Mar 262021
 

By Patty Wilber

Outdoors #1:

Last Saturday was the first Back County Horseman training ride of 2021!  Thirteen or so of us went to Galisteo Basin, parked at the Cowboy Cabin, and took the outermost loop, for an 11 mile ride. 

Me and LT, leading the ride! Photo by Patty S.

I took a whole bunch of pictures that apparently I did NOT actually take because they did not appear in my camera, but fortunately Patty S. got some nice ones!

This year, I did not lead us into a bushwhacking adventure, no one fell over, no one got rolled on, and no one got kicked.  Whoop!

And we had some new people join us!  My friend Mary rode Cometa (I really did try to take a picture!), and Janet came along with Bain (who is an actual member).  

Janet and Rowdy. Note that Rowdy not only can do the trail, but he and Janet are super stars in the show pen! Photo by Patty S.

We have one more training ride and then we get to start on trail projects!

Indoor #1.

It snowed buckets in Colorado the other week, so the outdoor arena at Cody Crow’s was still unusable.  Thus, instead of hauling a bunch of horses, I drove me and my spiffy new little (um December 2020 and it still has less than 2000 miles on the odometer due to my lack of driving to work and back) Kia Rio. That thing can hum along at speeds I don’t normally attain.  Who knew!?

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Feb 262021
 

By Patty Wilber

I was trying to figure out what to write about and somehow I got to thinking about how far I rode each day, and then I thought about the free phone app, Equilab

I have not used it all that much and I have a more to learn about it, but it really is pretty fun.

I do know that it does not track well if my phone is on airplane mode.  I get maps with major portions estimated as straight lines, and the mileage is WAY off.

 I am not 100% certain of its accuracy when my phone has mobile data turned off, either, but it does make cool maps without a ton of estimated straight lines when mobile data is off and also gives fun statistics, and the base version is, did I mention? FREE!

I have been having trouble, I realized a few days ago, with my new phone not staying connected to our Wifi and I ate up almost all the mobile data I had been rolling over, IN ONE MONTH, and then I about ran out this month, so mobile data is currently off until the 1st and I could not test Equilab with and without mobile data on.

But! Still fun!

This is one view of a workout I had with Lucy in the arena. 

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Feb 192021
 

By Patty Wilber

After the first part of the storm.

On Saturday 2/13 in the afternoon, it was 50 degrees F, and I rode Joey and pushed some cows while Heidi rode Lucy so Joey had a mentor (and she practiced other stuff on Lucy). Then, I had a fine time working my two yearling bovines with Lucy out in the pasture. She had some fun moves! We also practiced slides-getting up to about 10 feet semi consistently…

When I was done, Heidi noted that I’d lost a bell boot off Lucy. Heidi offered to cool out Lucy and they spent a good long time searching for that thing! It is black. Looks a lot like dried cow manure. It is still missing, but Lucy appreciated the cool out. (Thanks, Heidi!).

Then it was Landon’s turn. He was very focused and cadenced and long-strided! This was wonderful, all by itself, but even more impressive because the wind got colder and colder and began to really whip across the plain as the edge of the Polar Vortex event started moving in. He rode the same the whole ride!

Heidi helped me untack and get ready to go. To load, I held the heavy trailer door against the wind and she led them in. Then we went to see the baby lambs. They are just a few days old and are, of course, darling. One of them may well end up in my freezer at the end of the year, as have two previous Tucker lambs.

You know, I am perfectly fine not having a close personal relationship with my dinner meat. I will avoid socializing with them as they get closer to market weight.

The lambs had a heat lamp and were possibly headed into the house for the Polarized night.

I drove Heidi back up to the house and, disaster was barely averted, by sheer luck. I grazed a (marked and covered) major water outlet with the trailer. I was blabbing to Heidi and did not even see it. If I had busted it….just as the Big Freeze was blowing in…. I shudder to think. Whew.

When I got home to our place, in a rincon, at the base of the Sandia Mountains, there was very little wind and it was not yet so cold. Only twenty miles from the Tucker’s, but what a difference!

