Jun 142019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last Friday I hauled Stella, Lucy and Atti to the NM State Fair Grounds.  Atti and Lucy came to get ready for the NM Appaloosa Association, 50th Anniversary Road Runner show and Stella came for experience.

For the introductory rides, I kept two at the trailer and rode the third.  This arrangement seemed to suit them.  All three rode around indoors and outdoors, quite well!

And then we went to the stalls… Continue reading »

Jun 072019
 

By Patty Wilber

Atti’s back and is completely recovered from her leg strain! We are going to the NMApHC’s  50Th Anniversary  Roadrunner show at Expo New Mexico this weekend. We will do the ranch events as well as egg on a spoon and discipline rail, just for arena experience.

As you may know, Atti has definite opinions about things, and I would like to make sure her opinion and mine are being pulled from the same pickle jar before we get to our pointed classes!

She has only been back 10 days, but she is riding well and her lead changes improved with time off! She still might drag a lead, but they are improved! Continue reading »

May 312019
 

By Patty Wilber

The Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen was tasked with rebuilding the bridges at Stewart Lake and No Name (a little lake).  

Our president, Mary Ann, and myself, took on the job of chief worry warts! We had to pack 24 lumber pieces that were 3″ x 8″ x 6′.  Each animal would be loaded with 150 to 200 pounds on a 7 mile mountain trail, finishing at over 10,000 feet, with the usual mountain trail hazards, plus possible snow.  We thought there was a lot to worry about.  I mean, someone has to do it! Continue reading »

May 242019
 

By Patty Wilber

My mom always wanted me to play tennis. She said it would be a good social activity as I aged. (Plus, she loved it!)

Last Friday, I had the privilege to ride with three other Back Country Horsewomen on our foray to Spruce Spring in the Manzano Mountains. Our combined ages add up to something around 235.  Turns out horseback riding and wielding a two-man saw in the Wilderness is a viable social activity for the “older” broad. He! 

Mary Ann, Victoria, Me, Patty S. Photo by Patty S.

Continue reading »

May 172019
 

By Patty Wilber

There are many opinions as to when one should begin under saddle training in horses.  Some futurity and race horses are started at 18 months. On the other end, there are advocates for waiting until four or five years old.  

I generally saddle my own in the fall of their two year old year, at about two and a half. 

I have started a few “older” horses, the oldest being a nine-year old Fjord, Mojo.  He ended up belonging to Roger and Mary Ann and staying at my house.  Loved that boy. 

Continue reading »

May 032019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend was our first official Back Country Horsemen, Pecos Chapter, work project of the year: Box Trail to Ox Canyon Trail in the Manzano Mountains.

Amber was the project lead and she packed the tools, so Jim and I brought only two horses: Lucy and Cometa.

Lucy. (She makes me smile!)

This is an easy trail, so I figured it would be a good first large group ride for Lucy.

I forgot one little detail.  The stream.  For the last few years, our snowpack has been so sparse that the creek in Red Canyon has been dry. 

Continue reading »

Apr 262019
 

By Patty Wilber

I got Lucy’s results from the Paint Pinto Palomino Buckskin All Breed show. I guess I was overly critical.  In the all breed open stock horse pattern class where I said she was accurate but not as smooth as I would like…she got 2nd under both judges!  She managed 3rd in Ranch Rail in spite of her breaks of gait.  The future is bright for this one!

On to Easter with the grandbaby!

Maegan and Leilani flew into Phoenix from Hawaii for a wedding and Jim and I got to hang out with them!

I think we are in good shape with this grand girl as she is not afraid of animals and she loves water. She can be a surfing polo player!

Here are highlights.

We arrived and went to visit Meggie and Matt, adorable Harrison (2.5 years old) and beautiful baby Maxine, Karen and Mark, and Jenny and Paul. I did not get any good pictures of Leilani and Harrison, but they had  a lot of fun playing together.

Great time visiting old friends at the Smith’s!

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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.”  

Continue reading »

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”.

Continue reading »