Road Trip!

By Patty Wilber

We went to Longmont, Colorado last weekend for an Appaloosa show. Drove out on Friday.  20160513_084911

Drove back on Saturday.  That was a lot of driving! Over 900 miles, round trip.

We had to do it because so far as I can tell, there are only two Appaloosa Working Cow Horses in the entire state of New Mexico and both live at my house.

LT, of course, and the international addition, Mitch, who just arrived from Canada last month and belongs to Ardith Allcorn


Mitch (You CD Signs)

The horses travelled well.  I did not tie them so I could feed them on the floor of the trailer.  The hay on the floor is also so no one (read LT) gets tangled in a hay net.

We have a stock trailer with good air flow–which means the feed blows around and could get in their eyes, so they got to wear fly masks to protect them from flying hay.

Half way there, we stopped for gas, and Mitch had eaten all his breakfast and took a long drink when I offered him water.  Good boy.  LT had pawed half her hay to the back of her trailer slot and wouldn’t drink.

Arriving at a new show grounds (this was the first time I have been to Longmont), it is always a bit disorienting to me at first.  The bathroom is usually the first thing to locate.

Then, the horse stalls.  We found them, but there were no shavings (we’d ordered a few bags). Oh, and they were locked.

Found the stall manager after a brief search and got that fixed. We put the horses in while we unloaded the feed and buckets. We tossed each a flake of hay and filled the water buckets.

LT complained. She could not see Mitch and if she could not see Mitch then no way was she eating and the stall was too confining and she didn’t like the water and she was all alone because even though Mitch was just next door, she could NOT SEE HIM.

Mitch ate his hay.

I had put water in big buckets and set them in the stalls.  That has always worked great for LT.

Mitch, however, likes to dangle his hooves in water–he is continually sticking one leg in the water tanks at home–but I didn’t think of that! He soon dumped the entire bucket all over his nice fresh shavings…

I changed his water to a bucket that hung on the wall!

After that, we figured out the best place to park for the show the next day.  I kept all my tack in the trailer and was planning to saddle and tie at the trailer  like I would for a local show where we drive in just for the day. We got a nice spot!

By this time the horses had had a bit of a rest, so I rode.  Mitch did a great job and was all done in 30 minutes.  He went with Jim to get a bath.

LT…well….she was a tangle of competing energies and even after what seemed like a long time, did not completely smooth out.

Bath time and jammies.  No one really loved every step!


“who picked this slinky for me?” says Mitch


“why does everyone have to watch my bath?” says LT


Ready for bed! But not really, because, if you didn’t know, she CANNOT see Mitch and therefore she is all alone and…

At this point, Jim and I left and checked into our hotel.  We were ready to eat something.  We hadn’t researched Longmont at all, and while we were driving around looking for food, we spied a sign for the historic district.

Holy cow!  It was jam packed with people.  No parking for blocks, but we got lucky and eventually found a spot near an Irish pub.


A margarita for Jim and a Guinness for me. And we ate, too!

The next day it was rainy!  It was not supposed to do that until the afternoon!  So, we moved all the necessary tack to the barn so we could saddle in the dry.  Luckily, it was only cold and not very wet most of the day.

Mitch showed in Jr. Working Cow Horse where we started out a bit rough and had a bit “bigger” lead change than is pretty (because I spurred him).  In my defense, he had been missing that change in practice.  Ok, so I over compensated a bit. Loved how he felt on a cow.  There is a video.

He did ranch rail (he was just perfect) and ranch riding where he was quite offended that there were LOGS in the arena and just could not figure out why I wanted him to drop to a trot in a spot where in cow horse YOU NEVER EVER trot.

Finally, he did hackamore/snaffle bit reining and put together a really nice go (and lovely lead changes)!

LT was still wired, but overall I was happy with her cow work and reining goes. I probably should have ridden her all night and then she would have shown quieter!

We were expecting to be done about 2 pm but things went on until 5!  We got out of there at 5:30pm.

We got through the nightmare that is I25 in Denver without much trouble (I think the traffic is worse than LA) and were tooling along pleasantly until suddenly Lani, one of the dogs, got a horrified expression on her face and was crammed into one corner of the back seat.

There was an odor.

We exited at the nearest opportunity, which was luckily pretty much right away.

Coulson jumped to the front seat, smearing Jim with …ewww! Jim was happy he was wearing a jacket that he could take off!

Lani to Coulson: “i told u not to eat all that horse doo!”

Coulson: “i though i just had gas!”

We had blankets covering the seat, so we took them all out.  Even so, Lani had to take a close look before she was going back in!

The rest of the drive was long, but we made it home! Next show? Don’t quite know yet, but it will have cows!

Videos of the some goes.

Mitch, cow horse

Mitch, reining

LT, cow horse

LT, reining

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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1 Response to Road Trip!

  1. EMoonTX says:

    Lovin’ the videos! Also the stories.

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