse bypass on Cerro Blanco that BCH put in around 10 years ago. Or more.  Time flies.)

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Nov 022018
 

By Patty Wilber

I went to Golden Open Space last Friday with four friends.  There was water in the arroyo that is normally dry and we had some gold cottonwoods–which were not the source of the name!

The water.  We got nearly two inches of rain last week, which seems like a huge amount here considering that our annual precipitation is around 16 inches at my place and only 8 inches in Albuquerque. The amount that we had actually caused live water to be running down the arroyos at the open space.  If you live in a wet area, this excitement may seem ludicrous, but to use desert rats, any running water is a thing.  A big thing!

Siri on Tabooli riding along WATER!

I know our 2 inches was a mere dribble compared to the hurricane drenched states where 30 to 50 inches fell in a matter of days.  If that happened here, all the houses might literally wash away.  Our soil just could not handle it.

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