Horse around new mexico aprilmay 2017

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Million Acres of Public Land for Your Vacation Pleasure




It's what should happen before he gets in the trailer






From Relaxin' It To Roughin' It 18 Find your horse vacation style 21 Get Your Outfit On

Three outfitters invite you into the wilderness

22 Go Public

Venture out on Forest Service and BLM land

24 Before The Load

Get yourself and your horse prepped for trailer loading

26 Avoid The Burn

Steps to prevent and treat rope burns

28 Home On The Road 29 Capture The Spirit


32 Develop Your Conformation Eye

36 Vacation/Travel Directory

From bumper pull to fully equipped, find your perfect trailer Tips from a pro on how to photograph your horse What to look for to know if a horse is built right

34 Tips For Basic Body Work

Help your horse feel more comfortable with these steps


35 Horse Services Directory 37 April/May Events 38 Try This Trail Near Las Cruces

Horse Around New Mexico is printed six times per year: Feb/Mar, Apr/May, Jun/Jul, Aug/Sep, Oct/Nov, & Dec/Jan. Submissions of articles and photos from all around NM are welcome! See our website or email/call for submission standards/deadlines:,, 505-570-7377. Horse Around New MexicoŠ2017. All rights reserved. Horse Around New Mexico and are copyrighted, trademarked, and the sole property of Cecilia Kayano. Individual content copyright belongs to the author. All the opinions expressed herein are the sole opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect bias or belief on the part of the editor, publisher, distributors, printer, advertisers, or other contributors.

I usually spend all my horse vacation time in New Mexico, but when the temps in my hometown of Pecos drop to the single digits, I cry uncle and head to warmer climates to get myself and my horses in shape for spring riding. In February I spent three weeks horse vacationing in Arizona and southwestern New Mexico with my gaited horses Lance and Consuelo. Here are my top ten vacation highlights: 10. The departure-morning green chile breakfast burrito purchased from Griego's Phillips 66 (in Pecos). Green chile...I will miss you! 9. Two-steppin' at the historic Oracle Inn, AZ, with Delford (from Kansas), who dances so subtly, kind of like he trains horses. He points, you go. No questions. 8. Cantering the single-track S-curves at Catalina State Park with Tracie and Stan (from Georgia). Tracie was ahead of me, dropped her reins, outstretched her arms and flew around the corners. Freedom. 7. Meeting Jack, Becky, Dwight, Julie and Ken at the Tombstone Livery Stable. When I drove in, they came out to greet me, then invited me for burgers and fresh-baked blackberry pie. Are all people from the Midwest so welcoming? 6. Riding Lance to view petroglyphs near the town of Tombstone. When we got there, three Frenchmen on horseback were marveling at the petroglyphs. We chatted, and they wanted to see a gaited horse do a 4-beat gait. So Lance and I cantered, paced and trotted up and down the wash to give them an example of what not to do. 5. Having a margarita at the pretend western town of the Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch. I tied up to the hitching rail and busted open the saloon doors, just like in the movies. The bar in the saloon came from Germany, and the tequila came from Mexico. Goes to show you that you can get ice in the desert. 4. Seeing the sign on the top of a pass on State Route 78. The two-lane road from Arizona switchbacks over barren, cactus-filled hills as it climbs to over 6,000 feet. At the top there is a Welcome to New Mexico True sign, and right there the foliage becomes dense with mixed conifer. Then the road drops down into my beloved New Mexico, with huge vistas, grasslands and arroyos running with spring water. Breathtaking. 3. Going on a 2-hour trail ride with the owner and crew of U-Trail's Horseback Adventures headquartered in Glenwood, NM. We crossed the clear waters of the San Francisco River, then crested a ridge that gave endless views of the Gila Mountains, and to the west, the Blue Mountains. In classic New Mexico cowboy style, Jim and the wranglers hardly said a peep, or maybe no words were needed. 2. Driving from Reserve to Datil and viewing the Plains of St. Augustine. I was in the middle of reading about this area in Agnes Morley Cleaveland's book No Life for a Lady, and I could envision the author riding her horse (sidesaddle) across these plains in the late 1800s.



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1. Being home with my horses. I had spent three weeks with Lance and Consuelo and grown much more connected to them. They had taken care of me, carrying me over deserts, through washes and onto ridge tops. They never quit, never failed me, except Lance and his botched gaiting demonstration to the Frenchmen. If this is your year to try a horse vacation, go for it! I guarantee you will meet great people, experience the beauty of nature and grow closer to your horse.

Cecilia Kayano Next Issue: Trail Riding Well-written, informative articles and high-resolution photos are welcome. Submissions will be considered and are subject to editing. The next issue, the Trail Riding Issue, will appear at New Mexico outlets on June 1, 2017. The deadline for submissions is April 20, 2017. The deadline for ads is May 5, 2017. For information contact Cecilia Kayano, HANM Editor, 505-570-7377, HorseNewMexico@,

Need more trail riding details, horsey events and equine inspiration? Check out our expanded Facebook page. Make sure to like us! e nd, standing on th ds in the backgrou McDermott.) 4 en fri n wa Io r ou th hoto by Jack Lance and I wi bstone, Arizona. (P main street of Tom

COVER: RĹ?ni Merbler and Smooth splash around during a vacation at Jack Creek's campground. Photo by Cecilia Kayano.

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The Horse Shelter’s Fundraising Auction & Luncheon Sunday, May 21 11 am - 3 pm

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"Getting out of the same old environment brings new challenges that build trust. The everyday 'mind clutter' is left behind. The focus is on enjoying your horse and the amazing scenery." SHANNON COBB WITH LIL AT TAOS HORSE GETAWAYS



18 HORSE AROUND | Apr/May 2017 |

Linda March gets Sadie, a mustang belonging to Anna Bowser, ready for a trail ride at N Bar Ranch. "I like horse vacationing because I get to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the wilderness via horseback. It's special time with horses and good friends."


hen you load up your horse, your stuff and some dog-eared maps, where do you head? Are you looking for adventure? A social weekend with good friends? The chance to explore a corner of the state you’ve never seen before? Some high-octane riding? A return to a favorite spot with familiar trails?

Vacation choices galore

The great thing about living and riding in New Mexico is our state offers every kind of riding vacation a horse person can dream up. You can work cattle on a real ranch (or one of the dude variety!), pack along the Continental Divide, ride the country that inspired Georgia O’Keefe or spend your riding day at 12,000 feet and dine in a gourmet restaurant that night. Solitude is easy to come by on horseback in New Mexico and so is a party. You can spend your down time learning a new skill (ranch sorting, roping, barrel racing, you name it). You can kick back and give your horse a horse vacation during your vacation. You can even spend your vacation time doing good. When I first started trail riding I tried everything. A couple of years in a row, I joined a group ride of about 35 riders exploring a huge ranch near the Gila, did two cattle roundups at the same place, developed a working understanding of a canyon system or two, tried the highaltitude trails around Taos. Since I didn’t have an LQ, my horse vacation style was largely determined by whoever I was traveling with. On occasion, I slept in the back of horse trailers, once memorably in

Author Peggy Conger has changed her horse camping style several times over the years, including a stint in the back of her bumper pull. Now she prefers a roomy tent with a cot.

sub-freezing weather, and once when a cat of unknown size and species (okay, maybe it was a housecat) decided to go walkabout on the roof at three in the morning.

The trial and error phase

But venturing out in search of a horse vacation style can bring equal measures of joy and unexpected predicaments. Once, a friend was trying to arrange a ride for a large group at a small guest house. Every trailer and horse we added caused the cash register to go ka-ching and the owner of the place to add new conditions, worries and agitation. We finally opted for another location. On another ride we were set up in the middle of a huge cow pasture, which we only discovered when a herd of 200 cattle wreaked a bit of mayhem in camp.

Finding your vacay style

If I learned anything in those years of experimentation (beyond the fact that tarps do a lot to dress up the back of a horse trailer), it’s that your style is going to evolve. Here are examples of perfect vacations matched to personality and preferences. •

Miyo, a good lone rider friend of mine recently decided that what she really loves on a horse vacation is a social scene: Meeting other riders, exploring new trails, finding community (and a lot of laughs) these days is more rewarding than tackling the trail on her own.

My friend Elle and her boyfriend love to ride hard. Six or seven hours in the saddle, much of it at a good pace, is their dream deal. “But the last thing we want to do is worry about food, cooking and setting up or taking down camp,” she says. So they look for guest ranches, horse-friendly B and Bs, or even overnight horse motels with good hotels nearby. That way they can focus on their rides and relax when the day is over.

As anyone who has competed in horse shows or competitive trail rides knows, you can set up a nice little vacation around your favorite competition. The many pluses: lots of fun pursuing your horse sport, a built-in group of like-minded horse people, lots of support if you run into trouble of any kind and a horsefriendly location.

