Feb 092018
 

By Patty Wilber

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 »

Feb 022018
 

By Patty Wilber

I am happy to report that the backing therapy (getting off and backing her up if she sulls up and threatens to rear) has made a big change in Ms. Attitude’s, well, attitude.  She might still try to pull a thing or two, but I swear she has learned the phrase, “Don’t make me get off!”, because if I get off, she will be backing up, with alacrity.

The backing seems to really make her think and it doesn’t scare her.  I do not think this would have worked on LT or would work on Indy.  I think they would both take it very personally and fall apart.

Indy is dong well, too. She is getting sharper and smoother on her transitions and she is stopping.  Boy, we have a long way to go, though, since we lost  a lot of last year.

I took them both to Ed Krause’s work with cows last Saturday.

This was doubly fun because Leah and Janet were both there.   Janet took some pictures of me and I took some of her, too. We were there from 10 to 2.  Things haven’t changed, as Janet mentioned, from when we were kids (and didn’t know each other).  We still don’t want to get off our horses!

Continue reading »

Jan 262018
 

By Patty Wilber

I have the privilege of of judging the Trail Classes at the Walkin N Circles Fuzzy Show Fundraiser February 17th!   Last year, the show raised over $2,000. Click the link for more information, or just show up to show! (There is a $20 break if you pre-enter–55 bucks for the whole day!)

Walkin N Circles is a horse rescue that in 2017 adopted out over 45 horses!

I just spend 20 minutes checking out their adoptable horses page. When I was a kid (in the dark ages before the Internet) I used to read the horse want-ads.  This is a BIG upgrade from want ads. The website has beautiful photographs and descriptions of the horses.

Of course, I found several horses that I fantasized for a minute about bringing over, because I have so much extra time.  NOT.  LT is currently the barefoot boss mare (boss of Indy and Atti, only) on vacation for a few more weeks until the days get longer and I have more riding hours!  Too bad for her: she is not barefoot on vacation at the beach!

Ok, back to the show!  It will be low pressure and lots of fun.  It will be at the Edgewood Arena, in Edgewood, NM, Feb. 17th and will start at 9 am.  Hopefully the weather will be great!

The Edgewood Arena is a public arena that also has a nice obstacle course that is perfect to use for the walk-trot trail pattern.   There will be 9 and under, 10-18, 19 and over, and in hand classes.

Trail courses in a typical show include things like negotiating logs, backing through things, walking over a bridge, turning around in a small area, opening a gate, side passing.  We will have this sort of thing, as well as the cowboy curtain made of pool noodles!

The show is not all trail classes!  There will be arena classes as well.

Did I mention that it will be low key and lots of fun?  And ALL the income goes directly to Walkin N Circles for the horses, so if you don’t want to show, sign up (click the first link above) and donate instead!

 

 

Jan 192018
 

By Patty Wilber

The good news was that Penny behaved very well and she and Lori took the Novice High Point award!

Also, all the horses got along just fine at the trailer.

Atti (light) and Indy (dark). Happy at the trailer.

The bad news was neither Atti nor Indy demonstrated their true skills and I was so disappointed I shed a few tears. I got a big ol hug from my friend Janet. (Thanks Janet!)

Continue reading »

Jan 122018
 

By Patty Wilber

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.

Marianne, Siri, Linda, and Lily.

Continue reading »

Jan 052018
 

By Patty Wilber

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.

Penny:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Continue reading »

Nov 172017
 

By Patty Wilber

There is a real danger of over kill (uh, well, maybe that is a bad choice of words for this topic) when it comes to safety recommendations for riding in the backcountry. It is impossible to be prepared for every possibility, so the trick is to be reasonably well outfitted without having to take the kitchen sink and the inflatable helicopter.

At the end of a 20 mile ride!

Here are some ideas.

Continue reading »

Nov 102017
 

By Patty Wilber

Riding high country trails is a goal of many riders.  I understand that goal because it sure is fun to be way out there on a good horse.  “Way out there” can mean far from help, also, so here are some things to think about (in the form of a checklist) when considering a back country ride. Understanding what you are up for can help you pick when and where to ride.

I can hike backcountry terrain at elevations over 9 thousand feet.

  • 1 mile
  • 2 miles
  • 5 miles
  • 10 miles
  • Over 10 miles

Hiking??? I thought we were horseback!  We hope to be, but in the case of emergency or a lost horse, can you get out?  If I lost my horse, most of my gear would be gone as well….but that is a different problem!

I love hiking on cliffsides. Not. And this was at sea level, but still.

I can lead my equine:

Continue reading »

Nov 032017
 

By Patty Wilber

While a good number of my Appaloosa cow horse friends were at the Appaloosa World Show (doing a great job! I hope Indy will be good enough to go in 2019), me and my own cow horse turned trail horse for this week, LT, Jim and my BCH buddies Peter and Mary Ann went to clean up a junky, litter-strewn hunting camp in the Pecos Wilderness, for the Forest Service.

Mary Ann and I made a first run at it Friday Oct 23, but only made Beatty’s Cabin (14 mile round trip) due to unforeseen minor, but delaying, complications.  Since the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder, we wanted to check this box before the snow froze the high country off for the season.  October 28 looked like it could work for the 22 mile round trip. A little cold, but no chance of precipitation

We saddled up in 23 degree F weather 

“who’s bright idea was this? we had to get up at, like, dark o’clock, and btw, it is cold,” says Squirt. Longshot agrees.

We left Jack’s Creek at 840 am (left home at 545 am).

Tulip (with Mary Ann up) says, “cold grass is still tasty!” Cometa is in the foreground pack- saddled and waiting.

Continue reading »

Oct 272017
 

By Patty Wilber

Despite the fact that I truly enjoy training horses for the intrinsic rewards, I do like to win stuff when I show.

This past weekend, at the New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association Ranch Horse Show, LT proceeded to get top marks in Boxing (won Open, tied for best score in show), Ranch Cutting, Working Cow and Reining (for the last three: won open and had best score in show).

We got big trophies!

The trophies were for the best of show scores. We also won a stall front bag for winning the over all Open high point. Cool!

Continue reading »