Lacey: Pack #1, Ride #3

By Patty Wilber

I do love a horse that is an easy start.  The fewer butt pucker moments, the better!

Lacey is one of those!

Pack #1

Lacey is coming three (May) and she is my pack horse for this summer.  To get started,  she wore the packing rig without the panniers twice and then it was time to load ‘er up and take her out. It might seem foolhardy to have her first-ever loaded trip in public, but knowing Lacey–not much wreck risk.

Lacey, loaded, box-hitched, and waiting to go. Ho hum.

Her first load was 80 pounds of fireplace pellets (in bags) at  Cerillos Hills State Park on a training ride with the Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico.  Pellets are a nice training load–they are in bags, don’t shift around much, are quiet, do not poke out all over and are reasonably heavy.

She will graduate to carrying  tools on our first “real” project, April 6. (Finger’s crossed: elk in the fall)

Lacey is easy to pony--she does not drag, and does a good job holding her spot--unless The Boss of the Universe, Cometa, gooses her with his nose! Lacey has a great deal of respect for The Boss. If he says, she goes. You can see his ear in the left foreground.

Toots is a fine lead horse. Lacey is happy to follow.

At the start of the ride, Toots was fourth in line walking with real purpose–just the way I like.  However, BCH project rides often move at a slower pace to accommodate loaded pack stock and animals that are not speed walkers.

For about a quarter mile, Toots was pushing the animal ahead of her and I worried that my repeated reminders to slow down were going to wear on her, but all at once, she snapped to the program and she fell into the easy pace of the group.  Her (slight) tension dissipated on the sun-warmed, spring-like breeze (later to become dark sleet-slinging wind–but hey we were loaded and on the road by then!). She dropped her head into max relaxation mode, and ambled along contentedly.  Lacey did the same.

I am really pleased with this pair!

They can even perform equine ambassador duties! Well, at least Toots can!

Toots says: "kids! hi kids! pet me on my shoulder!" Lacey says: "u go toots. there are three of them! we r out numbered!"

Toots: always ears up and interested (but content) with her surroundings!

Toots gets the fancy buckle (but she does share.)

 Pack trip #1 was a winner.


Ride #3

Well, if they are going to live here, them critters have got to be versatile, so with Daylight Savings, I’ve got time to start Lacey under saddle. The day doesn’t get unrideably dark until eight! (Better to call it at 7:30)







Lacey is bred to be easy and athletic.  Her Dad, Zan Sontivio is down at Bob and Dolly Wallace’s in Bosque Farms and his babies are just plain nice. Nice head, nice build, nice minds.  Her Momma is a JJM horse, and they are athletic, with reiners, ranch horses and lots of buckskin champs in that group.

By ride three (Tuesday–the pack trip was Sunday), this is what things looked like.

Mounting from the "off" side or right side. Loose rein. Her feet don't move.

Lateral flexion.

Walk. Loose rein, nice (natural) head carriage!

Going through the barrels!


Lope. Comfortable!

Thursday was ride four and I used her during a lesson with two students in the unfenced arena.  Lacey spend most of her time just standing still (which for a ride 4 is a very nice thing to be able to do) but she also got to play follow the leader over the bridge, open and shut a rope gate (first try, I do not lie), and walk over railroad ties and between two big tires.

She backs, does a nice sideways, moves her hip and her shoulder, and has an exciting little sink in her stop–suggests she might be a natural slide stopper!

Easy.  Just sayin’.  Am loving her breeding.

And later today, she and her trouble making best friend LT, and her back country partner Toots, are heading south to do some cow work.  Lacey will probably just hang out at the trailer while I ride the other two. But I might pony  her around the cows just to see…of course that would leave LT alone at the trailer  which = melt down by LT…so we will just have to, ahem, play it by ear!

Sunday: am in a 25 mile endurance ride with Marcia and JD on a big ranch.  Should be fun!  Hope JD agrees!


About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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6 Responses to Lacey: Pack #1, Ride #3

  1. Dolly Wallace says:


    Got your phone up date about Lacey. Bob & I are so pleased you are enjoying her. But this comes to no surprise. The Zan Sontivio (Harley) babies have all been like this that we have known about. They are just incredible. That is why Harley is with us & is a stallion. They love to drop that hip & stop. Most of all, they are so smart & willing & love to work hard for us & make us (trainers) look good. Hope you continue to enjoy her.

    Happy Trails,
    Bob & Dolly

  2. BlogPatty says:

    Hi Dolly and Bob, Glad you got the phone message. Lacey is a nice one! And of course I also like her color! Who knows, I might even have her under saddle in the show ring this year!

  3. It’s nice to see how your young ladies are working out. IMHO, you have a good eye for show prospects.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    What a delight to see a young horse working so calmly and willingly. OK, you say it’s her breeding, but I say it takes a trainer who knows how to work with a horse and not muck up that good disposition and willing mind.

  5. Doranna says:

    Good girl, Lacey!

    (Very fancy buckle there, Toots!)

  6. patty says:

    Hi Carolyn–thank-you!
    Hi Elizabeth–thank-you too!
    Hi Doranna–that buckle was Penny’s prize from last show season!

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