But for newbie horse vacationers, everything you experience helps you find what really rings your bell when it comes to traveling with your horse. And the greatest thing about that is New Mexico can pretty much accommodate whatever you get your heart set on. My trial and error period ended up with me buying a six-person tent (yes, just for me!) that I trick out with a cot, a thick mattress, comforters, a table, a lamp and a camp chair. This glamping set-up fits right in the back of my Ford Expedition, gives a perfect blend of camping and comfort and was a whole lot easier on my budget than a bigger truck and a gooseneck trailer. | Apr/May 2017 | HORSE AROUND


If you are a luxury seeker, guest ranches are a great option for a lot of horse fun. Usually the owners have a list of things you would never be able to see or access on your own and most places pride themselves on terrific food and ambiance. Some offer cattle work or other ranch skills. If you want to bring your own horse, be sure to check in advance. Some guest ranches don’t accommodate outside horses; others readily welcome them. If you are looking to access the millions of acres of public lands in New Mexico, you can make your own way on BLM land or base out of horse camps in any of New Mexico’s five National Forests. (See story, page 22.) If semi-roughing it is your style, outfitters are another option. In the offseason summer months, many outfitters offer trail rides. They’ll set up camp and cook for you every night and these guides know the back country. You can sign on to learn

pack trip skills, tracking, leave no trace and other back country skills. •

If doing good is where your heart is, you can join service groups such as Back Country Horsemen or New Mexico Mounted Search & Rescue. You won’t be on vacation by any stretch when you go out with either of these groups, but you will be on horseback -- with a mission. Back Country Horsemen is dedicated to maintaining and improving trails and their efforts involve packing tools and materials to work sites and putting in many hours clearing, repairing and improving trails all over the state. NMSAR members are on call to search for people reported lost in remote areas. NMSAR members commit to lots of training and go on searches at all hours and in all kinds of weather.

So what is your flavor when it comes to horse vacations? If you are still in the sampling stage, here is a short list of options you can try right here in the Land of Enchantment.


Group rides/ competitions:

Horse motels:

Labor Day Trail Ride, Chihenne Ranch: zianet. com/4jranch Loving Thunder Trail Ride Competition: lovingthunder. com

Kiva Horse Motel, Bernardo: Copper Penny Ranch, Alamagordo: Carter Stables, Farmington:

Guest ranches:


Creek Ranch, Santa Rosa: Concho Hills Guest Ranch, Magdalena: conchohillsranch. com Starrynight Ranch, Llaves:

Arroyo Outfitters: Nancy Burch’s Roadrunner Tours: Wolfhorse Outfitters: Utrail's Horseback Adventures:

Bed and barns: Chaco Lodge Hacienda Bed & Breakfast: Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu:

Service groups: Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico: New Mexico Mounted Search & Rescue: nmmsar. org

For a comprehensive list of New Mexico vacation destinations, see page 36.

Horse Around NM Associate Editor Peggy Conger is a writer, editor, blogger and trail rider. She rides an adopted mustang and a quarter horse. She can be reached at A big incentive for horse vacationing is meeting like-minded people: horse lovers who want to have fun. Here a group from New Mexico, Texas, California and Kansas put on an impromptu Fourth of July parade at Jack's Creek Campground.

20 HORSE AROUND | Apr/May 2017 |




ave you ever dreamed of packing into the wilderness, but felt ill-equipped, not just because you couldn’t tie a diamond hitch, but because your emotions weren’t in check? It could be scary. Well, yes! Packing with a string of horses and mules, navigating tricky trails and setting up a safe, secure horse camp, requires volumes of knowledge and experience. A good way to get hands-on experience is to book a horse vacation with an outfitting guide service. Here are three of our state’s best, each offering different terrain and areas of expertise to help you realize your dream horse vacation.

U-Trail's, Glenwood

Jim Mater owns U-Trail's Horseback Adventures on the edge of the Gila Wilderness. He offers pack trips into the Gila and Blue Mountains with focuses on wilderness archeology (cliff dwellings, petroglyphs) and mule packing. The trails in the Gila Wilderness, our state’s largest with 558,000 acres, can be tricky. There are narrow passages, steep up and down grades and numerous river crossings. Women packers Jim says that 75% of his customers are women. He theorizes that women are looking to expand their horizons and try new things. He has seen changes in women after a packing trip. “They grow in confidence. At the end of the pack trip, they have done so much problem solving. They start to feel they can take control of their backcountry experience.” Handling wrecks Leaning to pack safely doesn’t just happen, and it should be something you do with caution. Jim firmly believes that you should not go into the wilderness without training because there are so many things that could go wrong. For example, “You should always start with just one horse or mule and build experience. Then add another, always having only one inexperienced animal on your string. Packs could slip, animals could start bucking. There will be wrecks,” he says. And when that happens, keeping emotions under control is critical. “Your own fatigue and panic alone can cause problems. You’ve got to be prepared to see animals get in trouble. You must remain calm. In most cases, they will be OK.”

Nancy Burch’s Roadrunner Tours, Angel Fire

Nancy Burch has been outfitting for over 30 years. Her business is located 30 minutes from Taos, and trips are located mainly in the Carson National Forest and the Valle Vidal. She also offers trips on private ranch land. Many are custom made, including a ladies’ 5-day adventure that teaches basic horsemanship, then provides an exciting ride up to a wilderness hunting cabin. Terrain is high elevation, with numerous parks, streams, tall timber and vistas. Reconnection Nancy says her customers are a mixed bag. She gets groups of women, families, couples and singles. What they do share is a need to unplug and re-connect with Mother Nature. “We need to reconnect with family, friends and nature. We have to allow our senses to rest and listen to the sounds and smells of nature. To me, when you ride a horse out in the wilderness, everything in your mind goes away, and you don’t even know it, because you are engulfed in natural beauty.” Authenticity As an outdoors woman and packer, Nancy knows she is a role model, and not just to women. She hopes to inspire all of her guests to be confident and skilled, to know nature, horses and high adventure. Her guides are both men and women, and they have profound influence on her guests. “It's important to meet authentic people, people who do their job not for money, but because we love what we do.” The staff is skilled at back country packing and camping and readily share their skills. “Customers come away with a newfound pride. They are proud they learned something new.”

Arroyo Outfitters, Cuba

James Casaus, “Bird,” grew up in the back woods of Cuba, New Mexico, in a cattle ranching family. He got his first job as a guide when he was 17. Bird guides mostly hunting trips in the San Pedro Parks Wilderness, but is now offering horseback pack trips and drop camps. He often starts the 3-day trips from San Gregorio Reservoir, then rides into the Wilderness. Trails can be challenging there, with numerous park crossings which may have mucky bogs. Having grown up in this area, Bird is an expert on the intricate trail system. Survival skills Bird's main emphasis is teaching survival skills. His customers often have very little of this knowledge, so he spends time instructing and teaching by example. Way outside the zone of comfort Arroyo Outfitters guests are usually those looking for a different type of vacation. Many of them want to be in the wilderness, but have never ventured there. They are curious, not just about what the wilderness is like, but about whether they have the ability to handle a horse, pack in and set up camp. "People who live in the suburban areas, they don’t have much experience in the forest. But they see it on TV and in magazines, and suddenly a wilderness pack trip gets added to their bucket list," says Bird. Change your life No matter the outfitter you chose, know that your life will be changed. Jim, Nancy and Bird all say that customers come away with profound experiences. Some buy a horse. Some quit their jobs. Some put together mule strings and go out on their own. “Men and women both need this. It changes their lives,” says Nancy. | Apr/May 2017 | HORSE AROUND

n 21

Go Public This season, venture out and start exploring our state’s 24 million acres of Forest Service and BLM land


Areas like this in the Carson National Forest near Jawbone Mountain have few trail markers but distinct trails. The solitude and scenery make riding here popular for those who want to get off the beaten path. Pictured are Johnny MacArthur riding his Appaloosa mare Feather with his border collie Blaze. (Photo by Pam MacArthur.)


Is there a big difference between riding in one of New Mexico’s five National Forests or in areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management? They’re all part of our state’s 24 million magnificent acres of public land, after all. But there are different approaches to the way these lands are managed and unique characteristics to each that can make a difference to your ride. The trick is to know your level of comfort in various wild-land conditions, know the kind of ride you want, and be willing to do a little research and prep to ensure a successful trip. In New Mexico, there are five national forests: the Gila in the southwest, the Lincoln in the southeast, the Santa Fe and Cibola in the central portions of the state, and the Carson in the north, and there are four BLM districts: the Albuquerque District in the west and central, the Las Cruces District in the southwest, the Farmington District in the north, and the Pecos District in the east and

southeast. BLM field offices and USFS ranger districts are regionally distributed throughout these national forests and districts.

