Big Belated News

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

SO.

There has been so much going on since I have returned home that I have not had the time to sit down and sort it all out. If I thought I was busy before I left, then I was fooling myself.

Firstly, the biggest news is that I have discussed with Mom and Dad and they have agreed to help me get back to the ranch next summer for 12 weeks if I pay for half the classes plus my expenses. This is a huge deal for me, and an incredible opportunity. When I was getting ready to head out to Colorado for six weeks I wondered how anyone could stay out there for 12 weeks. When I was trying to pack to come home, I wondered how anyone would want to leave. I didn't feel ready to leave. I know that in many ways I was ready to leave, but yet at the same time, to be able to stay and continue to progress along the same path would have been a real gift. So thats where I am headed. Its $10,000.00 away from me, roughly, but that is where I am aiming. SO. Nobody can say that they don't know what to get me for christmas, birthdays, and any other random holidays that they come up with. I need the money!

The second piece of big news is that upon my return I had a meeting with my instructor that I work with here, Jim McDonald. He approached me with the offering that I could be his assistant and help him coordinate his training business, Training in Harmony with Horses. I was humbled and honored that he had enough faith in me to make such a request and happily accepted. In addition to that, he offered to allow me to work on his farm and help him out with a lot of the extra things that always need doing that he has so little time to maintain. He often goes out of town, and explained that I could feed the horses in the mornings when he was gone as well. He would pay me for the farm work, plus pay me some for the clinics and various things that I assisted with. I was delighted to accept. We finally decided that my title would be event coordinator, and he sent me up to an emboidery shop to have some shirts made so that we could match (I just got those back today, and they look terrific!).

We've been getting things organized and doing a lot of talking so far. I've been working on putting together the newsletters that will go out once a month through email, and trying to get the details in order so that I know what needs to be done, and kept up with.

I've also begun to do work around the farm. He has 3 horses, who I will introduce as soon as I am able to get pictures. The biggest project that I've got at the moment is working on the tack room. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of mold in the tack room. The window and door are not actually properly sealed, so the moisture from outside comes freely inside and the room smells really damp and musty. Many of the saddle pads feel damp. I worked for several hours in the past week on some of the saddles trying to get them cleaned and get the mold off of them. One day when it was sunny and not so damp, I grabbed one of the long ropes that is used for ground driving (its like a super long set of reins, so you can walk behind the horse and use the reins as if you were driving) and ended up zigzagging them across the barn through the tie rings to make a clothes line. I pulled all of the saddle pads and anything else that might get moldy out of the tack room and strung it all out on the line. It was very good for the things, but putting them back into the tack room only brought back the mold. I would have hung everything out on the fences if it weren't for the fact that it was so windy and had only stopped raining a few hours before so there were lots of puddles of water everywhere. The only thing that is really going to correct the mold problem is sealing up the window and door better. Then I can pull everything out and begin to wash it and clean it properly and then put it back once its cleaned up thoroughly. Hopefully I can get that accomplished soon.

Part of the work that needs to be done is mowing the grass. With only three horses they hardly can keep up with the grass so it gets rather long. That will probably have to be done one more time before winter, and then the mower can be put away until spring comes around again.

Sunday I headed to class at the Graham Equestrian Center. Originally the plan was to bring  Jim's horses over there so that we could work with them. But since Ice turned up with a sore foot, we decided it was better to leave them at home. I didn't really know what was going to end up happening, but to my delight it ended up that I was able to help a couple people out that were in class. I was able to give Diane a few suggestions for working with Major while she worked with him on the ground to give him some time off of riding. I was also able to help Linda with her new horse a little bit working on the Yoyo game and the Circling game. It was a delight to have the difference in perspective being able to teach someone else the matertial. The challenge of having to communicate to someone the concept so that they understand it to the point of being able to communicate it to their own horse so that the horse understands it. It was a big challenge, but a lot of fun. Seeing someone 'get it' for the first time was amazing.

So thats whats happening in my life right now. Busy busy busy, but what else is new? thanks for keeping up.