Aug 292014

By Patty Wilber

We have had the best monsoon season in years.  There is greenery that requires once-a-week mowing around our house because those darn weeds try to bolt into seed as soon as we whack ‘em back!  I didn’t whack this one though.

Volunteer Datura near our front door.

Volunteer Datura near our front door.

 I confess I have poisoned, as well as whacked, but as soon as I cause withering and death with some toxic product, the clouds boil up, lightening strikes, thunder rolls, and a whole new set of weedlings make their debut!

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Aug 222014

By Patty Wilber

Some Appaloosa coat patterns change color dramatically over time.  Dilute colors like buckskins tend to vary seasonally.

Here is a set of photos for three horses.  I am kind of sad to say, after all these months snapping, the camera did not do a great job of capturing the changes.  Or it might be *gasp* the photographer’s fault. I should have used the same location and the same  approximate lighting.  Since I really don’t want to wait another year to post this blog, I am going with what I’ve got.

The changes were was more obvious to me in person. But there you go.

Oh and I sold one horse in the middle…!


September, LT

September 2013, LT.  Dapples.

LT, October 2013

LT, October 2013.

LT November 2013

LT, November 2013.

LT, Dec. 2013

LT, Dec. 2013. Note dark on her face.

LT, Jan 2014

LT, Jan 2014.  Dark on her cheek bone.

LT Mar. 2014

LT, Mar. 2014.  Still has the neck and face darkness.

LT April 2014

LT, April 2014.  Not shed out much yet.


LT, May 2014.  Her goat has a shimmer to it, that the camera does nt capture very well.

LT, May 2014. The dark is mostly gone. Her coat has a shimmer to it and is a lot more golden.  The camera does not  capture this  very well, but she looks good in person!


The dapples are coming in. you can sort of see the sheen of her coat. no dark on her neck or face.

LT, early June, 2014. The dapples are coming in. You can sort of see the sheen of her coat. No dark on her neck or face.

LT, Late June, 2014

LT, late June, 2014


LT, Mid-August, 2014

LT, mid-August, 2014.

Lacey, September 2013.

Lacey October, 2013

Lacey, October 2013. Dark winter hair appearing.

Lacey November 2013

Lacey, November 2013.

Lacey, Dec. 2013

Lacey, Dec. 2013.  Darker (and hairy-er)

Lacey, Jan 2014

Lacey, Jan. 2014.  Picture kind of  washed out…


Lacey Mar. 14

Lacey, Mar. 14.  Dark!

Lacey April 2014

Lacey, April 2014.  Dark shedding leaving really pretty, but temporary dapples.


Lacey, May, 2014

Lacey, May, 2014. Mostly shed out–looking a lot more like the September picture.

Lacey June 2014.

Lacey, early June 2014.


Lacey, late June 2014

Lacey, late June 2014


Lacey, August 2014

Lacey, August 2014.  So this coat looks so much lighter than the Late June pic and it is just not.  Picture fail!

Toots as a baby!  You can hardly tell it is her except for the white hind sock!

Toots as a baby! You can hardly tell it is her except for the white hind sock!

Toots September 2013 at 4 yrs old–her legs are dark


Toots, October 2013

Toots, October 2013. Legs lighter.

LT, November 2013

Toots, November 2013

Toots, Dec. 2013

Toots, Dec. 2013.  Much lighter as her longer winter hair is white.

Then I sold Toots…

 So, that gives a rudimentary idea of some seasonal changes in coat color!

Next week I might do fall flowers, some from horseback.


Aug 152014

By Patty Wilber

So this week we separated bulls at the Red Cliff Ranch and put them in a bull pen (a big pasture) to rest up for next breeding season. Or maybe we were just getting them out of the cow’s hair… Either way.

I wonder why it is called the Red Cliff Ranch?

I wonder why it is called the Red Cliff Ranch?

There were  six bulls. Two mature four-year-old bulls and two yearling bulls in with the cow herd (108 cow-calf pairs, about); two yearling bulls in with the 58 heifers (yearling females).

