Dec 172020
 

By Patty Wilber

This week has been a bit wintery pre-winter (since winter officially begins 12/21).  It has been cold (for us). Some days were not above freezing, others were barely above.

There have been a few days without much riding, but mainly, it has been ok, so long as I was wearing the right number of layers– which means four or five, being the cold averse sort that I am!

Here is a little run through of some of the fun we had!

Cold ride in the canyon next door with Jordyn on LT and Maddie on Leo! Jordyn was a popsicle.  She says she is taking a vacation until it gets a little warmer! Not enough layers, obviously! LOL!

Kate on Amigo. Kate just moved to NM from S. Dakota, so, cold shmold for her!  Kate’s hands were even a little too warm! I rode Jack, who belongs to Sheryl L. My feet were a little chilled, but other than that, I was ok.  Facemasks actually felt nice–my nose did not get cold!

L to R: Breeze, Lucy, Sombra. Just a moment earlier LT (buckskin) and Cometa (light bay) were over there, too, and that was a lovely look, but as I came in to take the picture, those two got up and came over “whatcha doing?”. “Trying to take a picture of you all!”

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Nov 272020
 

By Patty Wilber

LT is home for the holidays!

We people usually go to California for a yearly family reunion, which includes a Thanksgiving feast, a Friday hike, and a Saturday chow down on dim sum.  But we ruled out travel to my parent’s house due to Covid.

Well, this is 2017, so missing some of the youngest members of the family, who were not yet born, but hey it is sort of like a “Hannon Clan Stock Photo”. We do this every year. And this particular hike was actually pretty easy, as opposed to the other “easy” year that involved steep terrain, off trail, and 8 miles. A classic “Hannon Death March” or a Wilber “No Pain, No Fun” event.

Then, we were going to have Maegan and the girls in from Hawaii, but Covid went crazy in NM, and lots of other places, so we decided to play it extra safe this year and avoid the airport crowds. We Zoomed instead.

Jim and I did not give up on celebrating! We went whole turkey (cause we had already purchased much of the feast before we all elected to cancel). We made stuffed turkey, home made pumpkin pie and homemade crust(!), mashed potatoes, fruktsoppa (Swedish dried fruit holiday treat from Jim’s family recipe, except I did not add the one cup of sugar), dill dip, chips, orange cranberry sauce, no green bean casserole, (which was an oversight) and yes on Brussel sprouts that we got at the last minute. They were not as fun to make without my mother to suggest the Italian dressing option and my brother and I to join forces to defeat that heresy (garlic, sea salt and olive oil, thank-you).

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Apr 242020
 

By Patty Wilber

Well, since we cannot go to actual horse shows, various associations are running virtual shows.  This made me think of that column that was in…Western Horseman…? Called “You be the Judge”?…I don’t really know if that was the right magazine or the right title, but it was a column on conformation.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to have a “You be the Judge” event right here for Ranch Riding.  Unfortunately, since we are social distancing and I just thought of this, I am the only entrant.  But I do have four Appaloosas that can compete–or at least three.  On Monday, I worked with one of them, and it did not result in anything I would want anyone to actually see. I won’t reveal the identity of said horse to avoid biasing you all, the judges.  

So, here is the scoop.  

  1. I made the pattern. (short–about 1.5 minutes per run so you can whiz through.)
  2. The older horses (Penny and LT) were ridden one handed and the junior horses (H and Lucy) were ridden two handed, as per normal show standards.  
  3. The dogs are just there for decoration.
  4. If you don’t know rules for ranch riding, that’s ok, you can still play.  Just rank the horses from first place to last place as you see fit.
  5. There is no actual judge here, so the “winner” will be the crowd favorite.  You should be able to see the cumulative current results after you enter your scores.
  6. Your responses are anonymous.
  7. This my first try at Survey Monkey, and it did not feel very intuitive to me, so this whole survey thing might just be a fail and all you will get to do is see four videos.

Here is the pattern. It turns out that I didn’t like the walk in followed by the half circle part–it was hard to make that feel smooth. 

Here are the goes in the order they were taken.  They were filmed by Jim. He used his knowledge of cinematography gleaned from the Making of Game of Thrones to get these very uniform runs!

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Apr 102020
 

By Patty Wilber

I ordered my new Trails West Santa Fe trailer from J and B trailer in January and expected it to be here at the end of April.  Then  the SARS-COV-2 virus started running amok around the country, and I figured I would have to wait until fall, but the trailer got here last week!  It got bumped up in the production line, which was super lucky because right after this run, the factory shut down!

It has a side tack and “sleeping space”.

The “sleeping space” has a nice big window on the side and a screen door that rolls in. All the windows in the sleeping space open and it has a camper vent on top, as well.

We had to have a new hitch put in the truck and it was a little odd (but welcome) when Jim was greeted at the locked J&B Trailer gate by a guy in a mask and gloves (and regular clothes, too–he was not a streaker!) to take the truck.

We got the trailer home! I am afraid to drive it!  It is too pretty and I also need to learn to back it up. I can back up my bumper pull, no problem, but now I will need to learn to use my mirrors! 

I understand that learning new things helps stave off Alzheimer’s.  So, between all new technology I am mastering to teach and work from home (Skype, Zoom, Collaborate Ultra, Web Ex) and backing up and hitching up a gooseneck, I should be Alzheimer’s free for decades. 

