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!

Continue reading »

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!

Continue reading »

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.

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!

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

Sep 282018
 

By Patty Wilber

In order to see if my body stays in shape using only horseback riding as exercise, I went backpacking for my birthday with the Spouse and Progeny #2.

We went to Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky mountain high, a la John Denver.  (Which, since 2007, is one of the official state songs of Colorado. Click the link to hear it.)

My trip leaders billed this as a very leisurely 6 mile hike up Inlet Creek.  It turns out doing pretty much anything outdoors with that duo results in the Epic Dial being in play. And it was 7 miles.  Just saying.

Mark, me and Jim. Mark’s wife Erika, missed the fun. She is in Vancouver!

First off, we drove from Estes Park (the town) into the National park, and the park was spectacular!  We saw a huge bull elk, a huge dead bull elk, pronghorn and then I said, “I would sure like to see another moose” (having seen some in Alaska).  We turned the corner and there was a bull moose!

I then tried conjuring up a bear on the drive, but that did not work. (We were also bear-free out on the trail, which was fine with me.)

The hike in was uphill, but the grade was gradual, so while is was not “very leisurely”, it was not strenous.  Also, my pack was light (this being a one night excursion), so the hike (and a short-on purpose-freezing cold swim in the creek for Jim and Mark) went well.

We cleared a down tree, because, well, once a Back Country Horseman trail volunteer, always a  trail volunteer, even if your horses are at home. In truth, I directed and Jim did the work.

Continue reading »

Sep 072018
 

By Patty Wilber

For the last eon, the Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen has gone to Beatty’s Cabin in the Pecos Wilderness over Labor Day. If you click here, you can check out five years of Labor Day blogs.  I am sure there are more.

But this year, we went to the Manzanos to work on the Ox Canyon Trail.

We stayed in the Ox Canyon Campground.

Pretty ! Jim and Terri set up an electric pen. We highlined.

Here is a link to a topo map.  This is not a very well known campground and it was perfect for our bunch of horse trailers.  I think three other parties drove through over the weekend and because we had sort of taken over, they moved on.  It is a a dry campground, in that there are no water spigots, but there are nice tables, fire rings, and a decent outhouse!  There are good places to highline stock and plenty of trailer parking.

Continue reading »

Jul 132018
 

 By Patty Wilber

Chapter 15 of Callie’s Star is posted!

As you may know, my new Appaloosa ranch horse prospect, Lucy, is here!

She arrived two weeks ago. Thank-you Connie and Don for selling her to me and getting her from Canada to Montana and David for getting her to New Mexico from there.  I have only done a little of this and that with her so far, but I have still learned a few things about her!

She understands horse language and herd dynamics.  She was raised out on pasture with other horses and it shows.  When she first met the crowd over the fence, there were no dramatics.  She is still in a pen alone right now, but as soon as two horses head home, she will be out with LT and probably Atti. Yes, there is always a risk, but the horses seem so much easier to be around when they also have horse friends they can touch.

L to R: LT, Cannon, Atti anxious to meet Lucy. Cometa is in the background.

Continue reading »

Jul 062018
 

Chapter 13 Callie’s Star is posted

By Guest Blogger Kathy Davies (with rebuttals by Patty Wilber)

Kathy and Patty at Ghost Ranch

FYI, I am Patty’s younger, horse-clueless sister, here for a week-long visit.

Patty offered a riding experience.

The “lesson” started with grooming, so that went smoothly.  We brushed Cometa and Penny, while Patty saddled Atti.  Then Patty asked Maryanne (my 10 yr old daughter) to take Cometa out to the arena, with strict instructions: “Do not let him eat!”  Maryanne did not let him eat, and I told him repeatedly, “DO NOT eat!” Maryanne did a great job, and we held him in the middle of the arena, far from any tempting grass.

(Patty says: I am pretty sure I saw him eat once, but we will let that go.)

Continue reading »