Fall­ing in love with New Mex­ico

A trip west led my hus­band and me to make a life-chang­ing de­ci­sion: We would build our dream ranch in the Land of En­chant­ment.

EQUUS - - Eq In brief -

My hus­band, Kenny We­ber, and I have long dreamed of mov­ing our herd of horses to higher el­e­va­tions with room to roam and ride year-round. Kenny has lived in south­ern Texas all his life, while I’m a rel­a­tive newcomer, hav­ing ar­rived six years ago from com­par­a­tively balmy Ari­zona and Cal­i­for­nia.

En­dur­ing long Lone Star State summers with high heat and hu­mid­ity has been hard on us all. I don’t tol­er­ate the heat well, and sev­eral of our horses suf­fer from sea­sonal al­ler­gies, in­clud­ing pastern der­mati­tis, sweet itch and hives, along with bouts of white line dis­ease, each a re­sult of the va­garies of cli­mate that swing from floods and mud to drought and dust. Our herd in­cludes Ten­nessee Walk­ers, Mis­souri Fox­trot­ters, Ara­bi­ans, a Mor­gan and, of course, Far­ley the res­cue (see “From Sick­ness to Health,” EQUUS 473). Two summers ago we took a trip that would change our life. On our way home from Cal­i­for­nia in a 26-foot U-Haul truck packed with my late mom’s fur­ni­ture, Kenny and I stopped to visit a friend in New Mex­ico. Set amid 45 piny­onand ju­niper­stud­ded acres, his home is 16 miles south of Pie Town in Ca­tron County, the state’s largest---by land area, with al­most 7,000 square miles--yet its third most sparsely pop­u­lated county, with 3,500 peo­ple. We fell in love with the 360-de­gree moun­tain vis­tas, in­clud­ing sweep­ing views of the Con­ti­nen­tal Di­vide. It didn’t take long to forge a plan: We would come back from our ranch in Texas and cre­ate a new life here. As a sig­nal of our com­mit­ment, we left the con­tents of the truck in a stor­age unit in Pie Town.

Text and photograph­s by Bob­bie Jo Lieber­man

A NEW PLAN: Bob­bie Lieber­man and her hus­band, Kenny We­ber, be­gin the process of mak­ing their dream ranch a re­al­ity.

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