The main difference: horsefriendly trails and campsites The first difference between USFS and BLM lands is the number of established, marked, horse-friendly trails and campsites you’ll find. USFS lands have many more well-marked trails and more miles of trails that meander through forests and higher elevation terrain. Many of these trails cross wilderness areas and are thus free of off-road vehicles, mountain bikes, motorcycles and shooting ranges. USFS lands also host more campsites with horse amenities, such as corrals and trailer parking. On the other hand, camping and trail use restrictions are more prevalent on USFS lands. Going off trail is discouraged or prohibited and back country camping is

not allowed in sensitive ecological areas such as lake basins. If you are going to camp with your horse in the backcountry, there are also specific rules for high-lining and bringing in forage. If you search BLM field office websites and use the recreation links, you can find equestrian-friendly trails in BLM wilderness areas or other recreation areas on BLM lands. However, established trails that are suitable for horses are fewer and far between, and while BLM recreation areas may have adequate trailer parking, they rarely have any other equestrian amenities. BLM trails are generally less well-marked and what developed trails you do find often cover shorter distances. On the pro-side, restrictions on BLM lands are fewer: you can generally camp where you want and, particularly in dispersed recreation areas, there may be no trail restrictions which means

you can head off in any direction. But fewer restrictions also mean more use by wheeled recreationists. Motorcycles, ORVs and mountain bikes are often found using dispersed recreation areas on BLM lands. Gun enthusiasts also love to use BLM lands for target practice.

A mixed bag of adventure, vistas and fences BLM lands that are available for dispersed recreation may appeal to the adventurous rider who isn’t afraid to pull out a map or set up a few waypoints. The lower elevation landscapes and broad vistas make it easier to navigate existing trails, or perhaps head out cross-country to intersect with an old two-track that you know (from pouring over the land status map and Google Earth images before the ride) will bring you back around to your trailer eventually. If you choose a ride like this, you must feel comfortable with your navigation skills and have a good understanding of the land status in the area you are riding. More often than not, sections of State Trust land or private land are embedded in a big swath of BLM land, and their boundaries can present detours. It’s not uncommon to come across fences, locked gates, and cattle guards, or natural obstacles, such as deep ravines or bands of wild horses. The best way to avoid frustrating detours is to have a land status map of the area you are riding, and also checking with your local BLM field office to get an update on conditions and access. BLM Land Status Maps are available from field

offices; USFS National Forest maps are available from ranger districts.

Getting there The second big difference between riding on BLM and USFS lands is accessibility. There are two aspects of accessibility. One is the number and condition of roads available to get where you want to go with your rig, and the other is proximity. USFS lands tend to have fewer roads crossing them, but the roads that do cross them or access them are typically better maintained and have unimpeded public rights-of-ways. BLM lands can be literally criss-crossed with improved roads, dirt roads and two-tracks; however, getting to a trail head or chosen riding area can be tricky as many of the roads on BLM land are not well maintained and can be sandy, deeply rutted or just plain missing in places. Public rights-of-way can sometimes be fenced or gated because of surrounding private land or public land leases (such as cattle grazing or minerals development) preventing access to your planned route. Again, if you do your research beforehand using land status maps and Google Earth, and check with your field office, you will be well informed on route options and access. I like to drive to these areas without a horse and trailer first to scope out the overall conditions.

In our backyards BLM lands tend to occur in the areas between municipalities, villages and cities in the lower elevations of New Mexico. Because most of us live in towns

or cities, BLM land can be the obvious choice if you want to find big stretches of open space close by. USFS lands, being at higher elevations, are more remote, generally requiring longer drives and perhaps an overnight stay.

Take care of land, self, others No matter what public lands riding adventure you decide on, a few basic rules should be followed. First, always follow a “leave no trace policy” and respect wildlife and other sensitive ecological or culturally significant areas. Second, be prepared for weather changes or other unexpected field conditions, especially at higher elevations. Third, do your research. Use Google Earth before heading out so you have an image of the land. Take a map and compass, and a GPS unit if you have one. These tools are essential for most rides on unfamiliar trails. Let someone know where you are riding and when you expect to return. Finally, respect other users. Human beings share a common need to connect with the natural world and open spaces, whether it is on a horse or a mountain bike. Public lands provide spectacular venues for this connection and are a privilege for recreationists, no matter what your passion. Luckily for those of us who live in the New Mexico, there is plenty of public land to share.


Celia Cook lives in Edgewood, and is married with two girls ages 13 and 17. She works as a wildlife biologist for a Santa Fe environmental consulting firm. Celia is a life-long conservationist and wildlife advocate. She has ridden, owned and trained her own horses for over 30 years.

LEFT: When riding on public land, you may come across cattle and horses. These free-range horses were on BLM land near Caballo Lake State Park. They were friendly, curious and obviously well cared for. RIGHT: Author Celia Cook and Fahil on a solo ride at Pecos Baldy Lake on Forest Service wilderness land. Celia took this photo with a self timer. "It was my first time there. So much fun!" 23 | Apr/May 2017 | HORSE AROUND

"Knowing that a metal box is far from a 'natural' habitat for a horse, and that we will then hurl ourselves and our horses down the road at 60 MPH, just barely missing oncoming traffic by a few feet, is asking a lot!" Mark Rashid

Before a horse can load easily and with confidence, he needs to know that he can trust you and that the trailer won't hurt him.




As spring riding and traveling approaches, some of us may have a feeling other than elation. We may be nervous, oftentimes because our horse does not load easily or has not been loaded for months. Asking a horse to get in an enclosed box to zip down the interstate is a huge, scary request. Here, three New Mexico horse trainers share their thoughts about preparing a horse to load.

What is the biggest misconception about teaching a horse to load? Erica Hess: There are two misconceptions–first, that there is anything natural about it, and second, that is a good idea to do it without any guidance. Rudy Lara, Jr: I believe the biggest misconception on training a horse to load is that it can be done quickly. A lot of people or trainers try to rush the horse and are focused more on the horse loading rather then letting the horse gain confidence in himself. Owners or trainers may worry about getting the horse in or force them in rather than letting the horse go in by himself. Daniel Watson: People think they can load infrequently, that it is a skill learned, and forever remembered. They don't load

their horses enough. You should load just to load, to keep your horse ready to load. What is loading really all about? Erica: It’s one of the requirements of belonging to this horse-human herd (for reasons we all understand). And, it is the quintessential test of your working bond. Loading requires your horse to have all the elements that create this wonderful connection: Trust, focus, positive anticipation, unity, leadership and value for the horse Rudy: Loading, like anything else, is something you do with your horse that requires confidence and trust between horse and the rider. If he does’t trust you it will be difficult for you to get him into the trailer.

24 HORSE AROUND | Apr/May 2017 |

Daniel: Loading is about getting the horse to trust you so much, it does something that is against its nature. It is one of the hardest things for a horse to learn. They don't like confined spaces, and the floor does not look solid to them. They see all the open space beneath the floor and they need to trust that it will hold them. How do you get your horse to achieve this ultimate trust? Erica: Ideally I will set this up over longer periods of time so that I can make the best use of the horse’s natural curiosity. My main goal is to help him feel good about this experience and for him to agree to every step along the way, just as if he were signing a line

in our contract! I am careful throughout the sessions to offer the horse the exact energy he needs to feel confident, and if he shows sign of stress (does not agree), I’ll take him away from the trailer. Rudy: Before you try to load your horse, you need to be able to have a good handle on them. They should be able to do simple exercises with you. You need to have a good relationship with your horse and they need to know you are their leader and they can trust you. It is in their nature to always look for the leader. Once you can establish leadership the trust, confidence, and everything else will come along. And remember horses are claustrophobic so by sending them into a dark and confined place, they will oftentimes get nervous. Daniel: Take the time it takes for the horse to be comfortable with the idea of the trailer before you start to load him. The horse needs to be broke and leading well. He has to demonstrate trust by following you–through narrow gates, over boards on the ground. Trust can also be built by sending the horse in circles by the trailer door. Never push them past their comfort zone. Start in small increments, by asking them to put their head in the trailer, then a foot. Let them smell the trailer floor. Never push a horse

and never get in a fight. Never break the trust a horse has in you. How much time should you give yourself/your horse/ the trainer? Erica: As much time as it takes. It will be different for every horse and human. I think it’s a great idea to include some of this training in small increments as a regular part of their training program. Usually horse owners start too late! Rudy: The sooner the better! As soon as you can handle your horse with a halter, it is good to start teaching them how to load into the trailer. You need to have patience and let them figure out what you are asking. I always send my horses in rather then getting in the trailer with them. Daniel: Start now! There is a lot to learn and it takes trust, timing and skill. Also, it takes different skills for different trailers. A stock trailer requires leading. Slant loads require sending. An enclosed straight load is the most difficult because horses can be afraid of it and refuse to go in. Remember to keep everything low pressure and calm, and get help from a trainer when you need it.


Cecilia Kayano is the owner/editor of Horse Around NM magazine:

Erica Hess is a co-owner of For The Heart of the Horse Sanctuary in Santa Fe. She has been training horses for over 15 years, using liberty training techniques. Rudy Lara, Jr., started training horses in 2009. His specialty is starting colts and re-starting horses. He was the 2nd place winner in the 2016 Horse Shelter Trainer's Challenge. Daniel Watson is a trainer for U-Trail's Horseback Adventures in Glenwood. He helps prepare and guide horse and mule packing trips into the Gila Wilderness.


