May 082015

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.

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May 012015

By Patty Wilber

Shedding in the spring is a long and hairy trip! Mojo started dropping his coat in early March and the others a bit later.

Winter coat growth (which really starts to show on my horses about mid September just in time for the State Fair Show) is stimulated by decreased day length (photoperiod if you want science speak) and declining temperature.  Spring shedding is induced by increasing photoperiod and increasing temperature.

Blanketing a horse, keeping it in a heated barn, and keeping it under lights for no less than 16 hours per day fools the endocrine system into thinking it might be summer.  The result is a shiny sleek coat even in the gloom of winter. Of course in New Mexico we have 300 days of sunshine so we don’t actually have a lot of gloom, but we do have cold.

We can also grow some hairy horses! 

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Apr 242015

By Patty Wilber

The Canyon: 5 stars
Traveling companions and food: 5 stars
Campsite: 2.5 stars
Camper: 3.5 stars
Riding trails: 3 stars

Entering the Palo Duro Canyon.

Entering Palo Duro Canyon.

Palo Duro State Park is about 27,000 acres in size and 30 miles south of Amarillo. The Texas high plains extend for miles in all directions as we left eastern New Mexico on I40. We hit Amarillo and dropped south-ish for 30 miles, and then suddenly The Canyon yawned in front of us.  Stunning. 5 stars.

no words needed.

This may not be the place to bring your horse, but if you want hiking and mountain biking there are lots of opportunities.

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Apr 102015

By Patty Wilber

We left all the horses at home and went to California last weekend to visit Progeny #2 and his Significant Other.

We had a blast wine tasting, hiking, and going to the Channel Islands.

California Sea Lions

California Sea Lions that we saw on the way to Santa Cruz Island

We got there via the Island Packers –on a boat. I am a little iffy on boats–  I have been known to barf.

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Apr 032015

By Patty Wilber

Appaloosa color genetics are influenceded by three genes: The LP gene, Patn1 and Patn2.  The LP gene controls the varnish roan color and this gene is required for the Patn1 and Patn2 genes to be expressed.  Addition of the Patn1 and/or Patn2 to the LP results in spots.  Check out this site.  It has a horse color genetics interactive pictorial thingie where you can add in the color genes you want and it spits up a horse of the color and patterns you chose! There are lots of combos to create!

I guess LT is LP  (so she can have an appy coat pattern) and Patn2–spots on her butt.  She got these genes from her dad.  Her mom was a chestnut quarter horse and would not have the LP, Patn1 or Patn2.  LT, however does NOT have a blanket.  Spots but no blanket, is not covered in the website above. She also apparently has the champagne gene (it is covered above) which makes her super shiny.

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Mar 272015

By Patty Wilber

I really like colt starting and right now have a three year old that has three “saddles”.  Wait! Make that four saddles because I saddled him twice on Wednesday since he got a little tense on the first go. Oh, and there was the day I put a bareback pad on him and the day I saddled him but I didn’t get on.  Do those count? That would be six?

Brownies first day wearing a saddle

Brownies first day wearing a saddle (and some ropes).

When people say “he has ten saddles”, I have always assumed they mean rides.  So, then I’d have to down grade to two.  The first day I actually got on him, I just sat there. No real riding.

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Mar 202015

By Patty Wilber

Went to Lubbock last weekend for the Pan Handle Reined Cow Horse Show.  Google map estimated the trip should take about 4 h 47 min (306.0 mi) via I-40 E and US-84 E  by motor vehicle. It took a little longer because we were driving a truck with a camper in the bed and dragging a horse trailer while fighting a strong cross wind.  Ten miles to the gallon. Ugh.

Apparently, if we’d walked it would have taken 99 h.

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Mar 132015

By Patty Wilber

Me, Mary and Donna

Me, Mary and Donna (and Lani the dog)

Last weekend we were lucky to have the chance to be a Way Station for Mary Everhart and Donna Hurst as they were heading  home to Delaware from this leg of Mary’s Epic Adventure.  Her goal is to ride her own horse in every one of the  lower 48 states (the 48 contiguous states), and Donna is helping her get there! They have hit eleven states on this trip to give Mary a total of 28 so far! Continue reading »

Mar 062015

By Patty Wilber

Trailer training is an interesting topic.  There are multiple websites and instructions and clinicians and whisperers that can aid one with getting a horse in a trailer. But if you have a “naive” subject (ok, I just had to throw some random science-speak in there) that is used to humans and access to a  stock trailer, it usually turns out to be pretty easy to get a horse to load.

(Training them to go in every time might be a little trickier.) Continue reading »