06.09.03: Change of Scenery

The morning started like most, with breakfast that was found in a rather lean crowd. Many people had already left town, and it seems that many others were just sleeping in. I finished up and headed off to feed Roscoe. While it was soaking, I ran up to the cabin to grab my dirty sheets and bring them back down. I came back to give Roscoe his food, and since Damo and Prince’s food was waiting, I went ahead and gave them theirs as Emma walked up. We began cleaning pens and made short work of all five pens, plus an extra that seemed to be empty.

I headed down to find someone to give me clean sheets, and with that accomplished it was back up the hill to the cabin to put the sheets on the bed and pack my stuff to head to Michelle and Ralph’s for the weekend. I had plenty of time and got everything together with no problem. It looked like a lot of stuff, but it was mostly laundry…

I headed back over to hang out with Roscoe and thought that I would take him down and turn him out in one of the round pens to see if he would want to play or romp any. I chose the 75 footer because it had several barrels and a ball and some cones in it. I thought he might want to play with some things.

I turn him out and the first thing he does is wander away and go hang out on the far side of the corral (Hmm…. How interesting!) and nibble at the grass. He wandered back through the middle at some point, and then finally rolled.

Lacy walked by and I asked her if she would want to put Sweet Potatoe in with Roscoe and see what happens and she said sure. So Sweet Potatoe joined Roscoe and it was about as interesting as watching paint dry. Nothing happened. She defended her space rather well, but that was about it.

Libby walked by and asked if she could turn Thor out with Sweet Potatoe, and Lacy agreed, so she put Sweet Potatoe into the 100 footer and Libby went to get Thor. It was rather funny because Thor turned out to be a perfect gentleman with the lady. He even yielded to her space! She ran around quite a bit, but he followed her on the inside at a ground eating trot. He hardly broke gait, unlike the day that he played with Sumo when apparently boys will be boys. I watched and let Roscoe graze a while before I put him back up in his pen for a bit longer.

Ralph arrived right on time, and I had to run around to find someone with a golf cart that could help me get my stuff moved around, and that happened to be Don. He drove me up to the cabin and grabbed my stuff of the porch and then we off-roaded our way back down again. I don’t think I have ever been off-roading in a golf cart. Technically there is a path, but they put water diversion speed bumps in the road, and now the golf cart bottoms out when you go over them. It doesn’t get stuck, but it is pretty funny. He and I drove up to the very top of the hill to check on

Nancy loading up there, and she wanted to know where to get some hay, so I told her to come back down the hill and ask Ralph. Sure enough he knew exactly where and then we were on our way.

We both got hungry along before Bayfield, and he suggested a brewery that was not far away. He called Michelle and she came to meet us. We managed to stop by the bank and take care of a few things there and then dropped in on a friend of his that has a café that he built the bar for. She does photography in addition to running her café, and it was a great little eclectic place.

We headed over to the Brewery and got a table. Michelle walked in right after that, and then as we were waiting to order, some friends of theirs walked in. We swapped to a bigger table and had a great time talking and eating. They were really interesting people.

Ralph went ahead and left to get Roscoe home and Michelle and I hung out for a few more minutes before we went ahead and went home. As it worked, we ended up getting home only a minute or two after Ralph anyway.

I arrived, and found the box that Jim shipped to me. I was requested to call him when I opened it so he could hear my voice since it was a surprise. Inside I discovered a dell laptop that he got a great deal on in their refurbished department. It’s a cute little silver laptop that is quick and has lots of nice features. It will be really great to be able to sit in the lodge and type up my things and not have to wait for a computer anymore. He said it was supposed to be my birthday present but he thought that I could use it now so he went ahead and got it for me. I was soooo surprised!

We decided to go out for a ride, and came up to the house to get changed when the rain rolled in. We hung out and I shared pictures for a while, and then finally the sun came out. We headed down there but as we went the winds kicked up. It was really super blustery and the rain hung all around us in almost every direction. We decided that it was probably not a good idea to try to go anywhere and ride, so we just took the horses into the arena and played with them on the ground.

That turned out to be the best thing ever. I guess that the change of scenery did Roscoe and I good, because things went as smooth as they ever have. I had his attention and was able to do really focused stuff with him. We started out putting his foot over a log, and working the individual feet and being precise and particular with which feet moved. He did really well. From there, we moved on to figure 8 maneuvers which he handled like a pro. It was great to see improvement there. I worked on some driving while next to him, and lo and behold I was now driving in zone 4 instead of zone 3. That made me really happy.
Michelle by accident (it was Angel’s idea) started working Angel to her sideways, so I put Roscoe in the corner and began work on that to see how he would do. He did terrific and began understanding really quickly. So for the day, I decided that was excellent and I should probably stop there.

Michelle and I futzed around for a while more; she played with Winston and managed to get two lead changes at liberty which was beautiful to see. She also ran around and cavorted with him and realized that he was being exuberant instead of annoyed/bored like she thought when he tossed his head. We also worked a bit on getting the horses intrigue to want to come to you, and discussed playing around barrels, hiding behind them, and doing all sorts of other silly things.

It was getting later and we were hungry so we put everybody away and headed up to the house. Ralph cooked snow crab legs for dinner which were fantastic and we all chatted and talking, and I showed Michelle my notes and we talked for a long time about lots of different things.

I finally crashed into bed later than I ought to have, but it was a good time. Today we’re planning on getting a ride out somewhere short, and then I’ll head back to the ranch in time for orientation. At this rate I should probably get going.

Next Page: Monday, September 4, 2006: Beginning Again