There are several ways I work with a horse to achieve a harmonious trailer loading experience. I will offer this particular one because it has astounding results and most horses will find the trailer irresistible in time. This method is intended for horses who don't have any unusual fears about trailers. (Inspired by Carolyn Resnick.) Ideally I will set this up over time so that I can make the best use of the horse’s natural curiosity. I am careful throughout the session to offer him the exact energy he needs to feel confident, and if he shows sign of stress I’ll take him away from the trailer.


First introduce the horse to the idea of the trailer by letting them smell, look etc. without any pressure to walk in. Since we always need to start wherever the horse is, it may look completely different from one horse to another. For instance one horse might shy away from the sight of the entire rig while another horse will feel happy to explore the inside with his nose or feet.


Having the horse on a lead line, I open the trailer and let them check out the inside without any pressure to go in. Next I place a bucket of their favorite grain inside at the far end.


Then I make sure he understands that I want him to wait outside. He should be curious enough by now to be facing the inside.


Then I grab him a bite of feed from the bucket all the way at the front of the trailer and walk it back to him slowly. I offer him the bite and pause, giving him plenty of time to process what just happened.


Then I wait until the horse shows any sign of interest and repeat the process, but I take even more time getting him another mouthful this time. I usually end the first session here and let him process what’s being offered and asked of him.


In the end your horse will most likely decide to cut out the middle-man (you–the one who is waiting on him, offering him one bite at a time) and jump into the trailer by himself to finish his grain. Horses learn to love going into the trailer this way and usually it will become difficult to keep them out! When it comes to getting out of the trailer, I allow the horse to find the most comfortable and “agreeable” way out. Usually he will turn around in the trailer and head out nose first. Eventually I'll teach him to back out because it may be necessary down the road, but we’ll approach that one step at a time. Most horses aren’t comfortable backing out until they have had a chance to put one foot down to test the distance, so that would simply be our first step. After he’s tried that I’ll let him go back up into the trailer. All we want the first time is to for him to experience the distance to the ground from the trailer. The next time we train in the trailer we might add a little extra time with one foot down on the ground and maybe even his second hind leg, but only if he agrees.



Rope burns are one of the most common injuries when camping with horses. We use ropes of course to connect horses to stationary objects like a tree, the trailer or a post. If we have the bad luck of having those ropes loosen, slip or otherwise entangle the horse, a painful rope burn can result. How rope burns happen

A rope burn damages the tissue in two ways. First, the rope sliding across the skin causes friction heat, resulting in thermal injury. Second, the pressure of the rope abrades the skin. Small particles of rope material also may be left in the wound and must work their way out over time – much like a festering splinter. The lower legs are the most common place for a rope burn to happen, and the pastern is probably the most common location. Gravity encourages ropes to slip down, where they get caught, on the pastern just below the fetlock, the back of the knee or front of the hock. A horse can also sustain a burn from straining against hobbles.

Severity and healing time

Burns are classified by the depth of the tissue damage. Firstdegree burns are superficial, involving only the shallowest damage to the skin and hair. The tissue may be red and swollen. These usually need 2-3 weeks to heal. Second-degree burns remove most layers of the skin, leaving only the base layer that includes sweat gland ducts and hair follicles. Seconddegree burns take 4-8 weeks to heal, and there is typically significant scarring. Third-degree burns go even deeper, destroying all layers of the skin – including the embedded nerves. These wounds are too deep to be painful, and will have significant fluid seeping and potential infection. Fourth-degree burns destroy all layers of the skin, and cause damage to underlying muscle, tendons and bone. Third- and fourth-degree burns may take up to two years to heal. A veterinarian should examine any burn as soon as possible. Complications involving deeper structures (joints, tendons, ligaments or bone) need immediate veterinary treatment if the horse is to return to full function.

How to treat

As with any injury, the first order of business on a fresh rope burn is to provide first aid. •

Clean it thoroughly. Cold hosing or icing the burn will reduce the pain and help quiet the inflammatory process.

After cleaning the wound, a bandage should be placed. The clean, moist environment of a bandage facilitates healing and protects the exposed tissue. Silver sulfadiazine (SSD) cream is considered the best topical treatment for the wound. SSD is used on human burn victims, and is both soothing and antibacterial. Never use peroxide, scarlet oil, nitrofurazone, Cut-Heal, or Blue-Kote, ichthammol or anything else from the feed store that is colored. While these products are intended to decrease infection, they damage fragile new healing tissue of a burn wound.

Expect that, as the burn heals, it can become very itchy. The topical SSD and bandaging will help soothe the itch.

Pain relief such as “bute” (phenylbutazone) or Banamine (flunixin) may be administered to the horse for a few days. Both medications are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and will help reduce inflammation as well as provide pain relief.

Treatment of deeper wounds may include antibiotics to treat or prevent infection. Keep in mind that the burned tissue has a lack of blood supply, so the systemic antibiotics will not have a way of reaching all layers of the wound. This is one of the reasons why a moist, non-toxic, topical antibacterial product (SSD or Vetricyn) is important. Your veterinarian may also need to debride the wound – removing any debris and devitalized tissue – especially for deeper burns. Finally, further treatment for any joint infection or tendon damage may be required.

Preventing Rope Burns/Injury The right training, equipment and habits can help you avoid rope burns and other injuries around the campsite. •

Use cotton ropes – they reduce thermal injury compared to other materials, although they do not eliminate it altogether. Cotton is also less likely to leave particles embedded in tissue. Make sure your horse is desensitized to objects and ropes touching his legs so he is less likely to panic if he becomes entangled. Tie with the right length of rope. Don’t leave a lot of rope between the halter and tie ring/post/highline. A horse should be able to barely touch the ground with its nose. Longer lengths allow the horse to step over the rope, possibly resulting in entanglement.

Examine the area where you tie. If there is any place the horse can get its rope caught (i.e. at the bottom edge of a trailer), it will.

Train your horse to hobble at home if you plan to use them camping.

Never tie your horse with his bridle on, even if there is also a halter. There is too much risk that he can break his jaw if the bit becomes caught on something.

Also do not leave your horse standing with his bridle looped on the saddle horn. If the horse moves or shakes, the bridle can fall and entangle the horse.

Make sure you are tying your horse to something very secure.

Don’t high-line with the saddle on. The horn can get caught.

Tie using a quick-release knot.

After the burn

Long-term, a scar may impede the horse’s function. Keeping the healed scar tissue moist and pliable while encouraging movement after the wound is closed will help minimize the scar. The scar will remodel over the course of two years and can change throughout the horse’s lifetime. The best chance of rapid healing with your horse returning to soundness function is good first-aid and early veterinary intervention. It is important to understand that these wounds will get worse before they start getting better. Most burns will heal favorably with patience and appropriate treatment.


Stacie G. Boswell, DVM, DACVS is an equine veterinarian in Edgewood, NM. She regularly travels and vacations with her horses. She writes for Horse Around New Mexico because she wants to make lives better for horses and their owners.

No matter where you tie, examine the area. Bottoms of trailers, branches, or a nearby horse are all places your horse could get entangled.




hinking about trying horse camping? To enjoy going places with your horse, you don’t have to own a full living quarters with a freezer for the ice cream. Any horse trailer can provide a shelter and place for you to sleep! Bumper pull Standard gooseneck Let’s start with the smallest bumper pull. Most have a dressing room, but all have a good sized horse area to sleep in! Back when our parents were young, it was kind of normal to travel pulling the horse trailer with a car and sleeping in the back.

Most horse people are so used to, and don’t mind, equine smell. It wouldn’t be a stretch to just sweep the trailer out, lay down a tarp, set up a cot and viola; you’ve got a cozy shelter. Some of my customers haul using 2-horse straight loads, keeping one side neat and tidy to use as a living quarters. Or if you have a slant-load with a large tack room, you can set up a cot in there to make it your private bedroom.

A starting point would be a bare-bones gooseneck with the over-the-truck-bed area forming a built-in bed. These simple goosenecks can be upgraded into something more comfortable by adding insulation and paneled dressing rooms, cabinetry, lighting, awnings, A/C, catalytic and forced air furnaces.

For folks who don’t like to do a lot of maintenance, or be dependent on hookups, there are options available such as self-contained sinks with manual pumps (eliminating the need for power) that drain gray water onto the ground. Bring along a porta potty and you’re all set!

If you plan to add living quarter components to a nonliving quarter’s trailer, make sure the axle and frame weight ratings are designed to handle the extra weight, and that your truck can safely pull (and stop!) that amount of weight. Quite a few times over the years, on “homemade” living quarters, we’ve had to upgrade axles because the trailer’s empty weight has exceeded its designated weight ratings.

Full living quarters

These will normally have most of the comforts of home with 12 and 125 volt power, full appliance selections and more. These must meet safety codes for all states, which add substantially to the cost. On a slant load trailer, the short wall is normally used as the measurement of space. Full living quarters can have a short wall as short 2 feet wall on up to almost 30 feet!

