Dec 062019
 

By Patty Wilber

On Thanksgiving, we left for the airport at 4 in the morning in a snowstorm and used four wheel drive all the way there!  A very unusual occurrence.  Our plane got de-iced and we took off pretty close to on time (the crew was a bit late due to the weather.)

We landed in Oakland, CA, took the BART train to near my folks house, and as soon as I could, I got my hands on baby Amara!

Who needs to take their coat off when they can hold the grandbaby! Maegan in the background!

Most of the rest of my photos of my amazing family are terrible, so I won’t post them, but Jim got a couple nice ones (like the one above and the one below).

Granddaughter Leilani age 2 (left) and my niece Avery age 1 (right). My brother (Mike) and sister-in-law (Tina), Avery’s parents. You can tell which kid lives in Hawaii and thinks it is cold!

The entire immediate family got to hang out, and I have to say that while we might be a little competitive, we might have a hard time making group decisions, and we might be a little weird, I sure think the world of all of them!

We got home Saturday night, very late, and Sunday I went down to check out the arena.  I found that it had transformed into a partial ice rink!  This is the first time that has happened.  I guess since we had an inch of rain the week before and then 10 or so inches of wet snow, which largely melted, but didn’t absorb, and cold overnight temperatures, we got ice–2 inches thick in some spots!

I didn’t even try to ride.  I got out the old blue tractor and dragged and plowed and got things pretty well churned up, except in the thickest spots. Then I dug some little drain canals to try to accelerate the drying out process.

That is a definite improvement, but not rideable.

On Monday it was mostly ice.  Tuesday had much less ice, and lots of water.  Koh-Doh did get to  practice ice water crossing, but most of our work was out on the roads.

Tuesday: Lots of water with ice underneath.

But, hey! We got to practice ice-water crossing!

On Wednesday, we were down to almost 100% water without the frozen base, so the pond/arena was rideable (with water wings)! Yay! And the predicted “wintery mix” did not materialize.  Yay! Again.

Thursday, it was still very wet but still improving and Mary Ann, Sombra, the dogs and I had some wet fun!

I did pull the trailer up to the house Wednesday, just in case the weather went bad, as I was planning ahead for my trip to Clovis today (Friday) to do some cow work with Lucy and H at Clay Hight’s!  It will be H’s first live go!

And so I will leave my arena to dry for a few more days and head southeast!

But…woke up to a horse not feeling great, so trip delayed at least for the moment.  Fingers crossed.

 

 

 

Nov 222019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last Friday I wanted to take Koh-Doh for his 20th day under saddle to the Sandia Mountains and do the Cienega Trail loop, but I had guys welding at the house and this was disconcerting to a couple of the horses, so I figured it was better not to take him on his first solo trailer ride with me to meet some new horses and do his first group trail ride. (I took Lucy.)

Every now and then I display good sense.

So, instead, on Saturday afternoon, we did ride 21. Mary Ann came over and she, Jim and I rode from our house to Ale Republic Brewery and had beer and snacks!

Koh-Doh loaded with his first “accessories”–cantle pack and a coat! He appears to be very bothered. Not.

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Nov 152019
 

By Patty Wilber

I have three geldings I am starting this autumn and they fall on a continuum of personality. It is fun to figure out how hard to push and when to go slower. That is something to consider everyday with colts, and generally, I tend to go slower rather than faster.

Coincidentally, I recently read “When Slow is Worse”  (thanks Barb K.) which discussed  the pitfalls of not moving quite fast enough in training (and thank goodness she was talking about A LOT slower than my pace).  Still, the article got me thinking about the differences between the three geldings.

H

I saw a cartoon on facebook (I couldn’t relocate it) that showed a glaring mare, a glaring stallion and a goofy gelding.  Now H (co-owned by me and Judith Huchton), at two, isn’t actually super goofy but he has a really chill attitude.

He is also responsive, smart, and has a ton of try. You just can’t beat this combination.  He has a high spot on the “Easiest Horses I Have Ever Started” list.  Now, with all that hype, I better make sure I help him live up to his potential in the show pen!!

At a show on 25 rides.

H (in the middle) “helping” put up the new panel. LT (left) waiting to give her two cents, and Lucy (right) inspecting the footing placement. So very thoughtful of all of them! I penned up three others that would have been on my side of the panel because six helpers would have just been too many!

