Callie awoke while the sky was still streaked with pale pink and yellow streamers. She hoped to enjoy the quiet solitude of the dawn alone. Mornings were her favorite time, and she wanted to ride to the overlook where she had first spotted the Outlaw. Callie always felt strangely happy when she was up there, looking into the little valley. One morning she caught a glimpse of the stallion, black and shining silk in the soft early light. Her breath had knotted in her throat, and his beauty and freedom filled her mind until there was room for nothing else.
She turned toward the voice. It was Uncle Bob.
“I was just coming to wake you, but you’re already dressed!”He reached out to touch Callie’s horse picture that matched the picture on the wall.
“This picture was a favorite of your mother’s,” he said.
“Was that hers on the wall?” Callie asked.
Uncle Bob looked up at that one with surprise, and back to the one on the dresser and said, “Yes. Is this one yours?’
Callie nodded. “I found it in…in a… store we used to go to.” She didn’t want to say, “the Goodwill we used to go to.” Aunt Martha and Uncle Bob donated to Goodwill. They didn’t shop there. “Mom didn’t tell me she used to have one just like it.”
So, for the last 10 years I have been wanting to buy a horse related to this horse: All Round Sundown, Ali. Ali was bred by Connie Hunter at Sunset Stock Horses in Alberta Canada, and owned at the time I trained her by Cheryl Pozzi at Whispering Spirit Ranch. Her sire was All ‘Round Texas. Yes, he’s Canadian.
Perhaps my memory is faulty after all this time, but in my mind, she was one of the easiest horses I have ever trained. She won a shaggy show trail class, walk, trot, lope, after 50 rides. That’s about 2.5 months of training. She figured out lead changes, in ONE DAY, and basically never missed a lead change again. We won an Appaloosa National Championship in Jr. Western Riding. That was my first really big show, so I was living a dream! At the World show, she was top ten in Jr. trail, top 5 in Jr. reining and top 5 in Jr. Western Riding.
Plus, she was easy to get along with at the barn and good in the backcountry.
So, a couple years ago, I told Connie that I was going to be wanting a Texas baby, cowy, please, and could she keep that in mind for 2018 or 2019? I meant it, but was not sure that could really come to fruition.
This blog is largely a rerun of last year’s May post on Indy’s color, until the last two pictures.
“The expression of Leopard Complex (LP gene) includes several components: mottled skin around the muzzle, anus, genitalia, and eyes, and progressive roaning of pigmented coat areas with age. (My underlining.) White spotting may also be present, with pigmented leopard spots tending to occur on the white spotting background of heterozygous horses. The mutation is an incomplete dominant and expression of Leopard Complex is variable ranging from absent to extreme white patterning.” (UC Davis genetic testing site.)
Indy has an Appaloosa with spots father and a quarter horse mother. When I bought her, I didn’t look too closely (because color wasn’t why I bought her), and I didn’t think she had inherited any Appaloosa color genes from her father. Her mom being a solid colored quarter horse, didn’t have any Appaloosa genes to donate!
Indy at about nine months old. Dark bay, Dec. 2014.
But then she shed her winter coat and became a roan! Thus, she did get one copy of the LP gene–from her dad!! One copy is fun–a horse of a different color every season and every year! I happy with only one LP gene copy though. Horses with two copies of the LP gene may have “Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB) which is the inability to see in low to no-light conditions.” (UC Davis genetic testing site.)
On Sunday, we did drill team at 4 Winds Equestrian Center. We are getting better! And it is fun.
Atti was supposed to participate, but we got there and she said, “omg! there are horses everywhere! i do not know any of them. i don’t think they like me!”
She really couldn’t settle down in a short time frame, so, she got tied up until after drill team and then I rode her around and let her check everything out. She is getting really good in places she is familiar with, but needs more experience handling new places! I think we will have enough time to get her comfortable at the venue of our show this weekend in Colorado!
My new colt start, Kodak, came along for the ride. She stayed in a pen and it was a big day for her!