The fancy ones can emulate your home having many of Weekender gooseneck the finest amenities, including These usually have a little fireplaces, satellite media with The other things you need larger-than-standard fine sound output, bath tubs, are a good cooler, a propane dressing room (2 feet to 5 feet heated floors, on-demand hot cook stove and a very warm shortwall) and will often have water heaters, barbecue grills sleeping bag. Try draping and hot water, maybe a shower/ (inside and out) and extrasecuring a tarp over the open toilet combination, gas stove large-screen TVs. Just about parts of your trailer to keep and other small amenities. anything your imagination cold wind out and warmth in. Like the standard goosenecks, can conjure up is possible. The weekenders can be upgraded only real limit would be the for more comfort. depth of your pocket book! 28 HORSE AROUND | Apr/May 2017 |

Needless to say, your truck requirements increase substantially. You may need a larger truck with a more powerful engine. Keep in mind that trailers can get so long they cannot navigate narrow roads, sharp turns or small camping areas. These big boys are mostly used for people on the show circuit, professional cowboys and quite a few other disciplines. We’ve built them for sales people who take their products on the road and of course, auto people, racing, showing and a host of other activities. If you are a first-time trailer purchaser, or upgrading your current horse trailer, the best place to start is in your imagination. What do you want to do? Where do to you want to go, how often, how long? What is important to you – comfort, simplicity? Of course, price is also a major deciding factor. Safety should always be your first prerequisite. From there, let your dream be your guide.


Morey Liebling is the owner of Sandia Trailer Sales and Service in Edgewood. He invites you to call him with your questions about trailers, truck size options and braking requirements, 505-281-9860.

BY EVALYN BEMIS "I went out to feed and, as usual, had my camera in my pocket. The light was nice and then Booker turned his eye to check out something in the distance and there was this little illumination in his eye, while the snow was falling. An unposed, fleeting moment – one of the most popular images on my Instagram account." Evalyn Bemis.



My worst boo-boo ever while on assignment was shooting the jog at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event and discovering back at the media tent that my AMAZING photos of Ralph Hill in leather jacket and pink socks, leading a very wired Bad Boy Billy, were not on the digital card because there was no card inserted in the camera. After cleaning

the sensor, I had forgotten to restore my camera’s setting so it couldn’t shoot without a card. These “lost” images came back to haunt me later when Ralph Hill retired from upper level competition and I had requests for photos of him. I have learned a few lessons over my career as a photographer, and am offering those, along with some tips:

Lesson #1: Know your camera’s settings and capabilities intimately BEFORE you go out to take what might be once-in-a-lifetime photos. (Refer to first paragraph!)

Lesson #2: The best camera is the one in your hand. So keep yours handy.

Even if all you want to do is take nice photos of your vacation or travel, why not get the best ones possible, with a camera on hand, one that you know how to use.

Use your cell phone

I frequently use my cell phone these days to record images that I might use with an article. With an iPhone 7 and an app, I can shoot a tiff file at almost 50MB – big enough to make a really large print of high quality. I love not having to lug around my insanely heavy Canon bodies and lens if my “pocket rocket” will get the job done just as well. Here are some extras to add to your cell phone that will improve the photo quality: • Add-on lenses. I purchased two Moment lenses from the company’s website. They are made of glass (not plastic) and come with pouches for storage. The telephoto is quite nice for portraiture and I love the wide, wide view of the fisheye. Put one in your pocket as you head out the door. I caution that the mounting plate which attaches to the back of the phone is very secure but the lens themselves attach by only a quarter turn of the threads, so pay attention and take the lens off when not in use.

You can check out these nifty devices at www. • Phone handle. This is made by Shoulderpod. It is called the S1 and I bought it from B+H after I shattered the glass on my phone by dropping it while galloping my horse and trying to take a photo with my gloves on. I should have known better but... The handle of the S1 is quite stout and has a wrist strap. Its weight helps stabilize the phone and one end unscrews so you can mount your phone on a tripod if you are shooting videos. • Tripod. I have a ridiculously tiny one that I picked up someplace, small enough that there is no excuse for not having it in a purse, suitcase, pocket or wherever. Shaky photos are such a disappointment that you should make every effort to stabilize your camera when possible. Even if you can only rest it on the car hood or a railing – do that. If you don’t have a tripod, Home Depot has some neat twisty sticks for cheap. They can be used to fix your phone or small camera to almost anything.

Take better pics

Okay, enough about the gear. As a friend says, cameras don’t take pictures, people do. So how can you be a better photographer?

5 • Take multiple shots. If there is something that catches your eye, don’t take just one shot. Heck, that is why you have a delete button as well

as a shutter button. Take multiple shots. The burst feature on cellphones is superhandy. If you take 12 shots of your friends, at least one might

have everybody’s eyes open. Or the horse flying over that maximum oxer might be just at the peak of its arc in one of your frames. You get the idea.

2 you leave dust, dirt or water spots on your lens. Along those lines, take care to keep fingers off the lens surface.


4 • Work the shot. By that I mean look around. Is there a better angle where the shadows are more interesting or you aren’t getting

3 sunspots in your viewfinder? Get down at the same level as your subject or shoot just an element, rather than the whole view. Also, don’t always stick your subject dead center – boring. Try for a little “negative” space in part of the image and see if that enhances the image. • Keep the horizon straight, for the most part. One pet peeve I have is when images are taken without an awareness of the horizon line. Luckily most cameras now

can show you a grid in your viewfinder or camera display so you can avoid that mistake. Unless you intend to take a crooked photo and then go for it. • Stay clean. Another pet peeve is dirty images, and I don’t mean smut. Keep a soft microfiber fabric in your purse, pocket or camera bag and check your lens often. Just because it is easy to take photographs these days doesn’t excuse you from being so lazy that

• Break rules. A few of my favorite photos were taken looking directly into the sun. I also love to use a very short depthof-field so that some parts are in focus and others not. • Most of all, take pictures of what you love. That way, at least YOU will always like looking at your images. Happy travels.


Evalyn’s first photographs were taken with a Kodak Brownie Fiesta of her pony Patches at age 10. Since growing up she has attended several World Equestrian Games and World Cup Finals as a photojournalist, and had articles and photographs published in a variety of magazines, newspapers and books. Her favorite pursuit these days is taking pictures “between two ears” and she thanks her lucky stars for the digital revolution. More of her work can be found at www. evalynbemisphotography.

PHOTOS 1. This is a “you should have been there” moment, shot on the Winsor Trail in the Pecos Wilderness. 2. I like this close-up of Bode, with bits of hay in his forelock and his eye softly peeking through his hair. Note that you can see all the detail in the white areas of the image. You should try to set your exposure to the brightest white that will be in your shot so that you don’t end up with areas that are “blown out”. 3. A young barrel-racer is coming straight at us with a big smile. I allowed him to be heading out of the frame so that you feel the spontaneity of the moment. The dust is a nice touch. 4. I took this angle of Augustus at The Horse Shelter because I loved the extra element of the shadows coming through the slats of the round pen and my shadow taking the picture. I felt it showed the calm nature of Augustus. I like images that tell a story. 5. This is a “break the rules” image. The horse and rider are so silhouetted as to be almost black, but you can just make out a smile and the horse’s beautifully braided mane. The Mexican flag is whipping in the wind and the large puddle tells you about the weather. This was taken at Hipico Santa Fe.


















Develop Your Conformation Eye BY THOMAS GARCIA

“Oh, look at that pretty horse!” my friend Shawna (not her real name) says. I look and look, and all I see is a jug head with a long back, short hip and cow hocks. The fact of the matter is, judging conformation is difficult. Most people, even some top competitors, cannot do it. Either they do not know the breed standard, or they do not have the eye for it.


owned two great Quarter Horse stallions at the same time, a chestnut and a palomino. For the most part, people were drawn to the chestnut: He was bright cherry red with four white socks. Yet the palomino was better-headed, bigger-hipped, deeper-bodied and heaviermuscled...the better horse. But being a solid palomino, he did not draw a person’s eye like the flashy chestnut. All breeds of equines have physical traits that set them apart from others: the thick, cresty neck of the Baroque-style Andalusian to the long slim neck of the Arab to the heavy hindquarters of the Quarter Horse. However, there are certain conformation standards that are common to all breeds, standards of form that allow for quality of function. If you are thinking of buying a horse, or want to look at your own horse with a critical conformation eye, you might want to learn more. The better your horse’s conformation, the more easily it will move, and the less likely it will be to have lameness or other problems caused by poor conformation. It will have greater potential to be more athletic and carry you with ease around the dressage arena, over jumps and up and down tricky trails.