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Aug 082014

By Patty Wilber

When I was a kid, some ol’ cowboy told me that to be considered a “real” horseman, I had to come off at least three times. I started riding a lot at 14 and I am sure I “hit” that mark by 17 or so!  I was fortunate to get on a lot of equines for woman that bred Tennessee Walking Horses and also collected TWHs in need of rescue.  She made us all (I wasn’t the only lucky one) ride bareback.

You must fly three times to redeem your miles for your Horseman's Card! Click to see page.

You must fly three times to redeem your miles for your Horseman’s Card! Click to see page.

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Jul 252014
Might rain!

By Patty Wilber

Might rain!

Might rain!

Almost every afternoon there is a gathering of clouds and a suggestion of rain.  Some days it is a tease and some days, delivery, but for the first year in several, the monsoons arrived, acting “normally” (as if weather has a true “normal”) .

Full water barrels!

Full water barrels!

The dogs can drink and the horses like the rain water we collect for them, too! With this type of water storage, we also got some monsoon mosquitoes–monsquitoes.  Listerine, the latest miracle product, is supposed to kill them in water barrels and repel them if you spray yourself (smells lovely!).  Dryer sheets might work on a person as well. (Have not tried either.)

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Jul 182014

By Patty Wilber

I am sure many of you have a right-off-the-tip-of-your-tongue favorite horse movie, but, I actually don’t …

I like movies, and we go  pretty regularly, but I hardly ever have a strong desire to see a movie twice.


Men in Black

Men in Black


Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest

and neither of those have horses.  They just make me laugh.

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Jul 112014

  By Patty Wilber

As the summer monsoons begin, the fly population goes up. Most horses can manage flies fairly well.  They stamp, they swish, they shake their heads, and the flies are usually nothing more than an annoyance.

Mojo is a different story.  His immune system over-reacts.


The black spots are fly "spots".

The black areas are fly “spots”.

Fly welts--reduced in size from the previous day due to treatment.

Fly welts–reduced in size from the previous day due to treatment.

Our solution?  The Caped Crusader!

He is quite the sight gleaming in the sun!

He is quite the sight, gleaming in the sun!

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Jul 042014

By Patty Wilber

Last weekend was the last New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association show before Sydney heads east to West Virginia for college. She will be studying forensics (Science!  Yay, science!)

She might be able to skip out on a day or two of class and quickly fly back for the August show, which is the last show of the NMBHA 2014 season…

Penny and Sydney June, 2014

Penny and Sydney June, 2014

but maybe not.

Maybe not? WAAAA!


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Jun 272014

By Patty Wilber

Last week I wrote about gathering the moms and calves  at the Red Cliff Ranch (click the link if you missed that one and want to see it) so that they could be branded, and this week will be the branding.  Perhaps the title gave that away.


Up at a sunrise on Sunday, we retrieved a misplaced pair (a cow and a calf) from the heifer (young female cows) pasture and moved the two over the railroad tracks into the pasture with the rest of the moms.   Lacey got up early to help.  This was not her idea, but she didn’t complain too much.

Then we had breakfast.  (More) coffee, biscuits and gravy with sausage and bacon and green chile (we are in NM, after all).  How very western!  (Cue a deep slightly drawly voice-over “Up at dawn, the hard working cowboys and cowgirls on the Red Cliff Ranch move cattle before returning to a hearty breakfast at the bunkhouse.”)

I just made up the “bunkhouse” thing.  We ate at Bill the Manager’s modern, totally normal, stucco (ok it’s “ranch-style”) house.

We all wondered how the heck we were going fork our horses when we were stuffed with biscuits, but we went ahead and waddled out to get them (I used LT this time).

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Jun 202014

By Patty Wilber

I love cows.

I guess I should really say that I love working cows from horseback.

If I get a chance, I will drop most everything to load and go.  Or I am happy to plan ahead as well!

This one was planned (There was even a cook! Luxury!) and Jim and I helped gather and brand last weekend at the Red Cliff Ranch.

Red cliffs!

Red cliffs! Cows!

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