06.09.09: Double Whammy

Didn't get a chance to update Friday morning, there was just too much to do and everything that needed to be done involved Mud. And let me tell you there is nothing like Colorado MUD.

Thursday began with intensive classes, which we didn't even get to completely finish. We did a simulation in the afternoon of direct rein, indirect rein, and transitions from the walk which was very cool. You've just got to be careful when you're supposed to be the "rider" in the middle, and you happen to be a guy that’s taller and wider than you. It makes steering a bit difficult.

We ate a hurried lunch and then there were plans to head out to do laundry since there would be no time during the weekend. We finally got ourselves together to do that, and as we waited in the car for Lillan to catch up with us, it began to rain. It rained all the way through laundry, where we met up with five other people from the ranch who all had the same idea.

We finished laundry and it was still raining. Hard I should add. We began the trek up to the cabin and discovered just why everyone dreads the Colorado Mud. It gets slick, like the consistency of clay slip used for "gluing" two piece of clay together. And then it clumps on your shoes, sides and the bottom, and causes you to slide dreadfully. Getting up the hill to the cabin was difficult at best, hazardous at worst.

We managed ok, and I got Roscoe fed for the evening as the rain came down.

While in the laundry mat I touched base with Mom and Dad to make plans for the next morning and discovered to my delight that they were actually on their way already. Their train was delayed by 4 hours by a freight train wreck, so they simply rented a car and drove. They were about 2 hours out, so after I finished up dinner, they arrived at the ranch. They were disappointed they couldn't see anything in the driving rain and I wasn't about to take them up through the mud to see.

We headed to their hotel room and hung out and I showed them the pictures that I had from class and everywhere. They really enjoyed heading all the stories, even if it was in super speed.

We came out of the hotel and discovered that it was not raining at the moment, but the clouds were still thick. It gave me the break to get up to the cabin without fighting rain in addition to the mud.

The next morning came far too early at Lacy's prompting. 5:30 was just wayyyy too early to get up. It had been decided that she and Lillan would go up to the car to work on our t-shirts that had not gotten done, and that Emma and I would go feed and muck. Of course what Emma and I didn't realize was that it would STILL be raining in the morning, the horses would be fetlock deep in the mud, and there was NO way to tell the mud from the manure in the dark, even with the lantern. We simply fed them, with a break in the middle to go to the lodge to get a bit warm and put some things away to get them out of the rain, and then back up to deliver the feed to the horses.

We finished that up and returned to the lodge for breakfast. Thankfully there was oatmeal for breakfast which was SO warm after the chill of the rain. I managed to find out that Mom and Dad were in the line somewhere waiting to get into the ranch and park. So I headed over to the welcome booth to get my wrist band and program, and then went up to check our seats in the big top. After I knew where they were I headed back down to meet Mom and Dad as they came up from the lot.

We roamed around for a while looking at the merchandise and then finally made our way to our seats. We were right in the middle on the side, which was just fine with me. It opened with the Savvy team performing, which included John and his horse Leo, Don and Frontier, and Rachel with Dreamy. It was great to be able to see our instructors play. There was one other girl that was a recently graduated student that was also participating.

That finished up and Pat and Linda came in with Remmer and Casper running around the arena which was fun to watch. They talked for a few minutes and then Pat ran out of the arena and Linda said that he was going to do something he'd never done before. She took Remmer and Casper out and in came Pat driving two BEAUTIFUL gray draft horses, a matched set, in front of him while riding Magic. We got a sneak peak since he had driven them around the ranch a few times getting them used to the traces and everything. They
were amazing, though very skittish about the crowd. Their names were Thunder and Lightning; Thunder being the gelding, and was much more unconfident than Lightening, the mare. They were gorgeous to watch, and he showed how he would work on teaching them to begin to pull something, and drive an actual hitch. In the end he had several of his students come jump on the sled that he had attached, and then finally when the horses were used to that, he had Magic jump up on the back with her front legs, and run along behind the sled as they left the arena. It was amazing to watch.

The rest of the day runs into a blur, Pat did work with Magic in a preparation for bridle-less riding demonstration, Linda worked with Allure on driving from zone 3 and back (and I have to say that Allure was not near as distracted as he had been the day she worked with him for us). Linda came back in the afternoon and did work with Remmer on collection which was just beautiful to watch, as well as building up to lead changes.

The day was awesome, and very mentally overwhelming, but that’s typical of here. We finished up and I headed up to feed Roscoe and then drove over to Bayfield to get some dinner, which was pretty good. I had a pizza made with brown sugar and had pineapple and Canadian bacon on it, which was really good.

We made the drive back to Pagosa in the dark under a full moon, though by the time we hit the valley again it was cloudy again so no stars could be seen.

I hiked back up to my cabin and fell into bed.

Next Page: Sunday, September 10, 2006: Colorado Mud