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March 26, 2015: Down Time

A transition day. My train leaves at midnight tonight, 12 hours from now. The clinic ended yesterday, so I am spending the day here at Anita’s place. Those who remain, the ranch regulars, are busy doing horsey things. I have cleaned up in front of me, cleaned up behind me. I’m now sitting in the gathering area and watching two women groom and tack up their horses. Big horses, standing patiently at the hitching post. The overall conversation has done an about-face—before it was clinic particulars, now it is centering around the Sacramento horse expo, which is going to be held in a few weeks. Anita and her crew will be attending, and taking eight or so horses with them.

Lee, who is now tacking up her horse, is going to ride a large chestnut quarter horse/Belgium cross, a seemingly patient mare, in the draft horse quadrille. Lee has short, close cut gray hair, is wearing a blue tee shirt and riding pants. The other, younger woman is riding a rangy flea bitten gray named Bently. She’s wearing a tye dyed tee shirt, riding breeches, and riding boots.

The two woman will momentarily head over to the arena. Yet another woman is in the round pen adjoining the arena. She is working a dapple gray draft horse that appears to be slower moving than the other two. It’s a ground pounder.

The horses are tied to a very tall and solid looking metal hitching post. No one is going anywhere. It’s warm here, just a bit breezy. Soon Kris will arrive and work with the kids and horses. She runs the therapeutic riding program.

This place has a very congenial atmosphere. The horses in the panel enclosures to the right of arena and central area get to watch the day’s goings on. Right now they are busy eating their morning hay. Rex doled it out to them just a short while ago. Overall, lots of whinnying and neighing. This has been my background noise for the past few days. Soon my background noise will be travel related.

Will I miss this place? The answer, surprisingly, is no. This is because the world of big horses is foreign to me. If the informality and friendliness of the place was combined with the friendliness and laid back attitude of Icelandic horses, I’d feel differently. But it was good for me to get out of my comfort zone. Stay in one mind frame for too long and you get locked in. It is sort of like being in a mental jail.

I talked with Pete this morning about Susan Harris’s wanting to come to Alaska and doing a clinic. I am relieved that he is so enthused about this because this feels like it would be too big a venture to handle on my own. There is going to be considerable administrativa, something that I am out of the habit of doing. Fortunately, he too knows that this clinic will be life changing for those who take it. And me, the same since I will get more instruction time. Giddy up, move em out, get er done, tally ho.

Next: 139. 5/27/15: The Good Life

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