Saturday, September 8, 2012


Flew to Colorado on Thursday to attend the Parelli Horsemanship Summit that takes place annually about this time. Usually my neighbor Laura and I drive out but Laura couldn't make it this year. I've gotten involved with the Parelli nonprofit, Parelli Education Institute, which is a new organization and this was going to be the first opportunity for the team to get together, so I didn't want to miss it. Fortunately, I was able to get another team member to split car and hotel expenses with me, so for the first time I flew in rather than drive. My Southwest flight to Albuquerque left Oakland at 6:20 a.m. which, as anybody who knows me can attest to, is quite a stretch for me. I did spend the night in Oakland at Hotel Hell so I could leave the car there and catch the shuttle. Next time I am spending the money to just spend the night at the Hilton!

It was a gorgeous morning to fly but after several nights of sleep deprivation, as I had a lot of work to get caught up on before I could leave, I pretty much slept through the flight. I did take a moment to snap a picture from the window. The flight was less than half full so I had the row to myself which made it a lot easier to sleep!

I caught up with Becky at the car rental station and we took off in our thankfully upgraded Malibu. I had mapquested the route but Mapquest is letting me down this trip (it took me to the wrong hotel in Oakland, although I should have stayed at the one it took me to). There were a few key steps in the journey that were obscure to say the least and the 4-hour drive took more like 5 1/2 hours. We did get to see a lot of New Mexico that we wouldn't have seen otherwise.

Got into Pagosa Springs just in time to check into the hotel and head to the team Meet & Greet at the Springs Hotel downtown. Pat and Linda Parelli were there to meet us and give us the pep talk. Pat can be pretty goofy but when he gets serious about something he can be downright inspirational. The team seems like a great group of people and we all left with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Had great warm, actually hot, weather and blue skies for Friday. The Parelli Education Institute team was introduced mid-day so we all got to go into the arena. I worked in the booth during lunch but still managed to wander around to shop for horses and accessories. Bought some accessories, no horses although as usual I was tempted. Specially since there was one named Cowboy. Also a yearling Dexter lookalike that I think Laura needs. I'm torn between getting the very cool Atwood Ranch horse with the great foundation and breeding, or getting a rescue horse. I guess I just need to bump up my income level and get both. Along with leisure time to spend with them. And with Cowboy who is still very much in the picture.

Cowboy seems to be feeling pretty frisky actually. He and Dexter went to spend the weekend at Laura's while I'm away as it was easier for Laura to feed them there. She thought, anyway. Cowboy decided that he was homesick and, the first morning when Laura fed them, went into a frantic tizzy in the paddock. Laura decided to take him to the arena and let him move his feet a bit, but Cowboy figured, why wait until we get to the arena? Why not move my feet right now? And why wait for that human? My lovely Parelli-trained horse ripped the rope out of Laura's hand (actually, she had the foresight to just let go of it) and took off through the barn and into the pasture where he had a bucking frenzy. That got Dexter upset and he started off on his own gymnastics. The reason Laura didn't come on this trip is that she has an elderly mare that she didn't want to leave alone as she is very frail (the mare, not Laura), and now there were 2 insane geldings on the property potentially causing a lot of upset to that mare.

She did catch up to Cowboy down by the arena and made him move his feet quite a bit faster than he had in mind for a bit. Once he settled down, she moved him and Dexter back to my house, figuring that since she had now spent over half an hour on the project, it would actually be faster to feed them in familiar surroundings rather than deal with their anxiety about being away from home. Apparently they are both satisfied with this and feeding time has gone back to being the pastoral ritual it usually is.

Back to Colorado--today was cloudy and much cooler, but who can complain when you are in Colorado with a bunch of horse nuts? One of my nonprofit activities was to take a survey around to the captive audience standing in line at the sole coffee vendor and get them to fill it out. Not usually something I'm comfortable with but it went fine and I spent way too much time talking to people and not enough survey-taking.

I know that the reason I am not comfortable asking people to do this because, in Parelli-talk, I am a Right-Brained Introvert and much prefer to avoid interaction that could lead to any level of conflict or discomfort. The concept was originally developed to figure out your horse's "horsenality" type so you could get strategies to deal effectively with him. (That's why Laura took Cowboy to the arena--he is a Left-Brained Extrovert and needs to move) The Parellis do acknowledge that some of the work they did to develop the Horsenalities is based on the social styles work done on humans--any HP alumnus will be familiar with that one. In that testing, I am an Analytic Analytic--in other words, super-geek. I love all this type of analytic work that puts people and horses neatly in little boxes that define them. So tidy. But, as Pat pointed out today, determining your or your horse's type is a TOOL to give you STRATEGIES, not an EXCUSE as to why you can or can't do something! I believe that's why the social style work done by my employer turned out to be something of a bust. Everyone wanted to know their personality type, and then used that information to vigorously defend their every action.

Anyway...back to Colorado was fun and productive. It's just about time to wrap it up and get some shuteye because tomorrow will be a long day. Last day of the Summit, and we need to head back to Albuquerque to spend the night, hopefully without getting lost, and then fly back home early Monday (flight is at 7:20 a.m. which when you take the time difference into consideration is the same time that I left Oakland on Thursday). So that's it for now.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice writing, Joan. :) And yes, you an handle bugging people-it's good for you.