Kodak saddled for the first time at my place. She is a little flighty, but based on her trailer loading–first time in gale force winds, worked on it two days later, and has done two more trips, getting right in like an old pro each time, I think she is pretty trainable. Plus, she loves to be petted, and drops her head and relaxes right into it so I expect her to settle down really well.
Monday, I went to the Manzanos with my friend Mary Ann, and my horse, Penny.
Penny is my easiest trail horse. No fuss, no muss, mostly.
We want to get a few rides in before the imminent forest closures due to the dry dry conditions we are once again experiencing in New Mexico.
The Manzanos are in Severe Drought, but the main springs are still running and we found a new wet spot in a little canyon that heads west just at the start of the Cerro Blanco trail.
Then we rode on up Cerro Blanco and went south on the newly cleared section of the Crest Trail. Wow. How nice to have a trail de-brushed so well, and Back Country Horsemen did not do it. The Rocky Mountain Youth Corps did! The Crest Trail is at about 9,000 feet and the views are really expansive!
Tuesday, I worked cows with Atti and LT. I thought last week was a little better, but it sure is fun. Kodak got to stand and watch. She started off a bit upset but really settled in well and was very patient
I also looked at roan palomino yearling Quarter Horse filly. I am looking for a versatility ranch horse prospect, since Indy is out of the running. This girl is cute and based on my little video clip is looking like she will STOP!
Wednesday, I looked at a Smart Lena Boon yearling. He was super friendly, but not quite what I am looking for.
I am not exactly sure what I am looking for, but I think I will know when I see it. I am looking forward to a seeing some video of two 2 yr olds from Sunset Stock Horses in Canada. I had a horse from that program (Ali–All Round Sundown) that I trained for Whispering Spirit Ranch. She placed at the world level in jr reining, jr trail (not ranch trail–regular trail) and we won a national championship in jr. western riding. She was one of the easiest horses I have ever trained and I had 2018 or 2019 on my radar to look for a prospect from there, regardless of Indy’s status.
Thursday, I gave a lesson, rode Atti, thinking about our show adventure, (going to go well!), GOT ON KODAK, got my hair done, ponied LT off Indy on a nice trail ride and then worked with LT in the round pen. Since she is back on the show docket, she is getting developmental exercises again. She looks so effortless when she moves! I rode in a halter so I would concentrate on leg cues rather than rein cues. Have some work to do there…
Back to Kodak. She has been with me for eight days and gets more settled each day. Day 2 she spooked really hard, tore across her pen and jumped out. That pretty much sums up her emotional state then. Today, I sat (lightly) on her and mounted from both sides. She is really taking to the program!
Then I drove Atti to Belen, and we are leaving for Colorado in the morning!! Who hoo!
It was a fun week and it should be a fine weekend as well! But we could sure use rain!
The first thing Callie saw when her eyes struggled open was a picture on the wall. It was her picture. Her very favorite picture. A bright bay mare had her muzzle buried in deep green grass, and her mini-me bay foal lay sleeping nearby in a patch of bright yellow and pink flowers. Callie rubbed her eyes and blinked.
A dog barked, and the unfamiliar tang of dry air and juniper filled her nose from the open window. She remembered where she was. She untangled herself from the sheet, and went to her suitcase. Tucked between two sweatshirts was her picture. A perfect match to the one on the wall. She stood hers on the dresser and hugged her arms around herself. Her stomach responded and let out a tremendous rumble.
We had to take the screens off the BAT so Atti would not eat them on the trip. I borrowed a fly mask and we managed to tear that instead, so a new one is on order for Siri–cheaper than a new screen for the trailer!
From last week: an astute epidemiologist and a disease ecologist that read the blog noted that since horses are dead end hosts for West Nile Virus, they cannot reinfect mosquitoes. Only birds can do that. Thus, vaccinating horses doesn’t create herd immunity for this disease; vaccination protects your animal but does not decrease transmission to other horses. The herd immunity concept does apply for many other diseases. For West Nile, I guess we need flock immunity!
Because it has been so warm and dry, The Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen were able to complete our first project of the year, a month earlier than usual.
