06.09.02: Drawing to a Close

The final day is always somewhat regretful. All the things you wish you knew, or wish you had learned. All the people that you wish you got more time to spend with... It’s rather nostalgic, and even different in the way the day goes.

Remudas were a short hour which we talked over some final things and went over a few procedures. We met in the lodge after that, and then Don asked us to file out the side door and come in the main door to receive some papers and t-shirts. The shirts are pale yellow and have a Parelli logo with horse wings on them and say something about soaring in 2006... I don't remember exactly. I'm sure by the end of six weeks I'll remember since I'll have three of them. We received the papers with addresses and names on them, plus a few other papers. Then John and Don sat down and handed out certificates to say that we each completed the course. How we had a choice, I don't know!

After that, we watched all the video clips that we viewed over the week, saving Amy Brimhall, Honza and David Lichman for last. It was awesome to finish up with three clips of people doing things with horses from the ground that are amazing. Amy worked flying lead changes like I have never seen, Honza laid his horse down then stood on his side and cracked a whip repeatedly, and David played with three horses at once. It was very inspirational.

Then we were instructed to pair up with someone we had not gotten to know very well and head outside to the fire ring where there were posters with phrases written on them. We had to discuss what each one meant to us and what we learned. I paired up with Don who is a brilliant guitar player. We had a good time talking about our experiences and how each of the key phrases related to us and what we learned from them. Both of us discovered that we often knew the phrase, but we had a greater understanding of how it worked now.

We broke from that and had about a half hour before we needed to be in the Coverall to wait for Pat to come do a demonstration. He came in with Caton riding a mare, the 6 month old baby trotting around, while he was leading his other horse Aspen. Pat came in riding Cash while leading Casper. It was phenomenal to see all five horses all of various levels interacting and behaving very well. Caton rode around on the mare for a while, while the baby, named Liberty Belle ran around the ring. She was quite explorative and curious; I have lots of really awesome pictures of her doing all sorts of cute baby things.

Pat then talked for a while about what we have all learned and about the journey of the program as it developed. Then he played with Casper from the ground, which is just amazing. To see the communication going on is incredible, particularly that up close. Casper really loves him, even if he doesn't always show it, and yet is still perfectly allowed to be himself which is exuberant, playful, and full of life. I have quite a few pictures from that, though
Casper’s dark coat is often rather difficult to photograph.

Pat finished up by working some with Aspen to see how Caton was doing. He also showed us how he would begin teaching a horse to lay down using Aspen. It was really neat to see the first steps, though it is definitely an advanced level technique.

We finally broke from there and headed to lunch. I headed up to feed Roscoe a bit and then check out my pictures. After I was done, I knew Roscoe would be finished with lunch so I came back up and we headed out to the playground.

I didn't have a clear plan in mind which might be why we didn't "accomplish" so much. But at any rate, we took it a bit easy. I practiced direction changes more, we worked over a log some, and I played around another trailer. About the same time that I started working with the trailer, it started to rain. I simply stepped up in the back of the trailer to get out of the wet (of course I didn't have my Duster with me...) and continued to play with Roscoe, working on sideways, and more yoyo game. After a while it began to rain harder so I just stood and hung out. He stood out in the rain for a bit before I saw him sort of shift around. And then he just stepped right up into the trailer. I allowed him to do that, and he turned around and stood with me for the rest of the 15 minutes of the storm. It finally began to break and I hopped out, and then moved him around a bit before asking him to get back into the trailer. Right up he went. I then asked him to back out, which he did like a champ. I knew he could, it was just a matter of getting him used to it enough to be able to accept it. I'll continue to work in various trailers over the next four weeks and hopefully we'll have him loading into anything before I leave.

We wandered on as the rain stopped and the people that owned the trailer were hitching up as their stay here was over. Roscoe and I went and explored the pond which was fun. He got in quite happily though is much quieter than most horses. He only pawed some and was more content to stand there and swish his tail, flicking me with water each time. My 22' rope is successfully broken in now that its been drug through the dirt and water.

We moseyed back up towards his pen, eating grass along the way and taking our time. Dinner rolled around soon and I waited and fed him and then went to dinner myself. It was pasta night which was really good. I sat with Judi and Margaret and Lou and several other people, and we decided to head to the hot springs for the evening, which is always a treat. The soak was good and the conversation was better. We finally got out after we were sufficiently pruned and headed on back to the ranch for the night.

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