Something for everyone at ag expo

By Tony Parra

People gained new ideas from everything from horsemanship to quilt designs during the first day of the 14th annual New Mexico Ag Expo on Tuesday. Some people even left the Roosevelt County fairgrounds with prizes.

For the Worthams of Portales, the ag expo offered new hints and tricks from Orin Barnes when it comes to horsemanship. Orine Barnes and Beth Berggren of Orine Barnes Training out of Canyon, Texas showed horse owners of all ages pressure points, such as underneath the horse’s chin and other places on the horse’s head to lead the horse.

Barnes talked about leading the horse and rewarding the horse after the training. Rewards can be food or breaks for rest.

“I learned more about the horse’s comfort zone,” Kasha Wortham, 18-year-old from Portales, said. Wortham said she rides barrels and poles in Little Wranglers competitions.

Wortham watched the instructional demonstration with her sister Moriah Wortham, who is a 16-year-old Portales High School junior, and trains and competes with her horse, also.

“We learned many of the things we already know as we teach our horses,” Kasha said.

Moriah said through this method she taught her horse to switch leads and sidewalking.

Barnes offered other tips for the horse lovers in the audience, such as a saddle built a little bigger to allow the rider some space to move back and forth without getting bucked off and never use the war bridle to tie a horse. Barnes, who has been training since 1971, said the first part of horsemanship is to know where the pressure points are on the horse.

Marilyn Ford was also offering new tips and ideas for her quilting seminar audience in the Women’s Building on Tuesday.

Ford conducted the “Trunk Show of Art Quilts” in the morning in the Women’s Building on the fairgrounds. Ford, who is from Tucumcari, has been making quilts for 10 years. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Ford makes quilts from anything she can find such as milk cartons, mesh, beads, yarn and hand-painted fabric.

“I’ve been quilting for several years, but she gave me a new insight for quilting,” Donna Stockard of Portales said. “I learned mainly about using different recyclable items for quilting. I use recyclable jeans, but she used items you would have never thought to design with.”

Ford displayed many of her quilts while the audience members laughed at her stories and explanations for coming up with her ideas. Stockard said she loved all of Ford’s quilts.

She showed the crowd members a moose with snow and green trees in the background and another quilt with a dark fabric displaying the night sky. She used rhinestones on the sky to give the illusion of stars.

Ford joked about her creation of another quilt in which she asked a cowboy to pose for the design. Ford made the quilt, which had cowboys with black hats and brightly-colored western shirts standing, for the Llano Estacado Challenge in 2003, a quilt show competition.

The 14th Annual New Mexico Ag Expo will take place again today, beginning at 9 a.m. Today’s features will be the working stock dog demonstration, biofuels and energy cost outlook and a look at the milk prices for 2006. The ag expo will be capped with one of the main events, the premium grade and registered dairy heifer sale at 3 p.m., sponsored by Portales Livestock.