Brownie goes to the Manzanos

By Patty Wilber

Brownie, Brownie go to townie.  Or the mountains!

Got rain gear, water, spare food, emergency kit, first aid kit, more rain gear, gloves (like 4 pair–it really bites to have wet, cold hands) my purple pommel bag with a camera and a head lamp and a few snack bars, and of course a saddle saw. Brownie says, “all in a day’s work!” Not bad for the start of ride 27!

As of last weekend, Brownie, at three, had had 26 rides, ever. But since he is a level-headed and independent sort, had been ponied in groups twice, I knew he’d be a fine mount for the Box-Ox Back Country Horseman, Pecos Chapter trail project.

Too bad we barely got to ride!

Last year, we started to work these two trails (see Headed for your Head blog from last season) that had been closed due to the Trigo Fire in 2008 until last year.  We got about three miles cleared, but we never made it all the way to the Crest Trail (see linked trail map).

We were really looking forward to knocking that out last weekend.

Or not.

Over the winter, it turns out, trees fell down, and a rather large number of them were across Box Trail and Ox, too.  Hmppf.

Cheryl, with saw, in front of one of our to-be-cleared trees.


So, we rode and stopped and hauled trees off (the smaller or more rotten ones).  Or we rode and tied up and cut (bigger) trees and hauled or pushed or levered the parts out of the trail.

It took about four hours (and 30 ish trees) to make 1.5 miles.  To get back?  Thirty-five minutes, maybe.

My big mountain ride Plan for Brownie became the Tour de Tied.

2015-5-2 Brownie ox box 010

Blurry! But I didn’t take tie pics every stop, so needed this one!

2015-5-2 Brownie ox box 015

Snacking on some budding oak while waiting.

2015-5-2 Brownie ox box 022

Brownie: “it appears you all are eating lunch. those oak bits did not do it for me. just sayin.”

There were at least three other tie spots and he stood quietly, no pawing, like an old pro (until the last tree– I guess he was a little sick of being nose to a tree at that point, and he did paw some).

I did get to get on to ride in between deadfall, usually following Abby on her Donkey!

2015-5-2 Brownie ox box 019

Brownie was a champ and I would happily take him pretty much anywhere in the back country, already.  In fact, he is such a solid citizen, that tomorrow on Ox-Box, Part Duex, I will probably ride him and pony LT with tools.

Brownie has been here since mid March.  In that time, he has learned all kinds of things! Like: drag a drag rope, tie, be saddled, bridled, and ta da, ridden!  He walks and trots anywhere, picks up both leads and lopes very well in the round pen and a little in a hurry in the open, stops, backs, goes sideways at the fence or over logs, does wooden bridges, can open gates (ok the rider really does the opening, Brownie just gets the rider in the right spot), can move his hip, do a 180 pivot, can carry a gob of stuff strapped to the saddle, ride over really really tough terrain, is not spooky, can get in and back out of a trailer, on cue and probably some other stuff I forgot.

That is a grand start on a nice all around in-and-out-of-the-arena using horse! Proud of this boy!

He will be heading home in a week or so, which is a little too bad because over Memorial Day, he’d be the perfect candidate to learn to pack (because frankly he’s the kind you could just toss the pack saddle on, load it up with an easy load, and head off, with not advance prep. ) We’re hauling salt again.  Hopefully the weather will not look like last year!


Happy Trails to you!!


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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2 Responses to Brownie goes to the Manzanos

  1. Suzan Morrow Farrell says:

    This blog brought back such good memories. When I was just a little child, my father had a big horse named Brownie—he was the most gentle horse ever. Both Dad and I loved him to death. I would ride behind my Dad and we went everywhere on that horse. When we had to move away, Dad sold all the other farm animals but couldn’t make himself sell Brownie, so he gave him to a good friend and we got to visit him every year when we came back on vacation.

    • Patty says:

      I am flattered! Nice that your Brownie got a nice home and you could visit him, too!

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