May 292020
 

By Patty Wilber

We have had two BCH projects in the past two weeks.  One out of Red Canyon Campground in the Manzanos and one out of Panchuela in the Pecos.

In both cases, we got access behind locked gates, which was nice for us, and the trails!

In the Manzanos, we had 15 people, so we broke into three teams of five and did Box and some of Ox, Red Canyon, Spruce and the connecting part of the Crest Trail between Red and Spruce.

The Manzanos did not have gobs of down trees, so good deal, one fell swoop…or maybe that’s three fell swoops, but we got a lot done while in the appropriate group size, and yes we wore masks. 

Masked crew in the Manzanos: L Marianne, front Bruce, center back Victoria, R Jim. I took the picture!

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May 222020
 

By Patty Wilber

Last Friday, I went to Oak Flats with Linda and her ex-racehorse, Star.

Linda and I had a fine time galloping around.  LT is the best for that–ready to go but super easy to slow down, as well.  She is 10 now and is aging well!! Star, being an ex-racehorse, also enjoys getting a move on!

The trails there are well marked and Linda has a nice map.  I have a really old map, which I did not bring, but next time I will to compare the old map to the new one.  I also might buy one of the new ones The Trails of Cedro Peak & Otero Canyon ($7 maybe) at the Sandia Ranger Station, in Tijeras.

Oak Flats is being thinned with a masticator to reduce fire danger and allow increased habitat diversity.  We saw the very large and noisy masticator.  We could not get close enough, safely, to see the actual operation, but we saw the aftermath! The horses were unfazed, which was nice. 

 

LT inspecting the work of the masticator. I took a video of the sound–I took a video to capture the sound–but decided the commercial video was way more exciting! 

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May 082020
 

By Patty Wilber

The two items in the title do not necessarily go together, but maybe….!

First: The Virtual Show. Ok, since we cannot have the real Red Hot Ranch Horse Challenge, we thought we would have a Virtual Red Hot Ranch Horse Show.

Yes, like this show, only by video and also no cattle, so exactly like this, only different!!

Actually, Christy is the one that thought we should have the show and she has done 98% of the work.  I have helped her by saying things like, “Great!” or  “Sounds good!” and every so often I give a suggestion, and oh, I did make one pattern.

All the details can be found on a new Facebook page Christy has built called Virtual Red Hot Ranch Horse Show!  Check it out!  We have two very good judges (Cindy Chilton Moore and Delena Doyle) and there will be payback money!  Get your videographers lined up and prepare to “come” join us!! 

If some trial runs of the W/T trail class goes well with Sombra, he might just get to enter!!

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Sombra, the Placitas Mustang, who belongs to Mary Ann Shinnick, came here last July as an unhandled two-year-old.  We did a lot of work to help him become used to being a domestic horse instead of a wild one, and I had him about ready to saddle start at the end of last year.  But between the bad weather and some other colt starts, he got bumped back.  The extra time allowed him to mature a little bit as well.

Sombra

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May 012020
 

By Patty Wilber

Before we get into the woodrats, here are the results from last week’s “You be the Judge” in which Lucy, H, LT and Penny all did the same “ranch riding” type pattern.  Fifteen people, some horse folks and some not, judged via Survey Monkey.

Lucy got six first place votes but also four last place votes, giving her a total of 43 points.

H got four first place votes but only one last place vote and thus he edged out Lucy with 45.5 points!

H, who is not a minature horse, next to the new trailer, which, by the way, had a brake problem and is in the shop (under warranty).

LT, despite her lead change error, got three first places and also three last places, for third.

Penny also got two first place votes but, alas, was placed last six times (sorry Penny!) for fourth.

Thanks for playing!

Here is H’s winning go!

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Woodrats are common in New Mexico and we have plenty on the 30 acres across the street. We also have had woodrats in our hay barn but we have never, until recently, have had woodrats in the truck!

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Apr 172020
 

By Patty Wilber

We had one heck of a snowstorm on Monday, and by Thursday, you could hardly tell!

