Jun 262015

By Patty Wilber

By the time this posts, I should be in Fort Worth at the Appaloosa Nationals with LT. She is entered in Junior Working Cow Horse (Friday evening) and Junior Reining (Sunday afternoon).

To get there, we’ll have to drive.

Fortunately, I have a new UNCRACKED windshield.



When Jim called to set up an appointment to get this replaced, the guy said there were no openings until the following Monday, “but don’t worry, windshields have high integrity and you will be fine until then.”

Jim didn’t tell him the thing had been cracked for the last…oh, maybe, 10 years.

In fact, every vehicle we own has (ok, HAD) a similar view.  The Jeep and truck are fixed and the little blue golf ball Kia (hail dented in 2010) is last on the list.

After:  No cracks and, side benefit, no tiny pits either, so you can actually see when driving into the sun.

This will be good because I will leave at O Dark Thirty and will be headed east for the drive to Fort Worth.

I never remember having cracked windshields in our cars as a kid in Northern California.  Maybe we just had them repaired if there was a problem.

But if lists of such things are kept, I wager that New Mexico might be among the leaders in dinged-up front car windows. We have a lot of dry rocky roadsides and hard bits fling themselves up  and regularly collide with cars. Or maybe the cars driving by help and some days, the wind contributes.

Just the other day, on my way home in the Kia, I passed a guy that was weed-whacking.  Two rocks flew up and… kerCHUNK.  Two more stars on the glass.

The guy ran inside. I didn’t stop because the Kia is next in line for a new view down the road.  If I’d just had the repair, you bet I’d have slammed on the brakes!

Shields engaged.  No dings from here to Fort Worth.


Ann Cuddy Victory Pose for calm focus at the National Show. (Check out her Ted Talk!)


Jun 192015

By Patty Wilber

Why do some horses refuse to participate if they know the rider is a newbie?

Why can some people get on a horse and the connection is almost instant?

Horse sense, of course!

Almost all horses react differently to different riders, but some horses (the “dead broke” kind) may put up with whatever and just do their job.

Others are pretty picky and will do little for riders they perceive as incompetent.

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Jun 122015

By Patty Wilber

For more than 30 years I have lived states away from some of the people I hold the dearest: My parents and siblings.

And now my most amazing kids live states away (California and Hawaii!) (I miss them, but I am so proud they are pursuing their dreams!)

So, when anyone comes to visit, we have to go have some adventures.


Adventure in the Sandias!

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Jun 052015

By Patty Wilber

This picture sums up LT’s gathering attitude when I was riding her (even though this is AFTER we’d got  a bunch in):

Where are we going and how fast can we go?

LT: where are we going and how fast? Me: don’t you ever get tired?

She walked so fast on the second gather of the day (it was a long ride), I got an actual blister on my bum.  That was a first!

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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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