In February 2011, we had a longer Polar Event with temperatures as low as -25 F.  There was snow but not a lot of wind. No horses were blanketed and none were cold.

Horses have a counter current circulation system in their legs, so as the colder blood returns from the legs to the body, it goes right by the hot blood coming down. This helps warm the returning blood. Dry horses, out of the wind, with a good winter coat and adequate feed can withstand very cold conditions  (-30 to -40 F), according to Heather Scott Thomas.   

This time, snow, along with strong winds were forecast, which had me a little concerned.

Jim had topped off all the water including the 500 gallon stock tanks, and by 8pm the temperature was falling, as was the snow.

Three horses were blanketed (two are always blanketed for show coat purposes and I just felt better blanketing the third, although I suspect he would have been fine).

I fed extra hay for the night, but while we have shelters, we do not have stalls, so everyone was “out”.

In the morning it was 3.4 degrees F (slightly warmer than predicted), and we had 5 inches of snow.

The horses were, as usual, NOT under shelter. They were standing in the falling snow with snow sprinkles on their backs. I think it is so amazing that in 3 degree weather, the horse’s coat is so insulative that snow just an inch from the horse’s warm skin does not melt because so little heat is escaping! No wonder they can withstand such cold temps!

No one was shivering!

And, in another interesting bit of physics, NONE of the water tanks were frozen, despite hours at sub freezing temperatures.

Mushy snow insulation on the water tank. You can see the nose holes!

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Feb 122021
 

By Patty Wilber

On our way home from the 2020 Appaloosa World Show, Shelley said we should stop at a metal art shop.  Good choice!  I bought the Pink Flamingo! (You never need a reason to buy a pink flamingo.)

I am quite enamored of the Pink Flamingo, so, what the heck, I bought shirt to match!

Last weekend, The New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association had a shaggy show and I had the chance to use it.  It is a fun shirt to wear! It made people smile!

Lucy and me in the pink flamingo shirt with a horse head coming out of my buttock! Photo from the NMBHA Facebook page. I think Craze took it, but am not sure.

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Jan 282021
 

By Patty Wilber

Over the past two weeks I have received a few surprise prizes!

The first was a gift card to Tractor Supply, a thank-you note, and mileage reimbursement (300 bucks!) from the Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen.  I had the highest number of volunteer trail hours in the club this year (97), for the first time ever!

We did a good job working trails (in the Pecos Wilderness, Dockweiler was cleared from Cave Creek to Rito Perro for the first time in a while!), while maintaining safe conditions!

I did not think to take pictures of those prizes, but here is a picture on Dockweiler from our Memorial Day 2020 project.

Dockweiler trail in the Pecos Wilderness.

The second was a random draw prize from the NM Paint Horse Club that included a thank-you note and a nice lead rope! Yes, 50 years in 2017, so 54 years in 2021!

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Jan 012021
 

By Patty Wilber

2020

January

I was deep into colt starts with Birdie and Coco,
I ordered the trailer for trips to a go, go,
Breeze came to live here, with her scoliosis.
We are quite glad she does not have psychosis.

February 

We had some nice weather, and we had some snow.
Clay worked with H, and dragged calves like a pro.
Coco and Birdie kept making progress.
COVID was just starting to pull toward the abyss.

 

March

March was a wild one; my courses went online.
I shut down my horse lessons, and tried not to whine.
We were “normal” on Thursday, and by Monday were not.
I have not since been to campus nor parked in the lot!
But I got to keep riding, which helped me stay sane,
And I got, Fancy, a new youngster to get on and to train!

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Dec 172020
 

By Patty Wilber

This week has been a bit wintery pre-winter (since winter officially begins 12/21).  It has been cold (for us). Some days were not above freezing, others were barely above.

There have been a few days without much riding, but mainly, it has been ok, so long as I was wearing the right number of layers– which means four or five, being the cold averse sort that I am!

Here is a little run through of some of the fun we had!