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Nov 082019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend was the end of the Back Country Horseman trail season.  We had nine riders and ten equines that rode out of Red Canyon trailhead in the Manzanos on Box Trail. I rode H and Lucy got to haul the tools. Cometa was the lead horse with Jim.

Lucy packing tools and H tooling along behind.

 We did a fair amount of lopping (not loping) and cleared a few small trees.  H got to practice standing tied to a tree.

Mr. Cool as a Cucumber.

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Nov 012019
 

By Patty Wilber

After our fun hunting trip, Lucy got a day off and then she convinced H that we should go to the NM Paint Palomino Buckskin Pinto All Breed Fall Color Round Up show at NM EXPO fairgrounds 10/27 and 28. It was a good choice as the weather was nice, the people were friendly, and it had a good set of ranch classes (but no cows, alas.)

Photo by Jo Ellen!

We had a fun crew of five riders (Mariah, Me, Nancy, Jo Ellen and Ryanne) sharing the tack room! I think I managed to hog up a little more than my allotted space, but everyone was kind about it!

I sure enjoyed the company!

Jo Ellen on Mocha,, Nancy on Moses and me on H. H is giving Moses the side eye for some reason!! Photo with Jo’s camera.

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Oct 252019
 

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend we went to the Cruces Basin near the Colorado border for Jim’s elk hunt. It was a darn site better than last year where all our food flew out the back of the camper on the way there and the snow and wet made it a bit tricky getting out. Click the link if you want refresher on that!

This year we got to enjoy the full Camp Kingsbury instead of the barebones Camp Wilberry! Camp Kingsbury included a wall tent, Richard Kingsbury as camp help and elk advisor, food, nice thick sleeping pads, a wood stove (ahh heat! The best!) a cooking stove (hot food!), lanterns, a latrine and other amenities. It was SOOOO nice. And so nice of Richard to take a weekend and all his stuff to be with us! We bought him a Blake’s Itsa Burger on the way home to thank him!

Camp Kingsbury was actually cached up near Toltec Mesa from the muzzleloader hunt two weeks ago and we rode in Friday with our personal gear, and fresh provisions for equine and human.

Richard Kingsbury rode one mule and pulled a string of five pack stock (four mules and one “bell” mare that all the mules love, whose name is actually Belle!). It was very impressive and beautiful!

This is on the way out, but was the best shot I got of the full string.

We took our Appaloosa girls (Penny, LT, and Lucy).  Old man Cometa (22) had a bit of a cough, so he stayed home. Continue reading »

Oct 172019
 

By Patty Wilber

My life seems to be a little like living on a hamster wheel (thanks Terri for that image) and of course it is no one’s fault but my own.

Last weekend was no exception, but it did involve Mountain Magic.

On Friday I worked with one of my colt starts (Koh-Doh) and then loaded Penny and another colt start (Sombra) and drove to Albuquerque Trail trailhead in the Manzano Mountains to meet my friends (and meet new friends) with whom I don’t ride nearly enough (because I must keep the hamster wheel rotating).

This area of the Manzanos has maples that turn a lovely red in the fall. The trees arch over the trail and at times it felt as though we were riding in a movie like Lord of the Rings!

This was a bit magical! Siri in the corner, then  Sandy, then Marilyn at the head of the line.

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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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Sep 052019
 

By Patty Wilber

Fall term at Central New Mexico Community College started this week, but that is no reason to put the horses on hold!

I got almost everything prepared for the start of the term before we left for Sweden, so all I really had to deal with was printing my most current class lists, reviewing my first day material and wondering why I still get first day jitters after all this time teaching!

All my classes went well!

But enough of that!  Let’s go to a horse show or two!

A little NM contingent is headed to Colorado for an Appaloosa show, and it looks like Jordyn might come down from college in Ft. Collins, for the ranch horse classes!

There are bunches of things that need to be done to get ready, besides the entries, stall reservations and hotel!

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Aug 022019
 

By Patty Wilber

Back Country Horsemen, Pecos Chapter, have been trying to get to Red Canyon trail in the Manzanos all season, and we finally made it.  The trail was passable to stock but there were about 10 trees that required the two man saw, and numerous reroutes around those that needed to be rehabbed.

The first tree was this one. Big and high off the ground making it a bit challenging.  Four of us that were on this project are certified sawyers (kinda cool to be a certified sawyer), so we didn’t just start sawing and hope for the best.

Richard and The Tree.

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