Aug 182017
 

By Patty Wilber

I went to a polo game while in Hawaii!  I had never been to a polo game.

It turns out all sorts of people, not just the horsey type, will come tailgate and hang out at a polo match!   At $12 per head.  Businesses also sponsor tables.  Too bad we couldn’t harness such interest for cow horse events.  Maybe if we have tents with tables, serve champagne and…add a tropical beach!

Polo has four players per team and each has a position, but if you are new to polo, it is not super obvious what the positions do.  The object of the game is to hit a ball through the goal.  If that occurs, the game restarts at the center and the teams switch which goal they are attacking.

Continue reading »

Jun 092017
 

By Patty Wilber

You know you’ve got it made when you have 24 hour barn help (even if they are dogs)!

Coulson: hurry up mom! the sun is up, me and lani have been out and back in and you are not on a horse yet! Me, mumbling: Need coffee…

Lani: ok! she is on the move. today we will lay in the arena for every horse. Coulson: great! everything is great!

Continue reading »

Feb 242017
 

By Patty Wilber

One morning this week.

One of the advantages of training horses is being outside a lot.  One of the advantages of living in New Mexico is the beautiful skies we have.  Just ask Georgia O’Keefe.  Of course, you will have to get in touch with her via someone who can talk to the dead.

Middle of the day.

Mid-day last Friday with Mary Ann and Siri. New Mexico has very dry air, which often means very clear vistas. I guess that is what makes the sky often seem so intensely blue here.

Evening.

South from round pen.

South west from the back patio.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading »

Dec 302016
 

By Patty Wilber

Two thousand sixteen was a good horsey year.
Not a one of my charges put me on my ear!
I had some good colt starts with minimal drama,
and ended this year with the fun mustang, Mama.

We have a good group that lives here full-time,
and we wouldn’t even trade them for a truck load of dimes.
There’s Mojo the Fjord that belongs to the Shinnick’s.
I didn’t want boarders, but if they left I’d be heart-sick.

Roger on Mojo and Mary Ann on Cometa

We’ve got the old man, a real Spanish Barb,
he’s coming on 20 and is a bit of a lard
butt he’s calm and and he’s steady as he’s always been.
Mary Ann rides him, but it won’t keep him thin!

Cometa, summer 2016

Continue reading »

May 122016
 

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend I had the distinct privilege of an ethereally (as in seeming to belong to another world) ephemeral (as in short-lived) weekend at Taos Horse Getaways  (which is really near Tres Piedras) three other women that I ride with.

20160508_105721

The Pasque Flower (in the Ranunculus family) was the most abundant flower, but we just got lucky because they only bloom for a little while and then you don’t see them. Perhaps they are ephemeral?

“Ephemeral” was our word of the first day because the map said there were ephemeral streams–streams that are not year round, and that led us to “ethereal” because, well, they both have a lot of “e’s”, I guess.

Continue reading »

Apr 292016
 

By Patty Wilber

Max was abandoned at 3 months old. He was rescued and went to live at Walkin N Circles.  He was sponsored by Mary Ann and Roger and he came here in November 2015 for saddle training.  He was 3 and 1/2.

20151129_111608

Max did not have much trouble getting started under saddle! He is pretty much game for any thing!

He just left for his new home with Miriam and Justin last Saturday! We are both happy and sad to see him go. Jim really liked Max because every morning Max would leave his breakfast and come at a fast trot to get a pet and say hello.

Continue reading »

Jan 152016
 

First published Oct. 18, 2013.  

I did not end up selling LT, because the more I rode her, the better I liked her.  In 2015, she earned an Appaloosa national championship and a reserve world championship in Jr. Working cow.  I think I made the right choice.  I really like that horse.

By Patty Wilber

…I didn’t say banana?

Jim and I did not draw elk tags this year, so we and MaryAnn went to the Pecos to ride in the midst of rifle season for elk.

We wore a lot of ORANGE!

 

Orange vest, orange hat under my helpmet, orange streamers on the horses. We were not going to be mistaken for elk.

Orange vest, orange hat under my helmet, orange streamers on the horses. Red lead rope. (borrowed from Mojo, the Fjord). We were not going to be mistaken for prey.

We were our own little Orange parade!

We were our own little orange parade! Braided tail decorations and everything.

MaryAnn and Tulip who says: u cannot have too much orange!

It started out pretty cold–see the frost?  But it was a beautiful clear day.

Due to the “hard work” of our illustrious and functional Congress, the gate to Jack’s Creek was locked.  Fortunately, MaryAnn knew a back trail to Iron Gate–it was much shorter than riding three miles up the paved road to Jacks, and we sure enough did NOT want to drive up to Iron Gate.

As one hunter told us, “Last time I drove up there I busted a joint on my trailer.  Never driving up there again!”

I took LT.  Been riding her regularly and she will be listed For Sale on Horse Clicks in 30 days or so.  I wanted to give her the experience AND get some sale video of her in the back country (in orange, of course).

We rode from Cowles to Iron Gate to Hamilton Mesa, over our bridge project below Beatty’s Cabin, back to Jacks Creek then down to Cowles.  About 20 miles, and LT, who is three and a half, was mentally tired by the end, but physically still eager.

No luck on finding a map that you can see.

