06.09.30: End of Story

Friday arrived too early, as the days always seemed to want to do. It was not near so cold as it had been, much to all of our relief. I fed Roscoe as usual, and headed down to the lodge for breakfast.

We had our final remudas which didn't last too long. It was good to go over the last few things that we talked about in class. That ended and we headed into the lodge for our journey through the course and the finale.

We all got settled in and then they herded us outside so that we could collect our reading lists, the contact sheet plus our t-shirts for completing the course. We all settled back in and Lyla began giving out the certificates. I have to say it was the fastest that the certificates had ever been given out, and that was really just fine by us. It was only 60 people this time so that did help.

We finished that up and they began replaying all of the video clips that we watched through the course. It was interesting to go back and review things and see what a difference it made after the knowledge had been presented.

We finished up with that and they gave us about a half hour to be up in the big top for a presentation by Pat. We all moseyed up there and gathered around. To my delight, Jim arrived about the same time and since there were other family and friends up there, I invited him in to watch, with his camera of course.

Pat came in riding River and had Nova on a long line. He talked for a little while before he began to work with both of the horses at the same time. The two gray-white horses were gorgeous together as Pat guided them around the arena. He warned us that he would probably head outside with the horses to work on the hill. When he did, we simply headed out the back of the Big Top and all watched from the hill while he worked with the two horses against the gorgeous backdrop of the brilliant leaves of the scrub oak.

Pat finally headed back into the Big Top again, and we all followed once more. Pat removed the halter and line from Nova and began working with her at liberty. The two gray-white horses flowed around the arena together in a beautiful fashion.

Pat finished up and talked for a few more minutes before he left the arena. They then asked that all the people that were not there for six weeks leave and the instructors all got various things to sit on in front of the bleachers and were armed with boxes of Kleenex.

We then had a sort of recap of the entire six weeks, simply talking about the journey and the profound affects that it has on everyone. The instructors all got to say things, and then they opened up for anyone else in the class to say something.

Matej stepped forward to the middle of the group, and Lyla clarified that not everybody had to step into the middle, and Matej said he hoped that nobody else did. He began to relate that he and Demara had been together now for 2 years since they met here at the center. He announced that they were to be a part of PNC now. When everyone looked clueless, he said oh, you don't know PNC? We'll be Parents of a Natural Child. Everyone clapped and cheered for them. He then brought Demara down to the front, and got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She cried through the whole thing, and said yes.

After that, Rachel brought Kime forward and ceremoniously gave her her level 3 green string. Kime's levels horse was killed while we were at the ranch while one of her relatives was using it in a David Lichman clinic. She was very upset, and the whole group banded together to support her. The video that she sent in was the last thing she had with that horse. It was very emotional for her but I think she was pretty happy.

Many good things were said, and many emotions were brought to the surface. Many people cried through the entire thing. All of the instructors that participated in the class were asked to speak and it was great to hear from them. I think many of them were relieved to have the time allowed to them to work on their own horsemanship instead of spending so much time instructing others.

It was really profound, and we ended up sitting together through the entire hour of lunch. It was fine since there are so many of us they have to hold lunch for us. We finally finished up, and the emotions were still settling down again, and there was one last savvy clap to wrap things up. Lunch was much needed and we all relaxed for a while.

I headed up to feed Roscoe and get some of my luggage organized. I managed to get some things put out on the porch with Emma and Lillan's stuff so that it would be taken up to the parking lot for me that afternoon instead of the next day.

I got Roscoe out when he was finished with his lunch and saddled him for the last time and moseyed up to the Big Top to do some light riding. We got up there and Nic wanted some video clips of him doing spins on Drift. His camera had a video feature so Jim held it while he did what he wanted. I rode a couple laps of the Big Top very slowly asking Roscoe for transitions forward and backwards. He did pretty well but I could tell he was still sore.

Michelle and Ralph got there shortly after that so I slowly worked on moseying back up to the pens. I got Roscoe all put away and gathered all of my tack stuff to get put on the truck. Michael rode up on a really nice flatbed truck so we loaded everything onto the back and Michelle and Ralph rode up with me to put the stuff into their truck. I put the stuff that was mine up in the pickup truck and we got everything organized. Nic got his stuff loaded which was good.

We headed down for dinner and had the last meal in the lodge. It was leftovers from the night before since so many of us left to go out for dinner on Thursday night. It was still pretty good though, mostly because we hadn't actually eaten it twice in a row! We finished up dinner and Michelle copied some of my notes that she wanted and we headed up to get Roscoe. Nic had his things organized, and so I got Roscoe and led him up to the parking lot.

The poor guy didn't want to load when we got up there, and whinnied when he was in the trailer. He seemed to really like it at the ranch. We loaded up and I said goodbye to Nic since he was going with Michelle and Ralph so that she could give him a ride to the airport in the morning. It was saddening to have to say goodbye.

I headed back down the hill and cleaned up the pen so that I wouldn't have to do it later and got everything put away. A group decided to go to the hot springs, which was a really nice thing. We all headed into town and relaxed together for a while in the nice warm water.

We decided to head to the bar after that, so Russell and Ann and Jim and I all headed over for a drink. We played a little pool and then headed in to crash. I spent the night with Jim in the hotel room so that I could get some of the luggage organized. We would return to the ranch in the morning so that I could get the rest of my stuff and say goodbye to everyone.

Next Page:
Sunday, October 1, 2006: Final Days in Colorado