Cold ride in the canyon next door with Jordyn on LT and Maddie on Leo! Jordyn was a popsicle.  She says she is taking a vacation until it gets a little warmer! Not enough layers, obviously! LOL!

Kate on Amigo. Kate just moved to NM from S. Dakota, so, cold shmold for her!  Kate’s hands were even a little too warm! I rode Jack, who belongs to Sheryl L. My feet were a little chilled, but other than that, I was ok.  Facemasks actually felt nice–my nose did not get cold!

L to R: Breeze, Lucy, Sombra. Just a moment earlier LT (buckskin) and Cometa (light bay) were over there, too, and that was a lovely look, but as I came in to take the picture, those two got up and came over “whatcha doing?”. “Trying to take a picture of you all!”

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Dec 112020
 

By Patty Wilber

A friend of mine had two longhorn cows that needed branding.

Unfortunately, he had no cattle chute.

I figured it’d make a good blog, so I offered to help.

First, we had to get a cow into the trailer.

Longhorn in the field.

This entailed hand herding….foot herding…ground herding…whatever…moving the cows into a small pen and then into the trailer.  There were four angus cross yearlings and the two longhorns.  It took a few near misses before we got them all into the small pen and then a little patience to separate out a cow from the rest and convince her to step into the trailer.

Fortunately, the longhorns are both pretty tame, so, by blocking the escape avenue and just waiting, the target cow soon saw the “hole” (with some hay as an incentivizer) and went in. It was, surprisingly, easier than expected.

Once in, she had to be pushed up to the front of the trailer.

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Nov 272020
 

By Patty Wilber

LT is home for the holidays!

We people usually go to California for a yearly family reunion, which includes a Thanksgiving feast, a Friday hike, and a Saturday chow down on dim sum.  But we ruled out travel to my parent’s house due to Covid.

Well, this is 2017, so missing some of the youngest members of the family, who were not yet born, but hey it is sort of like a “Hannon Clan Stock Photo”. We do this every year. And this particular hike was actually pretty easy, as opposed to the other “easy” year that involved steep terrain, off trail, and 8 miles. A classic “Hannon Death March” or a Wilber “No Pain, No Fun” event.

Then, we were going to have Maegan and the girls in from Hawaii, but Covid went crazy in NM, and lots of other places, so we decided to play it extra safe this year and avoid the airport crowds. We Zoomed instead.

Jim and I did not give up on celebrating! We went whole turkey (cause we had already purchased much of the feast before we all elected to cancel). We made stuffed turkey, home made pumpkin pie and homemade crust(!), mashed potatoes, fruktsoppa (Swedish dried fruit holiday treat from Jim’s family recipe, except I did not add the one cup of sugar), dill dip, chips, orange cranberry sauce, no green bean casserole, (which was an oversight) and yes on Brussel sprouts that we got at the last minute. They were not as fun to make without my mother to suggest the Italian dressing option and my brother and I to join forces to defeat that heresy (garlic, sea salt and olive oil, thank-you).

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Oct 302020
 

By Patty Wilber

Mary Ann E., with unerring insight, wanted, before it got too late, to gallop around Hamilton Mesa in the Pecos Wilderness (like we did last year).

We went last Friday, and not a moment too soon, because the temperatures crashed and we got a lot of snow early this week!

The wild rose bushes were shutting down (the leaves are red, indicating degradation of the normal photosynthetic pigments), but I don’t think they were quite prepared!

LT loves to gallop, but she is busy freezing her heinie off in CO, so I took Lucy. Lucy was maybe not as keen on full out galloping and maybe really not as keen on leading while galloping, but I will give her B+/ A- for the day! 

We left from Walmart around 7am.  I left my truck trailer there and loaded Lucy in with Rosebud. My rig did not go unnoticed–two friends texted me pics when they went to Walmart!! Don’t mess with my stuff–I got people!

It was a lovely clear morning until we neared the town of Pecos where it looked like this! 

Fortunately, it was just some odd ball fog and we drove on up, up and out of it!

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