As mentioned, the road to Iron Gate is awful.  The trail is no fun either.  It is long.  It is dark due to both the aspect and the trees.  The trail itself has narrow and sloughy spots.  The Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen has worked on some of the worst reaches but there are still iffy sections.

 LT fell off only once. That was not really the trail’s fault.  She just wasn’t watching where she was going.

I am not brave.  I wanted to micro manage EXACTLY where  she put her feet on those slender trails.  It is better, however, to let the horse figure it out and help only in case of a major horsey mis-judgement.  LT does follow a trail so all I really needed to do was redirect her when she started looking for deer (all the elk were hiding I guess)  and keep her from ramming my knees into trees.

After Iron Gate, the trail becomes scenic.  There are aspen.  Graceful, bright with a more open understory.

Out of Iron Gate in the aspens--they have not turned everywhere that bright gold everywhere yet.

Jim and Cometa.  We are just out of Iron Gate in the aspens–they have not turned that vibrant fall aspen gold  here yet.

There are vistas! At the junction to Mora Flats/ Hamilton Mesa we went left to Hamilton Mesa.  That trail follows a ridge and then opens out onto grass and views.  Incredible views.

This picture does not capture the majesty or the snow on the peaks in the back ground!

This picture does not capture the majesty,  but you can just see the snow on the peaks in the back ground! Tulip likes the grass!

We watered the horses a spring-fed metal tank–mud all around, lined with a black tarp.  I thought LT would balk at the mud or the tarp or both.  Nope.  She practically shoved poor Tulip out of the way to suck down lots of water.  A good trail horse should drink readily.  Check.

Here are LT and Tulip (and Cometa’s ears) in Beatty’s Creek with a smattering of snow.

Beatty's Creek

Beatty’s Creek

There were a fair number of down trees on the trail, too–probably due to a strong wind storm last week.  LT did not jump any.  She picked her way over.  Nice.

LT says: logs, shmogs. we luv orange! Me; What does the orange have to do with anything? LT: nothing. why?

LT says: logs, shmogs. we luv orange!
Me: What does the “orange” have to do with anything?
LT: nothing. why?

MaryAnn and Tulip in more gasp-en (because it is so beautiful you must gasp!) between Beatty’s and Jack’s Creek–closer to Beatty’s.

As we came past Round Mountain and out onto the meadows above Jacks Creek there were some nice stretches for trotting and loping.  LT got a little hot about that faster work (she figured she could out run Tulip since she already pushed her off that water). A bit of walking was all she needed to re settle.

Our one near disaster came right at the end of the day.  We thought we’d try to go along the river bottom to get back to the trailers instead the short stretch of road.  We had to cross the water and Tulip forded easily at a fairly (three feet) deep spot.  LT followed without a fuss but she was nervous.  The footing was strewn with big rocks and she stumbled, dumping her right shoulder and me up to my right hip in the water.  I was soaked on that side almost instantaneously. She regained her feet and lunged onto the bank.  She said,  “i saw that going differently in my mind!”  Yeah.  Me, too!

 

Despite the fuzziness of the photo, you can see the splash marks on her butt, the dark (= wet) of my leg (compare the color of my jeans to the picture above in Beatty’s creek) and that 1/2 my saddle bag was also wet! We were only five minutes from the trailers (and we had emergency gear, too.) You can’t really see that her entire neck is wet!

Hypothermic distress was averted because we were out of the wind and we were close to the trailers, so it wasn’t too long before LT had a five-sizes-too-big sheet draped over her wetness and I was in the truck with the heater on.

Another adventure on horseback with fantastic people and horses you can be proud of!

It sucks to need to sell them but LT was purchased as a prospect…

PS: She had a 10 foot sliding stop in the arena Thursday and hit all her lead changes.

Remind me:  NO MORE PROSPECTS!  Selling horses: Dislike Immensely!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 172015
 

By Patty Wilber

At this time last year, according to the Drought Monitor, NM looked like this:

This year (7/7/15):

No green on the map, but we’ve got green on the ground, beautiful skies and not too hot!

Looks like a hedge in the back, but it is un mowed Kochia.  The stuff will grow to 2 inches high in a drought and over six feet in a good year.  Looks like it is heading toward six feet this year!

Looks like a hedge in the back, but it is un-mowed Kochia. The stuff will grow 2 inches high in a drought and make a million seeds.  In a good year it will go over six feet and make a gazillion seeds. Looks like it is heading toward six feet this year!

Continue reading »

Jul 032015
 

By Patty Wilber

My goal for 2015 is to move LT’s training along to where I can call her “finished”… or at least close.

LT

This is a commitment because she is mine and not a client horse paying the bills.   In a time crunch, my horses get the short shrift and the horses in training get the attention they need.  And the biology papers I have to grade get marked, and the work meetings are attended.

This year, I’ve gotten up earlier or stayed out later to get saddle time for LT.  I also carved out hours to drive 110 miles round trip about once a week to work on live cows with a cow coach.  (That’s you Troy.)

(The year isn’t over, so that plan is still in effect.)

Also, although I have always literally felt (when she moves) that LT has a gob of talent, she is a rather intense and sensitive horse with a desire to be kinetic all the time.  (On the flip side, she never runs out of energy! ) With her, I have to rise to the continual challenge of helping her be less reactive, more focused, and stay there.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time apologizing for her weirdo-ness, but I have always just liked her and wanted everyone else to see what I see in her!

Continue reading »