Aug 102018
 

By Patty Wilber

Chapter 17 of Callie’s Star is up!

We did it! The New Mexico Appaloosa Horse Club sponsored Fourth Annual All Breed, Appaloosa and Quarter Horse Red Hot Ranch Horse Challenge  and Second Annual Ranch Pleasure Challenge is in the books!

The Red Hot Challenge winner of $1000 was Katherine Arnold with Deal a Little Lena, for the third year in a row!

Katherine and Lena. Photo from 2018, by Ed Armstrong.

Cody Crow was reserve on Peptos Blue Oak ($500)

The Ranch Pleasure Challenge winner of $1000 was Natalie Baca and SSSmokin Z06!

Natalie and Z. Photo by Joy Roberts.

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Aug 082018
 

By Patty Wilber

To get every chapter as soon as they post, you can subscribe to the site!  If you missed any of the past Chapters, the links are all here. Thanks for reading!

CALLIE’S STAR by Patty Wilber

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapters 5 and 6
Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13
Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN–BASE  CAMP

“It sure took you guys long enough to get here,” said Luis.

Jeff shrugged. “We had a little trouble,” he said, making his voice sound important.

“Oh” said Luis, not really listening because he was bursting to say, “We saw the Outlaw!”

“You did?” said Callie and Jeff with almost the same voice. “Where?”

Luis pointed toward a low hill west of camp. “Right over there,” he said. “There were about fifteen mares and ten colts with him.”

“I can’t wait to see them,” said Callie, picturing them in her mind as a copper, black and orangish blur of sleek coats shimmering in the sun.

“It’ll be a couple of days, probably,” said Jeff, “‘Cause we’ve got to repair the corrals and then you never know how long it’ll take to find the herd, again.”

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Aug 032018
 

By Patty Wilber

Ch 17 of Callie’s Star  is languishing, but not forgotten.

++++++++

We are still very dry in New Mexico, but we have gotten some

monsoonal rains, humidity is no longer in the single digits, the forests reopened, and so Back Country Horsemen got go to work!

We packed a trail crew into Horse Thief meadow.

I was planning to take Atti and let her be a big girl pony horse, but she pulled a shoe, so I took Penny.

Good thing, because we had a loose mule come barreling at us on a steep and narrow section of the trail, and while Penny didn’t love it, she didn’t come unglued, either.  Atti might have been ok, but that would have been a lot to ask of a three-year old.

“this wasn’t my fault,” says Leo. “i was tired. i needed a rest. and then everyone wanted me to go, and i just went the wrong way. a little fast.”

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Jul 272018
 

Chapter 17 of Callie’s Star coming soon!!

By Patty Wilber

I like starting horses.  At least I think I like it.

I have a had a bunch of easy ones over the years and a few rough ones more recently, and it made me question myself.

Question marks! https://pixabay.com/en/road-sign-attention-right-of-way-63983/

Maybe I have lost my touch?

Maybe I have lost my nerve?

Maybe I am too old?

Maybe maybe maybe.

I was worrying that I was progressing too slowly.

So, finally, I went back and looked at my notes from 10-ish years ago.

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Jul 202018
 

By Patty Wilber

To get every chapter as soon as they post, you can subscribe to the site!  If you missed any of the past Chapters, the links are all here. Thanks for reading!

CALLIE’S STAR by Patty Wilber

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapters 5 and 6
Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13
Chapter 14 Chapter 15

CHAPTER SIXTEEN- TROUBLE ON THE WAY DOWN

They left the barn with Uncle Bob in the lead, followed by Jeff. Each of them led a mule and Callie rode third, marveling at the long ears of the mules. They were as alert and responsive as Flower’s dainty ears, although Callie couldn’t quite see how they managed that. As they rode by the front porch, Jake bounded up to Aunt Martha, and wagging his tail furiously, barked at her. Martha reached down to scratch his head, and said, “Go on, Jake!” She smiled at the riders.

They took the trail that led toward the lookout, and Callie turned one last time to wave at Aunt Martha, and at Cloud, even though he couldn’t see her. Callie had saddled all the horses this morning while Uncle Bob and Jeff had packed the mules. She was thrilled to tack up Pitch, but when she threw the saddle on to his strong back, she found that she would rather have been saddling Cloud.

Just before the lookout, Uncle Bob turned down a faint trail that led into the Outlaw’s valley. The path was steep and rocky.  The horse’s stepped carefully but surely and Callie, even though she was not riding Cloud, also felt confident. The slope on her right was covered with yellow whispering grass and dotted with dark basalt boulders that were left over from an ancient lava flow. On her left, there was a rock strewn drop. Below lay a creek that flashed and glittered in the sun.

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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.

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Jul 112018
 

By Patty Wilber

To get every chapter as soon as they post, you can subscribe to the site!  If you missed any of the past Chapters, the links are all here. Thanks for reading!

