Gette’s First Work Project

By Patty Wilber

Gette is three this year and she was ponied over a lot of country as a yearling and ridden on our steep and rocky trails and with friends on local trails as a two-year-old, but this was her first Back Country Horseman project where she had to work.

Yearling Gette in the Manzano Mountains. 2022.

I am happy to report that she aced it!

She had no trouble riding anywhere in the group and she is comfortable with mules and packed stock.  She followed Will, who was carrying tools, a lot of the time, but also led a little bit.

Cometa’s ears, Penny and Colleen,  me with the red vest and Camelback on Gette, and Will, the mule, in front of us. Windsor Ridge Trail. We cleared 30 trees and about 5 miles up that trail. Photo by Jim.

Gette did well tied to various trees while we worked. She did not fidget and she did not paw.

Tied to an aspen. Ho hum.

She learned to cross water.  At the end of the Windsor Ridge ride, we rode to a water crossing.  I figured she would be pretty easy to get across but wanted to make sure as we were going to work across that stream the next day, and I didn’t want to hold up the crew with a first-time water crossing training session.  When we reached the water, Cometa went first, followed by Penny, so her herd was mentoring her.  Also, she was thirsty, so there was even more incentive.  It only took her a few minutes to ease in.  No jumping.  No drama, and she did drink, although the current pushing the water against her nose was a bit confounding! On Sunday, when we had to cross “for real”, she barely hesitated. Good pony!

Gette coming out of her first water crossing! Photo by Colleen. I, of course, am super stylish in my purple wranglers, red vest, blue windbreaker, orange saddle bags, and bucket hat under my helmet. But hey, my horse rocks.

On Sunday, we encountered a monster tree that we were going to remove.  It was on a fairly steep section of Dockweiler Trail and we had to climb above the tree to get by to reach a safe spot to tie up.  That was a little challenging, I thought, but Gette had no trouble.  Then as I was about to dismount, a mule got loose and came galloping up the trail.  There was really nowhere to go should we devolve into panic mode, except off the side, so I decided to just hold tight…

Gette watched the mule pound up the trail and did not move a muscle or tense up at all.  The mule came to a stop and I caught hold of him.  “no big deal”, said Gette. I think that was my proudest moment of the weekend.

This young mare has won the Green Horse category in the last three shows she’s entered and now has some real work creds, too!

Lastly, shout out to Cometa, 27 this year. This is his 24th year working with Back Country Horsemen in the Pecos! We are so thankful he is still happy and able!



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 Gette’s First Work Project

  1. Ellen says:

    Great write-up of your trip!

  2. dorannadurgin says:

    Nice report card, Gette!

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