Dec 192014

By Patty Wilber

As you drive out Hwy 550 from Bernalillo, NM, to the west, there is a sign that says  “Ojito Wilderness”. It is in a bad-land-ish area and has always piqued my interest.

So, last Friday, we went.

Mary Ann and Tulip

Mary Ann and Tulip–Ok so the world is tipping a little.

We had no real clue (being mapless and all) where the good spot was, so while we thought there was an equestrian parking area in about six miles, it turns out that was a different entrance.  We drove until we reached a washout (nine miles in) we felt we could not comfortably cross (a road grader fixed it while we were riding) and we parked on the side of the road.

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Dec 052014

 By Patty Wilber

Last weekend we had a Thanksgiving family reunion with everyone in the immediate family and the Significant Others, too!

In case you forgot from last week what that looked like: 

The family in California!!

Erika (Mark’s SO), Mom, Dad, Rick (Maegan’s fiance), Maegan (Progeny #1), Me, Laurel (niece, Kathy’s Progeny #1) in front, Mark (progeny #2), Jim (Spousal Unit), Kathy (Little Sis), Chris (Kathy’s SU), Maryanne (K’s Progeny #2) in front, Tina (Mike’s SU) and Mike (Little Bro).  Mark’s roommate for all four years from Georgetown was there too, and took this picture!

In just under a month we are all (except Mike and Tina) heading to Hawaii for Rick and Maegan’s wedding!

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Nov 282014

By Patty Wilber

It is a good bet that a lot of us ate turkey (and stuffing and pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes and some other kind of pie and bread and maybe yams or cranberries and yet another other flavor of pie and brussel sprouts) yesterday. Today we may be recovering.


It is probably the case that almost no one ate horse meat.


Well, I thought I saw an article somewhere that there was an increased demand for horse meat for Thanksgiving in Mexico.

Ok, Ok, there is a lot wrong with that statement, so maybe I dreamt it?

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Nov 212014

By Patty Wilber

I have a soft spot for Tennessee Walkers because I leased several from a lady who rescued them when I was in high school. I ended up getting to ride a gob of them.

At Rainbow Ranch. 

Mardigras, a  Tennessee Walker, me and my cousin Amy, in 1977 or so

Mardigras, a Tennessee Walker, me and my cousin, Amy, in 1977 or so.

So, when I got the chance to work with Dusty, it was like old (37 years ago old) times!

Dusty came here at two to get started and he’s back at five for a tune-up.  One thing he needed was a little face-time with cows.

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Nov 142014

By Patty Wilber

A lot went on last weekend: Judged a 4-H show (what a great group of kids and parents!); helped a friend help a woman ride into the Sandias to find the site of her grandfather’s house on an old homestead (found it!)

The corner of the old homestead!
The corner of the old homestead!

and rode with Troy Rogers to continue to improve LT’s skills as a reined cow horse.

Thursday morning the thermometer read 17F at 7 am and I had two lessons scheduled.  At 8:30 am we were up to 18F and the lessons went on. I have some impressively tough clients! Good grief. I think I would have stayed inside.  By 11:30 it was 30F– heat wave…

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Nov 072014

By Patty Wilber

A while back, our neighbor behind us offered to sell a little 1.44 acre strip of land between our back fence and the arroyo.  That seemed interesting, so we starting looking for property in our area so we could understand how much that bit was worth.

The 1.44 acres was behind

The 1.44 acres was along the back (left) of our place. The arena would be at the bottom of this picture but it is cut off below the parking area.

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Oct 312014

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend I took LT (Saturday) and Stetson (Sunday) to the Jack Brainard Clinic at Four Winds Equestrian Center.

Beautiful Stetson and some sideways work!

Beautiful Stetson and some sideways work! Marcia is on  my left with Junior.  Junior stayed at Four Winds and Marcia stayed with us! That was fun!


LT with a dust coming up off her little slide after her little canter (she is a little horse you know!) Like that girl.

LT with a dust coming up off her little slide after her little canter (she is a little horse, you know!) Like that girl.

Four Winds is located about 30 miles south of Tijeras on Hwy 337 (Old S 14 if you’ve been around awhile).  It is at a lovely hill-top location with barns, arenas, houses, RV hook-ups, boarding pens and about 200 acres.  The facility was empty for many years and I personally thought it was too remote to be a successful public barn.  I am so impressed with Colleen and John Novotny and the execution of their vision.  Four Winds is busy, beautiful and a really fun place to be.  (I was especially thankful for the indoor arena on Sunday when the wind picked up!) Click the link above for more info on Four Winds.

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Oct 242014

By Patty Wilber

This was probably our last Back Country Horsemen project of the season–paint a bridge.  We were big on painting bridges this year.  This one was right down from our staging site, so we didn’t even get to ride to get there!

We rode later.


Before painting!


After! Keith, Mary Ann, Erin and Siri.

We were very tidy painters. Or not.

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Oct 172014

By Patty Wilber

The sun was just suffusing the sky with light when two cow elk stepped out of the golden-leaved aspen grove into the meadow above the East Tank.  They were 300 yards away and didn’t hear us.  The little herd of cattle did.  They skittered and plowed across the landscape with no grace and lots of noise.  For some reason the elk glanced up and then ignored the cows.

Those two elk moseyed across the meadow: graze, pause, look, walk, out of our range.

As we watched, two more appeared from the forest, but instead of heading across, they stopped to snack.  We crept one step at time, from tree to tree, until Richard, who had the only cow elk tag, moved ahead. Jim and I breathed slowly and held still.  The aspens we were in were sparse enough that we still had a good view.

The first two elk melted away into the trees on the far side of the meadow and the newest two, wary now, heads up and looking away from our position, circled in a high trot.  We thought they were going to leave, but they settled and went back to breakfast.  Richard sighted in.

Only one elk disappeared into the trees.

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