Desirable conformation traits The following are desirable conformation traits that can be found in all breeds: • A long clean neck, one that is clean through the throatlatch, meaning there is tight, not sagging, skin. The neck should come high out of the chest. It should set high and well back 32 HORSE AROUND | Apr/May 2017 |

into the withers with a slight arch as opposed to a concave neck, also known as a ewe neck. • Withers that are well pronounced and will hold a saddle in place without having to cut the horse in two a with too-tight cinch or girth. • A good top-to-bottom-line ratio. This is achieved by a shoulder that is long and angled back and a long, flat hip. This sets the front legs further forward and the rear legs further back resulting in a short, strong back and a long underline, thus allowing for a long, ground-covering stride and a smoother stride. • The chest should be deep with the ribs well sprung. You want a long length from the withers to the bottom of the chest, providing lots of depth for the heart and lungs. When viewed from the front and back, the ribs should be sprung out like a barrel. This gives plenty of room for the heart, lungs and internal organs which provide better breathing ability for endurance and stamina. • The legs should be straight and have correct, short cannon bones, flat knees and low-set hocks. • From the knee and hock up, the leg is supported by muscles and ligaments. From the knee and hock down, it is supported only by bone and tendons, therefore this part of the leg should be shorter than the top. Being shorter will make this part of the leg stronger. • When viewed from the side, the horse’s legs should appear as pillars. From the back, his legs should look more like toothpicks. This type of appearance is desirable because it signifies good flat bone and thick, dense tendons. • When viewed from behind, the widest point of the back legs should be from stifle to stifle as the most muscle groups are concentrated in this region. This muscle should carry well down the leg. • The pasterns should be short and sloping, providing strength and shock absorption. • The hooves should be round, well-shaped, dense and sized to fit the size of the horse. • The gaskins should be long and equal in both inner and outer gaskin muscle. Quarter Horse / Paint Breed Standards In addition to the information above, look for the following when judging a Quarter Horse’s or Paint’s conformation: • The head is short from eye to muzzle and tapering to a refined muzzle, with big flaring nostrils. • The eye is big and soft. • The ears are short and fine. • When viewed from the front, the chest is deeply V'd. • Overall, the horse is well-muscled with the appearance of strength.


Thomas Garcia holds a BS in animal science from NM State University. He owns Spanish Creek Performance Horses and Taos Tack and Pet Supply. He can be reached at 575-737-9798.

Judging conformation takes information and practice. Test your conformation eye by looking at the three horses on the right. Which one has the best conformation. Which is second and third? Why?



C PLACING: This placing is as easy as falling out of a easy first, easy second and an automatic third. Horse B comes in first, as he is the nicest balanced, typiest horse in the class. B has the most refined head, the shortest from eye to muzzle, with the boldest, brightest eye. B is the cleanest through the throatlach, has the longest, cleanest neck that sets into the longest, flattest shoulder. B also has the shortest back and the longest underline resulting in the most desirable top to bottom line ratio. B is also the longest and flattest hipped and the heaviest muscled. I grant that A is deeper hearted than B. But horse A is placed 2nd because he is nicer balanced than C. He has a longer, more laid back shoulder resulting in being shorter through the back and longer through the underline than horse C. Notice, too, that horse A is also heavier muscled and deeper bodied than C and stands straighter and squarer on his feet and legs. Horse C is the steepest shouldered, longest backed, lightest muscled and poorest balanced horse in the class.

However, body work to minimize discomfort can be learned by all horse owners and can be considered as part of your equine first aid kit, just like being able to wrap a leg, or administer an oral medicine. Like those skills, bodywork is not a replacement for veterinary care, but a complement to it. The principles of this way of working with horses involves no force. Instead, using a light touch, we work with the horses’ own ability to selfcorrect. Basically, what you need to know to do body work effectively is: how to palpate to feel tissue differences; how to notice lameness or gait differences; timing; and how to gauge how the horse is responding. SUSAN SMITH

PHOTO TOP: The areas of the horse that often need attention. BOTTOM LEFT: Palpating the point of shoulder. BOTTOM RIGHT: The horse may show a preference for a certain position on the sacrum.

BASIC BODY WORK Tips to Address Discomfort in Your Horse

BY SUSAN SMITH to our camp, I worked on her some more, I was riding in the Pecos with friends making sure to keep the circulation going some years ago. The weather was rainy through the limb and keep the swelling and the ground was sodden. My mare down. When we finally got back home, Zuzka got her hoof caught in a soggy she was mildly lame, and her swelling in tree root system and yanked her leg to get it out, causing a painful muscle injury. the lower leg was minimal. The bodywork I used that day, and that There was no way to get her out of the I practice and teach, is very precise, and mountains but to walk out eight miles. I was used to lessen pain and swelling. did bodywork on that leg all the way up This type of bodywork should be learned into the pelvis, and she was able to walk watching expert demonstrations with a little better. She even wanted to trot horses. down the mountain. When we got back 34 HORSE AROUND | Apr/May 2017 |

With each of the following bodywork techniques, the position is held for approximately 30 seconds. Then the horse may want to move away or will lick and chew, or exhibit some other way of indicating he is done with that position. The amount of touch will depend upon the horse’s need, but don’t prod or poke. The touch can be as light as your fingers on your eyelid (and even lighter with some very sensitive horses) to the pressure you would use to scratch your head. The following are some common areas that horses may experience discomfort. (Do not use these techniques if the horse is obviously injured or in pain. Consult a veterinarian.) The chart of the bay horse shows two of the indicator points we address.


You may find your horse doesn’t move forward freely, perhaps his stride is wooden or halting. Examine gently with your hands around the shoulder blade to feel for hard or swollen areas. Here is a general technique for discomfort in the shoulder. Your indicator point is the point of the shoulder. Palpate around there to see if there is hardness or tightness. Technique: From the point of the shoulder, move your hand horizontally toward the head until it drops off the bone into the tissue of the pectoral muscles. Hold your hand there lightly, and place another hand gently behind the elbow of the horse on the lower

ribs. Hold the position for no more than 30 seconds, and move out of position the moment you feel the horse’s body shift or have any response. NOTE: Don’t do the move if the horse isn’t comfortable with it or resists. If everything’s fine, repeat it and then recheck the tissue in or around the affected area to see if it has changed. Then walk the horse again and see if there is change in the fluidity of his gait.


Have someone walk the horse away from you or walk backwards leading the horse. See how his hooves track forward. Do his hind hooves fill the footprint of the front hooves? This would be ideal. If not, he is probably stiff somewhere in the hind. Gently palpate the area from the point of the hip over the pelvis and around the gluteal and the hamstrings inside the hind legs. Try to get an idea of tightness and looseness of the muscles. Here is one technique that can help bring comfort to the lumbosacral area: Sacrum: The sacrum can affect a broad area of the hindquarter as it is central to the pelvis and located between the lumbar and coccygeal vertebrae on the spine. The

juncture of the lumbar and sacrum is an area of stress for a lot of horses. Technique: By placing a hand on the sacrum with palm at the tail end and even feeling the edges of it, you will feel perhaps the horse prefers one hand position over another. Your fingers should rest on the spine between the two points of hip. (The palm fits quite naturally over the sacrum). Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, or until the horse moves away or begins to have a response, such as licking and chewing.

Always consult a professional when in doubt or you know a condition is beyond your abilities.


Susan Smith teaches Equine Body Balance® workshops and has a practice for both horses and people in Santa Fe. She is an associate instructor and advanced practitioner of Ortho-Bionomy®, and practitioner of Equine Positional Release®, which inform her work. She also teaches Liberty Foundations. For more information contact Susan at 505-5012478 or, www. susansmithsantafecom

These are just a few examples of the numerous techniques that address specific areas of the horse’s body, and can bring greater comfort and functionality to the whole horse. Remember too, sometimes working Older 2-bedroom farmhouse on 800 acres. Three miles from Las Vegas, New Mexico. on the forehand can City water, propane heat and electrical heat. have a profound Prefer mature single/retired person. OK for one horse, dog, cat. Riding & influence on the walking just outside the front door! Two national forests just minutes away! hindquarters, Available July 2017. $1500 per month, does not include electric/propane. and visa-versa. If the horse is not comfortable with you working in a CONTACT LISA: certain area, work 505-429-8494 somewhere else.



Listed here are horse-related services provided by the April / May 2017 issue advertisers. They are experts in their fields. Many of the business owners are also horse owners and enthusiasts. They are the reason Horse Around New Mexico magazine exists and why the magazine is growing. If you enjoy this free publication, please show your support by supporting our advertisers. ART L. Thayer Hutchinson, page 7 BARNS/BUILDINGS Ironhorse Pipe & Steel, page 13 Morton Buildings, page 9 BOARDING Mac’s Overnight Stables, page 13 Nizhoni Stables, page 5 EVENTS Bucaroo Balance Clinics, page 16 Josh Armstrong Clinic, page 17 The Horse Shelter’s Fundraising Auction and Luncheon, page 8 Tucumcari Rawhide Days, page 2 Turk Arabians / Rampart Ranch Open Barn, page 14

GUEST RANCHES Starrynight Guest Ranch, page 10 HORSE RESCUE/ADOPTION Four Corners Equine Rescue, page 9 Walkin N Circles Ranch, page 14 MASSAGE Life and Vitality, LLC, page 14 Medicine Massage, page 9 OUTFITTERS Arroyo Outfitters, page 16 U-Trail’s Horseback Adventures, page 11 REAL ESTATE Las Vegas Home & Acreage for Rent, page 35 Roni Merbler, page 39

Tombstone Livery Stable, page 15

Susan Smith, page 11

SADDLES Mortenson Silver & Saddles, page 13

VEHICLE/TRAILERS American Diesel Service, page 12 Hal Burns Truck & Equipment, page 8 Sandia Trailer Sales and Service, page 40

