Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I've actually been back from Parelliland for over 2 weeks now, but I still keep thinking how nice it is to be home. I had such an amazing experience at my horsemanship course in CO. I learned so, SO much and enjoyed - almost - every minute of it, but HOME..... there's just no place like it.

My home isn't big or fancy, but it"s comfortable and functional. It has all my own stuff in all the right places and - really important - a fantastic shower. And of course, it has the people who are most important to me.

But here are a few photo highlights from my stay in the MECCA OF HORSEMANSHIP. (I heard that in my head with an echo...echo...echo.)

This is our class on the last day. It was such a great group - from all reports, the best group EVER - and I was pretty sad to leave them all. Our lead instructor, Ryan Rose, is on the bottom on the right. Our other three coaches: Jeanne and Luce on the outside corners on the back row and Dancin' Pete on the bottom left.

Dancin' Pete always lives up to his name. There was usually music playing in the background when we weren't in a lesson. In these pictures we were waiting for something to start when "I Love Rock 'n Roll" came on and Pete led an impromptu conga line around the lodge classroom. What a fun group!

The Ranch is a beautiful place - green and peaceful and at the top of it's own little canyon facing Pagosa Peak. Every time I walked up the hill on my way home in the evening I stopped every so often to take a photo in my mind, and a couple with my little point-and-shoot. It's not just beautiful, it's special - there's just an amazing feeling there.

This is Pat's Personal Playground and HIS personal ropes. :)

A little cool and unexpected bonus at the ranch - the wildlife, especially the chipmunks. They were so cheeky and funny and bold. They turned over our glasses of juice and walked under our horse's feet. They even ran into my roommate Holly's leg one time. They had the run of the place, with their own subway system of drainage pipes.

 Here's Pam from my class, communing with a Parelli chipmunk.

One of the coolest things about the whole experience, was meeting so many new Parelli friends. We spent all day every day together and then went out a couple of times in the evening as well. They were all SO GREAT. They were from all over the world: lovely Linda from England (who reminds me of my friend Stephanie), Lisa from New Zealand (who has truffle hunting dogs at home), Mary from New York (a 30 year veteran of the NYCFD paramedics and a 9-11 survivor), and Aurelie from Belgium - only 19 years old. Also Pattie (who lives in Pagosa and is now going to adopt a donkey from BF), Bonnie and Pam from Utah, marvelous Margaux (who is going to be a vet), Jo (my amazing roomie who has only had horses 5 years and already passed her Level 4), sweet Phyllis from Reno, and my funny and driven and super-smart roommate Holly. There was also Wendy (with the cutest, half Morgan pony) from the East Coast, Bill and Doni (married couple who were 77 and 68 and very cool, accomplished people) and Wendy P (who was a great carrot stick thrower) and Katrin from Germany (who was so brave to come to America by herself and lease a strange horse and struggle with the language), and Mary Anna (who was super fun and told me that she loves Mormons).


Another cool thing about the town of Pagosa Springs is the hot springs the town is named for. The accepted definition for Pagosa is "healing waters", and there is a resort there on the banks of the San Juan river where you can go and enjoy the spring water. There are at least a dozen different pools at different levels on the hillside where you can soak 'till your heart's content. The pools are different temperatures and you can even walk down some steps and dip in the river if you'd like. I got to go there twice - once with my two cool rommies, Jo and Holly, and once on local's night with a bunch of the Parelli externs. So fun! I came away from there feeling boneless and smelling a little like eggs.

This is a view of the springs resort from a restaurant balcony across the river where the girls and I had dinner one night. Such a pretty place.

I have so much to share about what I learned and the people I met. Hopefully one of these days I can get the chance to write more about it. It was an amazing experience and I can't wait to go back next year. Parelli ROCKS.


katie said...

Wow! It is so beautiful there!!