06.09.11: Finale

Yesterday's last day at the conference went really well. The morning was cowboy church which I skipped. The Savvy team began and it was a lot of fun to watch as usual. They began with the two sisters, Evann and Susette (I think I might have misremembered that) coming into the arena, which had been divided in half, with Evann bringing in the two mini's, Barnum and Bailey, and Susette with the two gray drafts, Thunder and Lightning. They each worked with both of the horses at the same time at liberty, which was just beautiful. Those drafts are incredible.

Pat came out after that and brought with him Nova and River while riding Cash. “Stuck in the Middle with You” played while he did all sorts of things with all three of the horses. He droned on for awhile after that about things that I can't even remember. Linda came out riding Allure as well for her part of the “you asked for it segment.” Apparently the crowd asked for Pat to work with Allure, but Linda is very protective of her horses and loves to be on her journey alone. Pat returned with the closest thing to Smart Seven that he could muster - Smart Seven's sire - Sailing Smart. It was incredible to watch Pat work with him for close to the first time ever. His mane was so beautiful flying behind him as he barreled around the arena.

Finally, Pat brought out River again with a special saddle on her back that had extra padding and support around the legs, plus straps to go on the legs. Out came Lauren Barwick, a girl that was paralyzed below the waist in a bad accident. Pat has been supporting her as a para-olympian as she has been on her own journey. Her spirit just shines through. Lauren played with her for a little while from the ground in her chair, and the horse did really well. Pat came back out, and Lauren’s assistant came out and another girl helped her up on the horse. Her comment as they were lifting her was that it was a free grope, and she couldn't even enjoy it.

Her trouble training in Canada is that all the horses are heavy on the mouth and heavy in their need for leg aids, which for her is almost impossible. So Pat was letting her ride River and coaching her in how to work with River so that she could understand her rein aides. River was giving Lauren everything she had which was incredible to see. In her attempt to do something, River repeatedly gave Lauren a gorgeous extended trot that was flying. She cantered around, and Pat asked her to come through the center of the arena and change her reins and River performed the most beautiful flying lead change. When River would get stuck standing, Pat instructed Lorraine to ask her to step to one side, and then the other side, and then she would move off at walk. It was so beautiful to watch her riding, and the crowd was on its feet for her before she finished riding. Her smile lit up the whole big top. It was incredible to see.

Lunch break arrived, so we headed up to give Roscoe lunch, and I took him out to play with him for a little while, which was pretty uneventful. The playground was virtually ours, which was really nice. We headed back to his pen and I gave him his lunch and ran up to change clothes in the cabin. I headed down to re-find mom and dad and we headed west to Durango.

We got to Michelle's house about 3:00 and hung out for a while. Ralph finally came in and we got everything together to go to dinner, and ran down to see the horses before we left for town. We walked up to a book shop so that Mom could pick up Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, for Carmen who is from Australia. I found an incredible book on Wildfire and the failed policies in the US which if it hadn't been 45.00 I would have purchased it. We moseyed down to dinner at Ken & Sue's which is owned by Michelle and Ralph's friends, Ken and Sue. We had a great dinner and really enjoyable conversation.

We finally headed back to their house and were delighted to find a very clear sky waiting for us. They turned out all the house lights and we stood out on the deck looking at the stars. I was lucky enough to see a few shooting stars that were just brilliant. We finally made our way back to the ranch and I was happy to find some of my roommates involved in a big discussion in the lodge. Dad dropped his glasses so we went to look for them and then I headed to bed. Thankfully, Remudas don't start until 10 this morning, so I'm off to spend a little more time in bed before I have to do anything.

Next Page:
Tuesday, September 12, 2006: Ride On