SPECIALTY SERVICES Albuquerque Pet Memorial Service, page 7 TACK AND FEED STORES Hitch’n Post Feed, page 17 Horsemen’s, page 11 Miller’s Feed, page 7 Paul’s Veterinary Supply, page 10 Taos Tack and Pet Supply, page 8 Village Mercantile, page 15

VACATIONS Tombstone Livery Stable, page 15

TRAINING For The Heart of The Horse, page 12

WESTERN WEAR Dan’s Boots & Saddles, page 6

VETERINARIAN Santa Sophia Equine, page 16 Western Trails, page 6


Listed here are places to have fun with horses and places to stop while traveling with horses. Horse Around New Mexico magazine dedicated the time and space to make this the most complete list possible. We may, however, have overlooked a business. Please let us know if you would like to be added to this free listing:, 505-570-7377. TIPS: Some guest ranches are all-inclusive horse vacations. They supply your room, meals and horses. Others let you bring your own horse and camp in your own rig. Outfitters usually provide all-inclusive overnight adventures in the wilderness. Overnight stables/ horse motels can be used when you are traveling with horses for multiple days. Some offer cabins or rooms for humans, have motels nearby, let you stay for longer terms and have nearby trails. To find out what each horse business offers, call or visit their website. Let them know you saw them in Horse Around! Guest Ranches/Outfitting/ Starrynight Ranch, Llaves: all-inclusive, Crossroads Ranch, Anthony: Slash M Slash Ranch, Grants: horse Riding Vacations motel, indoor riding arena, roping arena, Bluewater Lake Lodge, Prewitt: trails, full children’s camps, guided rides, 575-882-5533 guest cottage and rooms, BYOH or bunkhouse, 505-290-7836, 505-290-2645; hookups, small cabins, 505-290-2699, ours, 575-554-0577, 575-638-5661, Diamond Arrow Ranch, Deming: 5 RV hookups, ride out on BLM land, big rig Tuli Horse Hotel, Tularosa: 3 RV hookups, Burnt Well Guest Ranch, Roswell: friendly, 575-546-1115, 480-332-8265, Taos Horse Getaways, Tres Piedras: 25 stalls, round pen, arena, working cattle ranch, large ranch BYOH; houses, cabins, RV space; 16 acres to ride, 575-921-1105 house, cattle round ups, 575-347-2668, 575-758-3628, Double Y Ranch, Santa Fe: hot Western Drive Stables, Tucumcari: 575walker, RV hookup, 602-320-7136, Twin Willows Guest Ranch, Ocate, near 461-0274, 575-403-8824, Chaco Lodge Hacienda, Cuba: bed Angel Fire: log house for 8 for rent, and breakfast, lodge and suite, horse BYOH, 575-666-2028 corrals and trails, 505-252-7488, D S Horse Motel, Grants: next to an RV Trail Riding Operations park with full hookups, 505-240-2544, Two Ponyz Ranch, Mountainair: Acacia Riding Adventures, San Acacia: 575-517-0477, Copper Penny Ranch, Alamagordo: RV guest house, BYOH, 505-847-0245, hookups, arena, round pen, ride out, J Bar C Horse Motel, Roswell: arena, Bishop’s Lodge Stables, Santa Fe: 575-439-0276, 2 RV hookups, 575-347-2742, U-Trail’s Horseback Adventures, 575-626-5296, 575-626-5294, Glenwood: guided pack trips to cliff Concho Hills Guest Ranch, Magdalena: dwellings, day rides, lodge, gourmet Broken Saddle Riding Company, Cerrillos: trail riding, ranch activities, cowboy meals, 575-519-8569, gaited horses, 505-424-772, shooting, historical tours, award-winning J.P.'s Horse Motel, Mentmore (Gallup): accommodations, 575-772-5757, arena, 505-979-1192 Vermejo Park Ranch, Raton: Ted Turner-owned luxury resort offers guided Kiss the Moon Equestrian Center, Cedar Crest Stables & Country Cottage, horseback rides, Moriarty: easy I-40 access, indoor Cedar Crest: mountain riding, cottage for Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos: fly rent, 505-281-5197, fishing,horseback riding in the Sangre de arena, easy access for bigger rigs/ Wolfhorse Outfitters, Gila/Aldo Cristos, 505-757-2107, haulers, 505-975-3567 Leopold Wilderness: Native American Cieneguilla Stables, near Taos: trail rides guide service, 575-534-1379, and “saddle and paddle” combo trips, Kiva RV Park and Horse Motel, 575-751-2815 Creek Ranch, Santa Rosa: all-inclusive Bernardo: 14 stalls, large pens, horseback vacations on 82,000 acres, round pen, trails, 505-861-0693, Overnight Stabling Corralitos Trail Rides, near Las Cruces: genuine working cattle and guest ranch, 4 Winds Equestrian Center, Estancia: working ranch riding, 575-640-8184, RV/trailer sites with electrical hookups, Las Cruces Horse Motel, Las Cruces: small travel trailer, arenas, nearby riding 5 minute trail ride to Rio Grande, RV Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, Winston: in the Manzanos & Sandias, 505-384-1831 hookups, roping arena with cattle, 575Enchanted Gaits, Tijeras: smooth, remote dude ranch, 575-772-5157, 644-3518, gaited horses, 505-281-2226 The Albatross, Santa Fe: horse motel, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu: 505-685-1000 Gillespie Ranch, Mayhill: large pens, gift long and short-term, outdoor arena LazyKo Ranch. Deming: horse motel, and round pen, 505-231-8570, john@ shop, cozy cottage, RV hookups, 575hookups with open range for riding, Grindstone Stables, Ruidoso: guided 687-3732, 575-202-2876, trail rides, sleigh and carriage rides, Arrowhead Ranch, Santa Fe: multiple 575-257-2241, Justyn Brynn Enchantment Equitreks, Mac’s Overnight Stables, near Edgewood: all-inclusive horseback riding arenas and trail access, 505-424-8888, Santa Fe on 1-25: round pen and Inn of the Mountain Gods Riding Stable, adventures offering day rides, weekend, trails, RV hookup, 505-466-2815, Mescalero: 575-464-7424 5-day, 7-day and 8-day packages, Branco's Boarding Stables, Las Cruces: 430-7514; full hookups, daily/weekly/monthly rates, Open Heart G Farms, Anthony: located New Mexico Horse Adventures, access to BLM land trails, 575-636-8809 on 25-acre pecan orchard, indoor box Albuquerque: BYOH or rent, 505-301Los Pinos Guest Ranch, Cowles: lodge 0917, and gourmet meals, 505-757-6213, stalls, hookups, bunkhouse, 915-920Broken M Ranch, Albuquerque: large 5169, arena w/lights, barrels, round pen, wash Red River Stables, Red River: ride, fish, rack, dry camping, 505-877-9433, view wildlife, 575-747-1700, redriverstables. N Bar Ranch, Reserve: surrounded by Rancho de la Angostura, Algodones: com Gila National Forest, BYOH or ours, rent easy trail access, power available, entire ranch, cabins, corrals, trails, arena and round pen, 505-280-4849, Bruton Stables, Raton: outdoor Rio Grande Stables, Taos & Questa: 575-533-6253, arena and round pen, 575-447-8777, hourly plus multi-day rides, 888-259-8267, NAN Ranch, Faywood; rent rooms/ Rancho Siesta, Edgewood:dry camping, 575-776-5913, cabins in the HQ of national registered spacious corrals, 505-450-3165 Runnels Bonita Stables, Nogal: Ride near historic 1870s ranch in the Mimbres River Caballo Lake State Park, Caballo: four large pipe corrals with cover, tack room, Ride To Pride at “The Barn,” Las Vegas: Bonito Lake, no reservations needed, Valley, corrals, BYOH, 575-288-5368, water, trails, 575-743-3942 575-354-2778 easy access off 1-25, 505-429-9935, 505-429-3905, Carter’s Stables, Farmington: guest Santa Fe Western Adventures, Santa Nancy Burch’s Roadrunner Tours, house, one full hookup, 505-330-3066, Rocking Horse Ranch, Moriarty: huge Fe: ride on private ranch and Lone Butte Angel Fire: overnight camping/packing Mountain, 505-473-9384, excursions, trail riding, 575-377-6416, indoor arena, 505-832-6619, 505-301-3772; Cassetta Critter Care, Tucumcari: Stables at Tamaya Resort, Bernalillo: horse motel, roping arena, trailer hook 505-771-6060 Quinlan Ranch, Chama: RV hookups, Roy-El Horse Hotel , Espanola: guided rides, lodge and meals, 575-209- up, 575-403-6227, 603-798-5033, 505-603-6016, Vision Quest, Las Vegas: private, catered 1618,36 www, HORSE AROUND | Apr/May 2017 | rides, family activities, 505-469-8130,