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Mar 132020
 

By Patty Wilber

I was listening to the Podcast, “Along for the ride: Phil Rapp & Andrea Fappani” and they were talking about what made great cutting and great reining horses.  They got to talking about grit and trainability. But before we get to that:

Andrea Fappani is a reining horse trainer; “National Reining Horse Association “NRHA” 5.7 Million Dollar Rider was born and raised in Italy and followed his dream of moving to the USA and becoming one of the all-time leading trainers in the Performance Horse industry. His focus, drive and passion for excellence not only made him the youngest NRHA million Dollar Rider, along the way he has been recognized for his ability to teach and advocate exceptional horsemanship.” (from the podcast blurb)

Phil Rapp is a cutting horse trainer:  “Phil Rapp of Weatherford, TX is a cutting horse trainer, inductee in both the NCHA Rider Hall of Fame[1] and NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame,[2] and the leading NCHA money earner with lifetime earnings totaling $9,733,216.88 as of Sept 2019.[3] He was elected vice-president of the National Cutting Horse Association in 2016,[4] and became president in June 2018. Phil & Mary Anne are Breeders of over $8,079,413.34. Mary Anne LTE $4,819,752.77 as a Non Pro, Ryan Rapp LTE $288,031.78 as a Non Pro.” (from the podcast blurb).

Back in the summer of 1980 and ’81 when I was 18 and 19, I worked at a horse ranch camp called K-Arrow near Jamestown, California.  We had a camper named Phil Rapp who was about 10.  I had always wondered if it was the same Phil Rapp.  Pretty sure it was because in the podcast he says he is 50 (I am am 58, so the age is right), he lived in northern California and spent summers at a horse camp.  I don’t actually remember all that many campers, but this kid came from a well-to-do-family (Phil Rapp’s dad was very successful in the hotel business) and he brought his own horse.  It was a super nice sorrel (as I recall, anyway) pony and that is why I remember him.  We also had Captain and Tenille’s kids or band member’s kids, but they didn’t bring  a horse, so I don’t remember their names.  I do remember a lot of the horses…of course….

Returning to the topic.

Phil and Andrea were talking about what makes a great cutter or a great reiner and they were talking about whether horse learned easily and well and whether it would perform under stress, when tired, or when a little sore.  Trainability and grit.  So, I started thinking about some of my horses, which are obviously not in the million dollar winning category, but this was still fun to think about.

LT.  Tons of grit, but kinda low on the trainability scale.  I did not ride her on Back Country projects until she was five and I didn’t campaign her seriously until she was five, either, because it took me that long to get it all together with her.  At five she still could not stand still and while I had hoped she would be an all around ranch versatility type horse, it turned out reined cow horse was her thing.  At five, she was National Appaloosa Jr Cow Horse Champ and Reserve in Jr Reining.  At the Appaloosa World Show that year, she was reserve in Jr. cow horse by a mere half a point.  She pulled up sore after her go, but in the pen, she gave it her all.   I still get a little choked up thinking about that run, as it was a lifetime highlight for me, with a horse that never said quit.  Grit. 

I love the look in her eye!

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Sep 262019
 

By Patty Wilber

Don’t forget the fund raiser for the Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance.  We are hoping for RSVPs so we know how much food to buy! Blog on down below.

I went to the Pecos Wilderness last Friday with the Back County Horsemen (and so very unfortunately had to miss a faculty meeting to do so). It was one of those stunning late summer/early fall days.  Very clear, a bit breezy, and the perfect temperature.  I wore a windbreaker and a silk scarf for “warmth”. The aspens are not yet beginning to turn to their golden yellow, but the air and the light have an end of summer feel.

Richard and Peter in the foreground. Top of the climb out of Jack’s Creek. We went left (toward me, the picture taker) to the junction of Rito Perro and Dockweiler. I haven’t been over there in a while!

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Jul 262019
 

By Patty Wilber

Working Cow Horse, American Quarter Horse Association description of the class.

“…The competition consists of two parts: prescribed reined work and actual cow work. Judging is based on good manners, smoothness, cow sense and ease of reining. During the cow working phase of the exhibitor’s run, one cow is turned into the arena. The horse is required to hold the cow on the end of the arena, make at least one turn each direction along the fence (= down the fence–my add in), and circle the cow both directions.”

It has been a couple of years since I have had a horse that could go “down the fence”, so it was a huge thrill to do that this past weekend, at the Green Chile Classic, with not one, but two horses: My Lucy (Qwhizenart) and Atti (She has Attitude), owned by Judith Huchton. The show was run by the NM Paint Horse Club.

I am not here to tell you we were astonishingly great, but I AM here to tell you that it was a LOT of fun!

Atti held her cow for the boxing portion, then stayed in decent position down the fence and circled up really well!  Plus, she had a lot of intent which is something that is newly blossoming in her with her cow work. 

Photos thanks to the 100 dollar gift certificate I won in a random draw at the Spring Salsa Show put on by the NM Paint horse Club. Ava Charrlin, Raise the Standards Photography.

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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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Mar 082019
 

By Patty Wilber

(Update on Cloud at the end)

(Thanks to Stacy Boswell, DVM, for consultation on this!)

Last week I talked about Equine Appeasing Hormone as a calming agent and this week is tryptophan.

 

Perhaps these seem like rather obscure items to use to calm horses (and there are a few more for the next couple of blogs), but I am focussing on substances that are not illegal to have on board a show horse.

When looking up equine calmers, the product will often say “will not test” indicating that if one’s horse were tested for illegal drugs, this supplement would not result in disqualification.

On to tryptophan.

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