CALLIE’S STAR by Patty Wilber

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapters 5 and 6
Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13
Chapter 14

CHAPTER FIFTEEN–THE EVE OF THE ROUND-UP

“I’ll get the canteens, if you get the sleeping bags out of the closet,” Callie said.

“In a minute,” said Jeff, his voice floating down from upstairs. “I’m packing my clothes.”

“Oh!” said Callie, setting down the canteens and running upstairs. She stopped at Jeff’s room. “I think I’ll pack my clothes, too. How many long sleeved shirts again?”

“Two cotton, ‘to keep from getting sunburned”‘ said Jeff, imitating Aunt Martha. “One flannel and one sweater,” he said in his normal voice,  “Plus, don’t forget a windbreaker. It’s cool at night even though it’s boiling during the day.”

Callie finished stuffing clothes into a duffle bag in 15 minutes.  Then she hurried to gather up the canteens she had abandoned and find a few more.  She checked the list of other equipment Uncle Bob had given them. Finally, she had a pile of things in the living room, and she handed the list and an old headlamp to Jeff. “I’ve got everything on here, except a headlamp that works.”

“Cool,” said Jeff. “Trade you the sleeping bags for the headlamp.”

Callie sifted through the pile once more and pulled her new hat off the top.  She put it on her head, and pulled it down low and snug, and smiled.  Then she went into the kitchen. She leaned against the refrigerator and rambled happily to Aunt Martha about Cloud and Flower and the round-up. Aunt Martha listened with a tiny smile at the corners of her mouth. She didn’t need to reply.  Callie was talking for three.

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Jul 072018
 

By Patty Wilber

To get every chapter as soon as they post, you can subscribe to the site!  If you missed any of the past Chapters, the links are all here. Thanks for reading!

CALLIE’S STAR by Patty Wilber

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapters 5 and 6
Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13

CHAPTER FOURTEEN-CALLIE’S PARTY

The sweet, warm smell of strawberry waffles wafted into Callie’s room and seeped into her sleep. She dreamt she heard her mother’s cheerful voice calling her to breakfast.

Every birthday since she could remember Callie had awakened to this delicious smell. Callie followed the sweetness down a very long hallway, with lots of doors.  The hallway wasn’t straight and Callie wondered if she would ever reach the kitchen.

Suddenly, she was there.

The bright blue candle, surrounded by the red of the strawberries, was burning brightly from the center of the stacked waffles and a cloud of whipped cream graced the edges. Her mother stood at the end of the table, near a flat package wrapped in gold paper and tied with a deep green ribbon.  Callie sat down at the table, but before she could eat, her mother moved her plate and made her open the package.  Callie carefully untied the ribbon and put it on her head.  Her mother laughed.  Callie untaped the gold paper and before her lay a beautiful wooden picture frame, but inside, instead of a painting or photograph, there was a wide sheet of clean white paper.

Callie stared at it for a minute and then her mother said, “I hope you like it. I have to go now.”  She walked to the doorway and she began to fade at the edges like a watercolor painting.  She paused on the threshold and said,  “I love you, Callie,” and then she simply vanished.

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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.)

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Jul 012018
 

By Patty Wilber

To get every chapter as soon as they post, you can subscribe to the site!  If you missed any of the past Chapters, the links are all here. Thanks for reading!

CALLIE’S STAR by Patty Wilber

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapters 5 and 6
Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12

CHAPTER THIRTEEN-FLOWER

Callie approached the chestnut mare, walking in what she hoped appeared to be a confident manner while speaking in a low, even voice. The mare walked away and tossed her head, but Callie kept coming, steady and persistent.  In a few minutes the coppery horse faced her and stood still. Callie half expected Flower to leap away as she approached to slip the halter on, but the mare stood quietly.  Callie patted her neck and told Flower, “At least I will not put this halter on you upside down!”

Callie tugged on the lead rope, encouraging the horse and herself in the same quiet voice. The mare followed Callie, willingly, but her amber colored eyes were ringed with the white of mischief.  Callie stopped at the gate to scratch Cloud’s neck and explain that she would certainly brush him later, and probably ride him, too. Cloud nudged Callie’s arm with his whiskery nose and blinked his big eyes. Callie knew he understood, and patted him again.

The girl reached for the gate and was about to unlatch it when a sharp jerk nearly tore the lead line from her grasp. Callie half turned and saw the mare with her ears flat against her head. Her lips were pulled back to expose her hard white teeth. She lunged at Cloud, and he tried to swing his rump out of her reach, but her teeth touched his back,  just above the tail. They left a damp rumpled mark. Cloud squealed and humped his back, ready to kick the mare, but he’d been too well trained to strike out when a person was near. Instead, he whipped his wiry tail into Flower’s face, and trotted across the corral.

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