........... ~APRIL~

EVENTS: Apr - May

1-2 Gunner Gang Quick Draw Mounted Shoot Socorro

23 Eventing X-Games Series Jeffray: Goose Downs Farm Galisteo

13-14 Offsite Sport Horse Championship Arabian Horse Assoc. of NM Albuquerque

April 22 Ridge Riders Trail Ride NNM Horsemen’s Assoc. La Tierra Trails

1-2 Spring Series Barrel Racing Rockin Horse Ranch Moriarty

23 All~Breed FUN Show & Celebration Loal Tucker Horsemanship Suzanne 505-306-1091; Facebook Lamy

14 Hunter Jumper Show Las Cruces Horseman’s Assoc. Las Cruces

April 29 39th Annual Horse Expo NM State University Las Cruces

20 Lea County Horsemen's Assoc. Show; Facebook Lovington

April 29-30 Josh Armstrong ‘Buffalo’ Horse Clinic Estancia....See ad page 17

2 Point Show~All Breed Pecos Valley Horsemen Facebook Roswell 7-9 Spring Fling Show NM Hunter Jumper Assoc. Albuquerque 8 Lea County Horsemen's Assoc. Show; Facebook Lovington 8-9 SW Quarter Horse Assoc. Show Las Cruces 8-9 All~Breed Show NM Buckskin Horse Assoc. Bosque Farms 15 Day Show Casual Desert Sun Equestrians Facebook Portales 21-23 Caballo Canyon Competitive Trail Ride~San Juan Valley Trail Riders East of Aztec 22-23 English/Western Shows Carlsbad Horsemans Assoc. Facebook Carlsbad 22-23 Spring Salsa Sensation Show NM Paint Horse Albuquerque 23 Schooling Show NM Dressage Assoc. Bosque Farms


5-7 Spring Fiesta Mini Horse Show Albuquerque 6 Western Show Carlsbad Horseman Assoc. Facebook Carlsbad 6-7 All~Breed Show NM Buckskin Horse Assoc. Bosque Farms 6-7 Minis & Ponies Only Show NM Pinto Horse Assoc. Albuquerque 7 Point Show~All Breed Pecos Valley Horsemen Facebook Roswell 10-12 Zia Classic Arabian Horse Assoc. of NM Albuquerque 12-14 43rd Annual Navajo Lake Competitive Trail Ride San Juan Valley Trail Riders East of Farmington 13 Point Show All Breed Horse Show Assoc. Facebook Clovis 13 Desert Sun Equestrians Show Facebook Portales

20-21 Spring Series Barrel Racing Rockin Horse Ranch Moriarty 21 Schooling Show NM Dressage Assoc. South Valley 21 English Show Carlsbad Horseman Assoc. Facebook Carlsbad 26-29 Border Circuit Show SW Quarter Horse Assoc. Las Cruces 27-28 Memorial Day Saddle Race SW Barrel Racers Assoc. Farmington


April 1-2 Conformation, Compensation or Both? Susan Smith workshop Santa Fe....See ad page 11 April 8 Tack Swap & Sale Rio Grande Mule & Donkey Steve Belen April 8 Equine Liberty from the Heart Santa Fe....See ad page 11 April 8-9 John Baird Horsemanship Coaching Sessions Estancia....See ad page 17

April 30 Braiding Clinic NM Dressage Assoc. Albuquerque May 5-6 2nd Annual Tucumcari Rawhide Days Facebook Tucumcari....See ad page 2 May 5-6 & May 7-8 Dressage Lessons & Symposia Beth Baumert Clinics NM Dressage Assoc. Santa Fe & Albuquerque May 20 Ridge Riders Trail Ride NNM Horsemen’s Assoc. Diablo Canyon May 20 Arena & Trail Clinic Christina Savitsky EarthWalkMedicine Taos....See ad page 16 May 21 The Horse Shelter Fundraising Auction & Luncheon Cerrillos....See ad page 8 May 27-29 Lee Smith Clinic Estancia....See ad page 17

⤵︎⤵︎⤵︎⤵︎⤵︎⤵︎⤵︎⤵︎⤵︎ Want to see your event here? ~It’s FREE to list~ Deadline for June/July Issue is May 5th! | Apr/May 2017 | HORSE AROUND




Short, easy, scenic loop with ruins & waterfall Tucked in the mountains near Las Cruces, you’ll find the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument and the Soledad Canyon Day Use Area. This is a popular area for hiking as well as horseback riding. It is the juncture of Bar Canyon and Soledad Canyon with a loop trail going through Bar Canyon. The trail gently leads up into the mountains with a natural waterfall at the top and scenic views of the Mesilla Valley.

in places and and has two different courses which are not well marked, but there is a map at the trail head to help you navigate.

An old rock house (or what’s left of it) can also be found on the way up. The trail is rocky

Be aware that weekends are popular times for hiking so get

The entire loop is about 3-4 miles depending on which path you take, for a total ride time of about an hour and a half. Your equine should be okay with people and dogs walking by, as well as the occasional cyclist. Most people we’ve encountered have been very courteous and stand off to the side to let us pass. Be prepared to stop and talk to people, especially children, about your horse.

there early for trailer parking. The Lower Rio Grande Chapter of Back Country Horsemen rides there and helps maintain this trail every couple of months, picking up litter and notifying the proper authorities if something is amiss. Remember to say hello and thank you BCH! I love this trail because of the beautiful views, the opportunity to desensitize my horse to all the activity, the opportunity to share my love for and educate the public about equines and the overall serenity despite the other users on the trail. You can see a variety of plant life, wildlife, and the waterfall is quite a treat when it is running, since it is unexpected in the desert. It’s an enjoyable

38 HORSE AROUND | Apr/May 2017 |

ride any time of year although my favorite time is in the fall after a rain.

How to get there

The trail head is located ten miles east of Las Cruces. From I-25 take Exit 1 (University Avenue/Dripping Springs Road) east for about 4.5 miles, past A Mountain. Turn south on Soledad Canyon Road. It will turn east after a mile. Follow it all the way to the end where you’ll find the parking lot. This ride is close enough to the Las Cruces area to haul, have a nice ride, and get back home for chores or family time. It's the perfect short ride to get your horse prepared for longer rides of the spring and summer. Have fun! PHOTO: Members of the local Back Country Horsemen, Lower Rio Grande Chapter, head into Soledad Canyon.

Buying or selling a home or property? I promise to put you first!


here are many qualities and skills that go into being an excellent real estate professional–integrity, in-depth community and market knowledge, marketing savvy, effective negotiation skills and a high-quality professional network, all of which are hallmarks of how I work.

I have been a horse woman most of my life, and a realtor for 24 years. As an Albuquerque and East Mountains real estate professional, I’ve found that providing the very best service is essentially about putting


ntain geld ocky Mou ard my R o . b s a s e e rn m That’s cos Wilde in the Pe , th o o m S

my clients first. I really care about my clients. This means I will always be accessible. I will listen to you, and explain things respectfully and clearly. I will respond quickly to your needs. This is my “client first” promise and philosophy. It has always been my approach and it requires me to continually improve

my skills and ways of doing business. In addition, I’ve found that the latest technologies are enabling me to do everything I’ve always done, only much more quickly and efficiently. They’ve also helped me to extend the range of services I provide to my clients.

So when you decide that you’d like to buy or sell a home in the Albuquerque or East Mountains areas, please contact me. Know that I will always work my hardest for you, and always put your needs first. Rōni Merbler CRS, ABR, Broker Associate

Before choosing a realtor, read what people say about Rōni

u“Rōni helped me find a perfect horse property close to awesome trails. She also sold my house in Tijeras in less than a month during January, despite the fact that the pipes were frozen! We even got our asking price!” Barbara Evans

u“Not only does Rōni have excellent knowledge of the area and the ins and outs of home buying/selling, she is

wonderfully personable. She helped us make sound decisions, and brought considerations to light we hadn’t thought of before.” Rebekah and Weston Nelson

u“Rōni recently helped us sell our home in Tijeras. In a very confusing and unexpected last minute series of buyer and buyer's buyer problems, Rōni kept us informed, and was very responsive to our panicky phone calls. There’s no doubt that she knows the area, the way to negotiate and write a contract, support her clients, and smile while doing so. We would recommend her without reservation!” Bob and Judy O’Haver

u“Rōni has been my realtor for many years. She has helped me buy and sell many properties. She is always conscientious

and hard working. I cannot over state how hard she works to achieve the best outcome on a sale or a purchase. She gives excellent advice on prepping a property for sale and puts in the time to make the sale. She gets to know her clients so that she can find a property that best serves their interest.” Neil Shearman

Rōni Merbler CRS, ABR, Broker Associate




CONVENIENT LOCATION - EASY ON/OFF I-40 20 minutes from Alb., 1 hour from Santa Fe 75 minutes from Santa Rosa


1435 Route 66, Edgewood, NM 87015 (505) 281-9860 (800) 832-0603 Open Tues-Sat 8:30am-5pm Closed Sunday and Monday


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Need to upgrade or fix a trailer? We have expert fabricators and mechanics on staff to: check safety, create custom portable corral racks, install extra fuel or water tanks, refurbish living quarters. CALL US TODAY!

50 new & used horse trailers: 505.281.9860

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