Monday: We woke up (left) to SNOW and by the afternoon…still snowing (right).

Tuesday:  In the morning it was still very snowy!  By the afternoon, it had warmed up and the snow was greatly reduced.  It was astonishing!

 

Tuesday had some other interesting sights.

The arena melted right off Tuesday, but the meadow did not clear until Wednesday!

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Apr 032020
 

By Patty Wilber

This Placitas Mustang cutie looked pretty Spanish, and I own one actual Spanish Barb, so I convinced his owner, Mary Ann, to go for Spanish Barb registration.

Sombra, Placitas Mustang.

So, we measured him and took pictures and Mary Ann sent money. They thought he looked fairly Spanish!  They asked for more pictures and a DNA test. 

His DNA came back grouped with the Mountain Pleasure Horses.  Bummer, we thought.

But, no!  Those are Spanish!

Cool!  More pictures requested.  A long time passed, and after all that…

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Mar 272020
 

By Patty Wilber

Well!  I went to Clovis and had a nice time working cows with Clay (Hight Performance Horses) (from a safe social distance).  Lucy tore it up in our boxing on Day One (Clay was pretty excited for us!!) and then… we struggled with our driving on Day Two.  But, I have a plan using the flag and being more consistent with my leg cues: Inside leg to pass and stop the cow; outside leg to get in position and drive. Lucy is smart.  She will figure this out, quick.

Mariah’s young mare, Fancy, came with us.  She has about 18 rides with me and can open and shut a gate and go over the bridge.  She is walk-trot-loping in the round pen and on the trail, and starting to get that in the unfenced arena, which is somehow harder for her.   I am going to get video of her this weekend (because she might be for sale!). She is super cute, just saying!

Fuzzy because my camera does not do well in low light. Also this pic is at my house, not in Clovis, but it does show how cute Ms. Fancy is!

H had month of lighter work with Clay but he is still dialled in when a cow shows up.  His intensity on cows reminds me of LT, which is very exciting.  On the other hand, when he is done working, he comes back down and can stand still, which is like Lucy.  That is a relief. I am super duper duper super excited to have him home. He and I get along pretty darn well!

Just look at that face! The boy is home!

I brought my camper to Clovis to avoid staying in any of the cheap (= rather low end) hotels and it was cold out (43F Saturday afternoon) with a sort of freezing mist later, so I was seriously bummed when I thought I had run out of propane and would be spending the night under all the blankets and sleeping bags eating a cold dinner! And no morning coffee.  I mean, I was feeling low.

Fortunately, it was just a minor heater glitch and I had ended up having lovely heat and a functional stove. Luxury, I tell you, luxury.

I made it home, and while H and Lucy were best buds before he left, old H lost some social skills while he was away living in a pen by himself.  He was a little too aggressive with Lucy (he didn’t mess with LT).  To help him regain his manners, he is going to have to live with Penny for a bit.  “NO. u cannot stand there.  u must stand over in that corner.  changed my mind.  go stand on the other side.  DON’T look at me unless i give permission.  NO.  this is MY hay.” etc.  He was looking pretty chagrined when I let him in another pen to feed him some grain Thursday evening! So sad. Not.

Since being home home, I have spend most days from about 7am to about 3pm and 8 to bedtime (10? 11? 12?) glued to my computer continuing to convert my three in-person college classes to online classes due to the new COVID-19 Stay-at-Home policy we have in NM (went to Clovis just in time!), as well as keeping up with the other three classes that were already on line. Fun, but time consuming!!

I have had learned how to give an online lecture, using my little laptop, to a whole class, via a program called Collaborate Ultra.  I learned how to break said class into smaller work groups!  I have got my Microbio lab students started on their unknown microbe identification project in a virtual environment! 

The first set of “incubated” plates have come out of the computer!

They “inoculated” three of these four “plates”!

 

And after “incubation” stuff “grew”!! Now they get to “do” further tests to identify what grew!!

 It is very exciting!!

I have had some help, as well.

