Apr 132018
 

By Patty Wilber

Our 6th annual spring trip was a blast. Last year we camped.  This year we glamped!

Riding in the evening at the Gillespie Ranch!

Mary Ann, Siri and I travelled in Siri’s Big Ass Trailer (the BAT–with fabulous living quarters) to the Gillespie Ranch near Mayhill, NM.

I took Atti.

We had to take the screens off the BAT so Atti would not eat them on the trip.  I borrowed a fly mask and we managed to tear that instead, so a new one is on order for Siri–cheaper than a new screen for the trailer!

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Apr 062018
 

By Patty Wilber

I was at cutting horse trainer Ed Krause’s with my my dog Coulson, and he suggested I have Coulson tested for herding dog potential.

I thought that sounded really interesting, and so we did it.

Coulson took to Kyle, the dog trainer, right away.

Kyle meeting Coulson.

That is, until Kyle asked Coulson to go into the arena with him, and without me.

I have spend a bit of time telling Coulson to stay out of arenas and he was pretty certain that this going with Kyle into the Forbidden Zone was a trap. A trap I tell you!

So, he put his ears back, his tail down and he skedaddled!

I called, which stopped him.  He came almost all the way to me, walking slowly and very low to the ground. But he didn’t object when I put a leash on.

He did mind following Kyle into the arena, so Kyle suggested I come, too.

“it is a trap i tell u!”, says Coulson.

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Mar 302018
 

By Patty Wilber

My farrier, who I had used for something like nine years, retired a few months ago.

It has been awful finding a new one! A farrier works for the horse owner, so technically I am looking to hire a new shoer,  but in truth, the best situation is a partnership.  So, rather than a want ad, I think I need an online farrier match-making site.  In my profile I could put:

  • Horse trainer in search of farrier.
  • Longing for a long-term relationship with a like-minded individual.  Gender not an issue.
  • Must like young horses as well as oldsters.
  • Must be fair and patient with them.
  • I have diverse training interests, so I am looking for someone with similar shoeing interests and skills. (Pleasure, mountains, trail, ranch horse and cattle work)
  • I am looking for someone who is willing to work on solutions to (shoeing) difficulties and to be a true partner (working toward the best for the horses).
  • Must not blow me off for another (client).
  • Must have time for me (in case a horse loses a shoe, mainly).

Don’t want much, do I?

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Mar 232018
 

By Patty Wilber

From last week: an astute epidemiologist and a disease ecologist that read the blog noted that since horses are dead end hosts for West Nile Virus, they cannot reinfect mosquitoes. Only birds can do that. Thus, vaccinating horses doesn’t create herd immunity for this disease; vaccination protects your animal but does not decrease transmission to other horses. The herd immunity concept does apply for many other diseases.  For West Nile, I guess we need flock immunity!

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Because it has been so warm and dry, The Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen were able to complete our first project of the year, a month earlier than usual.

We had a LOT of participation and we able to tackle Box Trail with one group while another group worked on Spruce Trail up to the snow and then Red Canyon as well.  All the trails had trees. Lots of trees.

The Box Crew started at Red Canyon.  Box Trail is the one mile link from the campground to Ox Canyon Trail.

This year we have started a mentorship program for new members and we billed Box as a fine introduction to BCH.  Not steep, not rocky and no water crossings this year since it has been so dry.  We also figured it would have a lot of down trees since it goes through an old (2006?  2008? I forget) burn area (all burned trees must fall on the trail) and because we did not get to it last year.

The project matched our billing very well, except the down trees were all before the burn area. We kept busy clearing big trees and small trees at what seemed like 200 yards intervals.  It was great practice for mounting, dismounting and having horses tied to trees for long stretches.

I took Penny, and she seemed to really enjoy sleeping during the numerous stops because when I would go get her to move on to the next down tree, she could barely wake up enough to unplant her feet!  This was partly why I took her instead of any of the others–she is very relaxed on the trail!

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Mar 022018
 

By Patty Wilber

First off, thanks to Dr. Stacie Boswell for her help on last week’s blog!

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So, I get to coach a drill team out at 4 Winds Equestrian!

We have only had one introductory meeting so our first real practice is coming up!

I have been checking out videos and this one

was pretty amazing.  What an intricate pattern!

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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 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 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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