May 072021
 

By Patty Wilber

Well, the family left last Saturday and Sunday, and the sheer volume of food the eight of us consumed was remarkable.  Feeding eight people instead of two required several extra shopping trips.

I am missing the jumble of 30 year old kids toys all over the house!  Yes, we have home-made wooden blocks, paper blocks, bowling, ancient matchbox cars, books and more that we had saved for just this occasion.

Here is one more picture from last week.

Last Thursday we rode the Sandia Tram to the top of the mountain and the wee Hawaiians got to see snow!

But now, we are back to “normal”.

Normal around here is not typically boring, but I am still missing everyone!

Andretti, with 12 rides, is loping in the round pen with no pre-lunging, and has also been on a short trail ride by himself (well, I was there–I rode). I did hand walk him up and down the very steep part of the trail with the railroad tie steps, just to baby him a bit.  He was outstandingly settled.

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Apr 302021
 

By Granny Patty

We had not seen our kids or grandkids for quite some time, so what a treat for Granny Patty to have everyone here for a WEEK!

Leilani (3 and a half) got off the plane and came directly to the horse show I was at in her boots, helmet, and princess dress.  She got right on Lucy for a ride!

We also got to go to the Tucker’s to visit the lambs, bunnies, new calf, show calves, cats and horses, including Penny who is staying with Heidi, and Biscuit who was willing to go double!

Checking out the four day old bull calf, in full princess mode. And boots.

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Apr 092021
 

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend, we (me, Jim, Lucy and the two dogs) hauled south to  WestWorld of Scottsdale (AZ) for the Western States Desert Classic, run largely by the Arizona Appaloosa Club. (NM pitched in some bucks to help out.)

What a blast!  (A fun blast and also like a blast furnace–it was hot!)

We got to share a tack room with Christy H. and Nancy K.! I got to hang out a little with Judith, Doc and Kathryn! The 4K barn was there, too!

We stayed next to Nancy, on site, in our “new” trailer. It was hot, I say again!  In the upper 90’s (F)!  And we showed outside. Yikes.  High sixties is about as warm as it has gotten at our house so far this year.  Fortunately, my prescient purchase of the electrical package for the trailer allowed us to plug in a fan, and it did cool off nicely when the sun went down, thank goodness.

The trailer slots were pretty narrow, and Jim got to test his backing skills, big time.  With Nancy’s help (while I was settling Lucy), he got in and then set up our camp!

Despite the close quarters, we really enjoyed having arena-side accommodations!

Lani (left) and Coulson (right) seemed to have a good time hanging out, too!

Lucy felt that travelling all that way alone was a bit unfair and she nickered whenever we stopped for fuel. But she is such a low key soul (except for wash racks…she really hates wash racks and hoses, though she is easy to bathe, go figure) that overall she travelled very well.

Lucy ready to head out and limber up on Thursday evening.

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Mar 262021
 

By Patty Wilber

Outdoors #1:

Last Saturday was the first Back County Horseman training ride of 2021!  Thirteen or so of us went to Galisteo Basin, parked at the Cowboy Cabin, and took the outermost loop, for an 11 mile ride. 

Me and LT, leading the ride! Photo by Patty S.

I took a whole bunch of pictures that apparently I did NOT actually take because they did not appear in my camera, but fortunately Patty S. got some nice ones!

This year, I did not lead us into a bushwhacking adventure, no one fell over, no one got rolled on, and no one got kicked.  Whoop!

And we had some new people join us!  My friend Mary rode Cometa (I really did try to take a picture!), and Janet came along with Bain (who is an actual member).  

Janet and Rowdy. Note that Rowdy not only can do the trail, but he and Janet are super stars in the show pen! Photo by Patty S.

We have one more training ride and then we get to start on trail projects!

Indoor #1.

It snowed buckets in Colorado the other week, so the outdoor arena at Cody Crow’s was still unusable.  Thus, instead of hauling a bunch of horses, I drove me and my spiffy new little (um December 2020 and it still has less than 2000 miles on the odometer due to my lack of driving to work and back) Kia Rio. That thing can hum along at speeds I don’t normally attain.  Who knew!?

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Mar 192021
 

By Patty Wilber

This horse was having an issue or two with pain, and ejecting his riders.

His, mom, Nancy, did a great job getting him evaluated and realigned, and once that was addressed, he came here.

Landon has been at the house for about three months now, and we are definitely making progress!

I mean, take his mane, for example.  You can see that is it now laying down!!

He is improving his personal hygiene in other areas, too, like tail washing.

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Mar 122021
 

By Patty Wilber

Penny is 14 this year!

We have had her for 12 years now. Last week, Heidi T. took her to a show and has two more planned for this month, so that got me reminiscing.

Penny is a red dun Appaloosa, but has no spots. She is also registered with the American Buckskin Horse Association, which is where she was shown most.

Penny, two. She was ponied and ridden a little on a Back Country Horsemen project Fall, 2009, while learning to carry stuff and be a horse.

 

She is three in this picture.  As a four-year-old she earned Open Register of Merits in trail (her favorite) and Hunter Under Saddle.

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Mar 052021
 

By Patty Wilber

(I apparently just discovered the fun of GIFs….)

Thursday morning I woke up to a text from the NM Dept. of Health saying I was eligible for my COVID vaccine! Apparently it was teacher day because a lot of my college colleagues also got appointments!