Rena says: “right here is where that bacteria is making the ATP! it is totally obvious. i do not know why they didn’t get that!”

And here is another fuzzy picture, of Thursday’s sunset.

I am thankful to live in this big state with a relatively small population, and to live out of town.  Be safe everyone, stock up on Tylenol or Motrin and wash your hands!

Mar 192020
 

By Patty Wilber

Note: if you want to keep up with the blog without Facebook, you can subscribe here, upper right side of page.

I spend most of this week, morning, noon and late, late nights, parked in front of my computer working (remotely–the college shut down due to COVID-19) figuring out creative ways to keep our Microbiology Lab course running while maintaining the integrity of the course.  We created a very good online midterm exam and have figured out how to do our unknown project in a virtual way without sacrificing the logic and creative thinking the students need to employ.  Getting all the parts pulled together took, and still will take, a good many more hours, but the framework and teamwork are there!

My other two classes that need to be converted are not as tricky–I already have an online version for one, and the other is just a matter of reframing existing lecture material and borrowing prepared materials from my generous co-workers–still time consuming, but straight forward.

I got those horses ridden, too. It is pretty nice to be able to ride out and still be “safe at home”.

Thursday was a windy, snow spitting day, and not very inviting for outdoor activity.  Still, after eight hours in a chair in front of a screen, I was getting pretty desperate to breathe fresh air, so I bundled up, and as I went out the door, I kid you not, the wind quit. What a gift!

I took a long trail ride on Lucy and good trail ride on Birdie, too.

In the canyon behind the house with Lucy. This doesn’t suck.

We have 35 COVID cases in NM, so either today (Friday) or tomorrow, I am driving to Clovis  (where there are none) to pick up H, before travel is further restricted. He was slated to come home now, anyway, as well, because originally we had a show the first weekend in April.  Which is cancelled, of course.

It will be pretty easy to maintain social distancing–staying in my camper, not a hotel, bringing all my own food, and using the outdoor pumps for fuel. 

I am looking forward to showing, and trail work later this year when the viral infections wane.

Stay safe everyone, and wash those hands.

 

 

Mar 062020
 

By Patty Wilber

Part three?  Well, part one was “Training with a buddy“.

Coco, the palomino, was a great mentor for Birdie, who, at this time was a bit on the “YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAAAAT!?” end of the spectrum. (Coco finished her 60 days at the end of February and we got a nice video of her at the walk, trot and lope. Her sister, Fancy, has come in!)

Fancy.  I have to apologize, because this is a nice mare and the picture does not do her any kind of justice, except her legs look good. She has a beautiful face and a really cute build. She is three and is here to get started.

Part two for Birdie was sort of spread around in the last three blogs.

But to recap, Birdie came in January and she had been handled, but not that much: Never had her feet picked up let alone trimmed (but, that is not to say her feet were in bad shape–they were, and are, actually, in really good shape), was hard to catch, didn’t tie, and was just a tad over reactive, which was why I used the buddy training to help her.  At the end of February I added magnesium (which is often calms horses, some) to her diet.

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Feb 212020
 

By Patty Wilber

Walkin N Circles, the horse rescue in Edgewood, NM, held their first fun show of the year last Saturday (2/15/20)  and despite the big snow earlier in the week, a fair number of people were able to get their horses demudded and their trailers out to come show.

I took some photos before I started judging trail and then I accidentally deleted all of them before I had uploaded them to google photos…

Fortunately Patty Shuert was there, hung out with me the whole time, helped keep my score sheets in order, and took a bunch of pictures!

It was chilly in the arena, so I was happy to have my heavy coat and a scarf. This is the second time in the past week I have seen pictures of my face. I would just like to point out that I am about 20 years younger in my mind than my chronological age. Of course, I would like to have fewer wrinkles and sags, but if I am going to spend big money, it is likely to be on horse stuff or travel and not a nip and a tuck!

I was worried that my trail pattern would be too easy, but it turned out to be just fine.

The hardest parts in order of difficulty, based on my recollection, not actual data, were the back through and the bridge.

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