The Land of the Two Year Olds

By Patty Wilber

The Land of the Two Year Olds is actually not a very good title, because one two year old went home to recover from a respiratory thing, and another horse I want to talk about is five…but I put 30 days on her when she was two and then stuff happened and she is back for training just now.  Thus, training-wise, she is two.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.


Gette, bred by Heather McLevin, was born in January 2021, so she is closer to three than two, and I have been riding her lightly since February.  She is coming along nicely and we got our first go on real cows at Darren Miller’s, last weekend.  I hauled her over there alone, unloaded, got on, warmed her up, and got to work.  I was really pleased with her ability to handle all that.

We got some tips on the flag.  I was wanting her to learn technique: stop, back and turn, at a walk or slow trot.  I mean, Rip did that day 1 on the flag. Gette, however, did not see the point of the flag or any of the technique, and became annoyed. Darren helped me simplify the task to: Stay With the Flag. Gette gets to step in to “move” the flag, she gets to stop it, but if she then ignores it as it changes directions, I can just roll her back and go get it. That really improved her desire to follow the flag and eliminated arguing about stopping. Once she is engaged, the technique follows much more easily, for her.

The live cow was a bit slow for Gette’s liking.  She wanted more action. The evidence is in her pinned ears.  (I was fine with slow.) We are going back this weekend for more fun.  It seems I am the one that will have to step up!

Gette’s first day on a live cow. Photo by Darren Miller.


Gino is Gette’s half brother–they have the same sire–he was also bred by Heather McLevin! He is owned by Christy. He was a bit bratty when he came last week and we had a discussion about kicking when fly sprayed, squishing me at the tie rack, and whether or not he should attempt to jump out of the round pen when he did not feel like participating. I was a little worried as to how he was going to take all the new regulations, but turns out that once I explained them, he said, “OK!”

He has been under saddle, with a rider up (me), for two days and already he has the basics of moving his hip, backing, side passing, steering, and trotting.  By basics, I really mean we are at a very basic level, but still, he catches on quickly and he has been so willing.  He is reminding me of H (also bred by Heather)–who was one of the easiest colt starts I ever had–.

He is a bit of a clown. He always wants attention, and has tried to swim in one of the big stock tanks. That was a missed photo op!

Daytona, who is two in training time, but is really five.

Daytona is a quarter horse, bred and owned by Rachel Pozzi, for barrel racing.  I started her as a two year old and put maybe 20 rides, walk trot only, on her.  She was a good colt start, though I always felt she had a lot of power under the hood.   We kept things slow and easy and she came along just right.

She went home and proceeded to injure her leg in an accident at the barn.   It was a long recovery.  She started back into training at home and had a sore mouth that resulted in a bit of drama. More time passed, and while she was the top of the list at the start of the year for Rachel, Rip, who I knew would be simple for me, was my top choice while I was just starting back after the two rounds of chemo.  But now Daytona is finally here!

She has matured both physically and mentally.  She wants to please and is quite level headed. She is working in the arena and on the trail.  I was excited to get shoes on her to ride out, thinking I could really get some nice loping on the trail. She, however, was very concerned about the various surfaces we were walking on.  Gravel to pavement: pause.  “i don’t think this is safe!” Tippy toed onto the road.  Pavement to gravel:  “this is not safe, is it?” Tippy toed onto the gravel.  Gravel to a trail:  “this is definitely not safe, at all!” Refused a few times, then tippy toed on to the trail.  The trail goes over a berm. “WHAT IS THAT! that is soo soo soooooo unsafe.” Refused 14 (or more times). Stepped on the berm, backed off. On. Off (x 14+).  Oh brother.  But she kept trying and finally tippy toed over it.  Needless to say, all we did was tippy toe on her first trip out. She has been out three times now, and is happy and relaxed walking and trotting over various types of ground!

Daytona, tying calmly!

And to throw in a bit more adventure, I got to play druid in the Pecos with Penny and LT.

Me, in my druid outfit (my Muddy Creek rain coat), unpacking LT (not two and acting very mature and grown up at 13), who hauled tools for our Back Country Horseman trail project on Wednesday, in the Pecos Wilderness. Photo by Patty S.

And, lastly Heidi and Lucy, not aged two, (Heidi is 14, and Lucy is seven), bred by Connie Hunter, had a very good day a the Santa Fe County 4H Fair!  Since Appaloosa Youth World, Heidi taught Lucy showmanship at halter and also rode her English.  They won high point senior (4H senior is a category of kid, not horse) horse! I am so proud of the time Heidi has put in.  It is evident.  It is also a lot of fun to watch how well she and Lucy work together. They are a blast to coach!

It was a busy week!

The Cancer Chronicles:

I got myself overheated one day last week, which was disconcerting.  The heat, which never bothered me before, wears me down, so I just have to pay attention.  I knew I had over done it when I was dragging my a** up to the house wondering if I was going to throw up or just collapse before I got there.  Neither occurred, and I made it inside, noted the outdoor thermometer read 98F, ran cold water over my head, draped a wet towel over myself, got a cold drink and sat in front of a fan.  I recovered and was able to ride the horse I had left tied (fortunately in the shade) when I made my emergency escape.

The numbness (which feels like my skin has been given Novocaine) in my legs is receding.  But, now I that I can feel more, I feel stuff like some shooting pains and some weird surface sensations.  Geez!  Hopefully things will continue back to normal, and hopefully the 30% reduction in dose slated for the 17th will not exacerbate this.

I did get a call from my surgeons office on Tuesday informing me of a tele-appointment for Wednesday, which was kind of a surprise.  I called to reschedule as I was heading to the Pecos and no cell service.  They could not reschedule me for two weeks.  I was a bit disconcerted that they sprang an “as soon as possible” phone call that couldn’t be rescheduled soon, at all.  Turns out it is to be more of a checking in call to discuss the nerve stuff associated with chemo, so not a big emergency.

Other than that, things are going pretty well, and the weather has been a bit cooler, so that is nice.  Now we could use some sustained rain.

Happy Friday!


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 The Land of the Two Year Olds

  1. Doranna Durgin says:

    It’s a great title! So much good news!

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