Apr 132018
 

By Patty Wilber

Our 6th annual spring trip was a blast. Last year we camped.  This year we glamped!

Riding in the evening at the Gillespie Ranch!

Mary Ann, Siri and I travelled in Siri’s Big Ass Trailer (the BAT–with fabulous living quarters) to the Gillespie Ranch near Mayhill, NM.

I took Atti.

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!

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Mar 232018
 

By Patty Wilber

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!

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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!

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Mar 022018
 

By Patty Wilber

First off, thanks to Dr. Stacie Boswell for her help on last week’s blog!

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So, I get to coach a drill team out at 4 Winds Equestrian!

We have only had one introductory meeting so our first real practice is coming up!

I have been checking out videos and this one

was pretty amazing.  What an intricate pattern!

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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!

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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