Saturday, April 24, 2010

The little bits that mean so much.

Sometimes at The Mane Event there simply isn't enough time. Sometimes you have to make some tough choices. Should you watch a suppleness clinic or a bitting lecture? Should you go pick up that special purchase at the Trade Show, or is it a better time to find some much-needed food?

Amidst these tough decisions, sometimes you'll end up catching little bits of sessions, little moments that make you smile. In the first two days of activity, I've missed some of the bigger items that piqued my interest, but I've also had the chance to catch some of those little bits. Here's a snapshot of my little moments that have meant so much:

1) Trade Show hugs. One of the booths in the Trade Show has a stuffed-toy horse who stands about two feet tall and automatically moves his head and tail. On Friday, not 30 minutes into the show, a little girl stood hugging this horse as if she'd found a new best friend for life.

2) Ruben Villasenor and the Spanish walk. In passing, I caught a little bit of Ruben's demonstration on beginning the Spanish walk. I was struck by the beauty and grace of his three-year-old buckskin horse, and by the relaxing, smooth partnership they displayed.

3) Jonathan Field and the extra lesson. On a chilly Saturday afternoon, Jonathan provided an extra lesson to his clinic riders, who had gotten moved from their expected time slot. He offered a longer lesson for the six participants and, despite the weather, there was still quite a little crowd to watch.

4) Curt Pate and his rope. Some people have strong skills. On Friday afternoon, Curt offered a clinic on introducing the rope. In his demonstration, he placed the rope around one of his horse's forelegs, and then he showed how to teach the horse to respond to the pressure by moving his leg. He calmly and gracefully moved his horse's leg forward, with his horse displaying complete willingness and moving the leg to the desired spot.

These are just a few little bits that will become a package of my Mane Event experience. What are yours?

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