We had a LOT of participation and we able to tackle Box Trail with one group while another group worked on Spruce Trail up to the snow and then Red Canyon as well. All the trails had trees. Lots of trees.
The Box Crew started at Red Canyon. Box Trail is the one mile link from the campground to Ox Canyon Trail.
This year we have started a mentorship program for new members and we billed Box as a fine introduction to BCH. Not steep, not rocky and no water crossings this year since it has been so dry. We also figured it would have a lot of down trees since it goes through an old (2006? 2008? I forget) burn area (all burned trees must fall on the trail) and because we did not get to it last year.
The project matched our billing very well, except the down trees were all before the burn area. We kept busy clearing big trees and small trees at what seemed like 200 yards intervals. It was great practice for mounting, dismounting and having horses tied to trees for long stretches.
I took Penny, and she seemed to really enjoy sleeping during the numerous stops because when I would go get her to move on to the next down tree, she could barely wake up enough to unplant her feet! This was partly why I took her instead of any of the others–she is very relaxed on the trail!
Judith and John Huchton’s Ms. Atti and Indy had some fun last weekend.
On Friday, we hauled down to Peralta to work cows with Ed Krause. Both horses perk their ears when the cows come into the arena. Indy wants to be more aggressive, which can be fun. Atti is more level headed and doesn’t tuck her butt up under her if the cow behaves unexpectedly. Both are making progress.
I am going to start using the flag here at home a lot more often to see if we can increase our rate of progress. I would really like one of those programmable flags so I could just follow it and not have to mess with the controller in my hand while trying to manage the reins. Perhaps an upgrade is in my future!
The flag is on a string and the horses will track it back and forth. A remote controller in the hand moves the flag–unless you have a programmable machine that will run the flag on a pattern for you…I want that right now.
On Saturday, those two horses, plus Cometa, me and Jim, joined the Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen for a ride in the Galisteo Basin Preserve. We had 19 equine and 16 riders.
Photo by Elisa Bohannon. Indy is the last horse in this picture. Three of us are not in the shot.
I often like to be at the end of the line if I am on a young horse to try to keep out of trouble. This was Atti’s second trail ride with horses she didn’t know and I wanted to keep her comfortable. Turns out I need not have worried. When the horse ahead of her gave a wild spook and later a big buck, Atti barely even raised her head. And as we walked, she poked along back there, not seeming to care that her slow old walk didn’t keep her caught up. We worked on increasing her walking pace, but I often had to suggest that she go ahead and jog to keep up. That is a a much nicer problem than a herd bound horse that coils up in panic if the animals ahead of it get two horse lengths away.Continue reading »
In December, Jim and I went hiking in the Ojito Wilderness. We accessed it via Cabezon Road and hiked the Hoodoo Trail (red dot and line) over by Bernalillito Mesa.
The hoodoos are surreal, like being in a different dimension, but as far as horseback riding, it is a short trail.
So, Tuesday, us ladies in our big trucks (cuz we might be AARP age, but we are formidable, especially in a group) went on US 550 3.5 miles past San Ysidro to the gray road on the map. We went in the green gate and parked right there. Then, we followed that gray road on horseback into the Ojito and saw a different side of it.
u can tell we are show girls because we keep our tails up!
Patty says: Our first show of 2018 is Jan 7. We are going to the New Mexico Buckskin Shaggy show and we are bringing three mares. One of them likes other horses. The other two…depends. Hope they all survive the trip down and the day tied to the trailer, near each other.
The three suspects are:
Penny, Indy and Atti (short for Attitude…)
Here is what they have to say.
i am 11 this year! i am not quite as long in the tooth (literally) as cometa who is 21 this year. but back to me. sydney came home over Christmas and that really helped to get me closer to show shape. jordyn helped this week, too. lori is the one that gets to show me tho, and i have not decided if i will make her life easy or not. it might depend on where i have to stand tied. i might try to kick indy at the show if she is tied too close to me. i am her boss in our pen, but she is bratty.