I tried to log on. It said I was not registered.

Well, that was clearly wrong, as they are the ones that sent me an alert and that would not happen if I had not already registered. I went to my computer instead of my phone and got everything typed in correctly and whew, I was in.

I went to the schedule a shot area, and entered all the information and my event code then it said I was NOT eligible for a shot today.

So I sent a text.  I sent an email.  I tried seven more times. 

I got in!  I got an appointment!

I got to the vaccination site about fifteen minutes before my appointment.  There were LOTS of people there to get vaccinated and lots of people helping out.  

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Feb 262021
 

By Patty Wilber

I was trying to figure out what to write about and somehow I got to thinking about how far I rode each day, and then I thought about the free phone app, Equilab

I have not used it all that much and I have a more to learn about it, but it really is pretty fun.

I do know that it does not track well if my phone is on airplane mode.  I get maps with major portions estimated as straight lines, and the mileage is WAY off.

 I am not 100% certain of its accuracy when my phone has mobile data turned off, either, but it does make cool maps without a ton of estimated straight lines when mobile data is off and also gives fun statistics, and the base version is, did I mention? FREE!

I have been having trouble, I realized a few days ago, with my new phone not staying connected to our Wifi and I ate up almost all the mobile data I had been rolling over, IN ONE MONTH, and then I about ran out this month, so mobile data is currently off until the 1st and I could not test Equilab with and without mobile data on.

But! Still fun!

This is one view of a workout I had with Lucy in the arena. 

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Feb 192021
 

By Patty Wilber

After the first part of the storm.

On Saturday 2/13 in the afternoon, it was 50 degrees F, and I rode Joey and pushed some cows while Heidi rode Lucy so Joey had a mentor (and she practiced other stuff on Lucy). Then, I had a fine time working my two yearling bovines with Lucy out in the pasture. She had some fun moves! We also practiced slides-getting up to about 10 feet semi consistently…

When I was done, Heidi noted that I’d lost a bell boot off Lucy. Heidi offered to cool out Lucy and they spent a good long time searching for that thing! It is black. Looks a lot like dried cow manure. It is still missing, but Lucy appreciated the cool out. (Thanks, Heidi!).

Then it was Landon’s turn. He was very focused and cadenced and long-strided! This was wonderful, all by itself, but even more impressive because the wind got colder and colder and began to really whip across the plain as the edge of the Polar Vortex event started moving in. He rode the same the whole ride!

Heidi helped me untack and get ready to go. To load, I held the heavy trailer door against the wind and she led them in. Then we went to see the baby lambs. They are just a few days old and are, of course, darling. One of them may well end up in my freezer at the end of the year, as have two previous Tucker lambs.

You know, I am perfectly fine not having a close personal relationship with my dinner meat. I will avoid socializing with them as they get closer to market weight.

The lambs had a heat lamp and were possibly headed into the house for the Polarized night.

I drove Heidi back up to the house and, disaster was barely averted, by sheer luck. I grazed a (marked and covered) major water outlet with the trailer. I was blabbing to Heidi and did not even see it. If I had busted it….just as the Big Freeze was blowing in…. I shudder to think. Whew.

When I got home to our place, in a rincon, at the base of the Sandia Mountains, there was very little wind and it was not yet so cold. Only twenty miles from the Tucker’s, but what a difference!

In February 2011, we had a longer Polar Event with temperatures as low as -25 F.  There was snow but not a lot of wind. No horses were blanketed and none were cold.

Horses have a counter current circulation system in their legs, so as the colder blood returns from the legs to the body, it goes right by the hot blood coming down. This helps warm the returning blood. Dry horses, out of the wind, with a good winter coat and adequate feed can withstand very cold conditions  (-30 to -40 F), according to Heather Scott Thomas.   

This time, snow, along with strong winds were forecast, which had me a little concerned.

Jim had topped off all the water including the 500 gallon stock tanks, and by 8pm the temperature was falling, as was the snow.

Three horses were blanketed (two are always blanketed for show coat purposes and I just felt better blanketing the third, although I suspect he would have been fine).

I fed extra hay for the night, but while we have shelters, we do not have stalls, so everyone was “out”.

In the morning it was 3.4 degrees F (slightly warmer than predicted), and we had 5 inches of snow.

The horses were, as usual, NOT under shelter. They were standing in the falling snow with snow sprinkles on their backs. I think it is so amazing that in 3 degree weather, the horse’s coat is so insulative that snow just an inch from the horse’s warm skin does not melt because so little heat is escaping! No wonder they can withstand such cold temps!

No one was shivering!

And, in another interesting bit of physics, NONE of the water tanks were frozen, despite hours at sub freezing temperatures.

Mushy snow insulation on the water tank. You can see the nose holes!

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Feb 122021
 

By Patty Wilber

On our way home from the 2020 Appaloosa World Show, Shelley said we should stop at a metal art shop.  Good choice!  I bought the Pink Flamingo! (You never need a reason to buy a pink flamingo.)

I am quite enamored of the Pink Flamingo, so, what the heck, I bought shirt to match!

Last weekend, The New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association had a shaggy show and I had the chance to use it.  It is a fun shirt to wear! It made people smile!

Lucy and me in the pink flamingo shirt with a horse head coming out of my buttock! Photo from the NMBHA Facebook page. I think Craze took it, but am not sure.

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