Wednesday was my last day as a working student at Rancho Pampa. It seems surreal. I can't seem to keep the last three months straight in my head... it's all a blur of riding and grooming and feeling flashes of joy, confusion, apprehension, happiness, hilarity, focus, discouragement, fear... I would not give it up for anything. I've been a hotel with my Dad for the past two days enjoying a sight seeing vacation before heading home... and all I can think about is, I wonder if the ring has dried up enough to ride yet? I wonder how the horses are going? I wonder if the clients called back about Herodes, or if the new clients liked Vitruoso and Cor Lit? I can't seem to extricate myself from feeling like part of the "team" just yet!
But anyway... my last day. Amazingly, my praying that the rain would hold off for my Dad's arrival... came true! On Wednesday I started off the day riding Altanero, a big, rangy gelding that has apparently jumped Grand Prixs-- what a sensation! Huge strided and tons of power, it was a lot of fun. Next up was Skyline for a hack-- he's heading out soon to his new home in the US of A with Alice! After that I rode my little favorite Justinian in a short lesson with Katie & Picaro. I might have teared up a little bit as I hosed him down after. Then I rode Holendesa in a lesson, working on striding between poles-- I have to say, I remember an identical lesson just when I'd arrived at the farm-- not nearly as successful, not by a long shot! I enjoyed feeling my labours over the past few months come to fruition. Eight, nine, ten, eleven in a line-- what a mare she is!
After that it was a rush to tack up some, get organized, and cram all my belongings into suitcases in a semblance of "packing." My Dad arrived -- I gave him the Grand Tour and we all settled down to an asado. Then I got to ride for him :) I felt so nervous-- really wanted to show my Dad that these three months had a payoff and a visible return! I jumped Justinian over a little line at around 3'6 and the horse was as perfect as you could ask for. Honestly, it was a beautiful day and I don't like to think about the fact that I may never ride some of the horses again (and in fact most likely won't.)
While I miss everyone at home, I do feel like I'm in for some reverse culture shock. I've gotten so used to my routine here and I think I've been well suited here. Not that it was all sunshine and daisies, and many days I was cranky and tired (as Katie can surely attest!) But nonetheless I felt, generally, pretty content. Working towards something. I will miss it!
Oh, and my elbow is broken. After an altercation with a stallion last weekend I ended up with a really sore elbow and, after trying to ride Monday afternoon and again Tuesday morning with some painful consequences, I decided to pony up and visit the doctor to make sure I wasn't doing any real damage. the first doctor said it was broken, the second said it wasn't, so I figured I'd do no more harm by riding. My Dad looked at the x-ray himself and says there is an evulsion fracture there... so perhaps I'll splint it when I get back to Canada. Right now I'm a bit more excited about the Henry Jota auction tonight and the Argentine Open final tomorrow!!!