Dee and I are in beautiful Santa Ynez, getting ready for the first full day of the Light Hands Horsemanship conference! We had planned to drive down Wednesday evening at around 7 in order to set up our booth Thursday,but had some technical difficulties. Instead, we ended up leaving at around 1:30 AM, and arriving in Santa Ynez at 7 in the morning. We checked into the hotel, took an hour nap, and then got up to go set up the booth.
Debbie Beth-Halachmy, who runs this fancy shindig, and whose husband is a featured clinician, was so sweet to us when we got there, along with the rest of the staff. We got a booth in a prime spot, right near the entrance to the eating area. We got our stuff set up by about 11:30, and then headed into town to find some tent stakes for the pop-up. The Ace Hardware there is about the cutest store I have ever seen, and the people were exceptionally friendly and helpful. We went next door to the Dos Carlitos Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar for lunch (didn't use the latter service, I'm afraid). It was a sensory experience. GREAT food, really good salsa, nice dining room, and even biodegradable take away boxes.
We made it back in time to pound in the tent stakes before the weather turned from serene to high winds. I spent about an hour chasing things down and zip tying them to the pop up frame. If it wasn't zip tied, or laid flat and weighing in at over 8 pounds, it wasn't sticking around long. Our neighbor's pop up frame literally buckled under the wind. Our neighbors by the way were all fascinating, and I will write a little about one each day. The guy with the bad pop up luck is a geologist/paleontologist turned self taught award winning jewlery maker. He had some exquisite pieces, and regaled us with stories of how he found one of the very few Tyranosaurus Rex fossils. I learned yesterday that the triceratops has the thickest skull of any animal in history.
The conference did not officially start yesterday, but Mr. Art Perry, the owner of the fabulous Intrepid Farms that hosts this conference each year opened the farm to visitors who wanted to take a tour of the Farm's museum. We talked to quite a few people at our booth, sold some t-shirts and raffle tickets, got a few donations, and really felt the love for our cause and animals. The day ended perfectly with Rick Lamb, of The Horse Show, giving a talk about the Seven Key Qualities of a Horseman. As Dee put it, the essence of the talk is that the horse is your mirror, and you create your own reality.
We turned in early, completely sleep deprived, not speaking in complete sentences, looking a little ragged, but pumped for the start of the conference on Friday. It is not Friday morning, and the cell alarm just went off. I am going to go shower while Dee caps off her first night of sleep uninterrupted by dogs in a year with a 15 minute snooze button. Today should be less windy, and now that we are awake, we will start to take some pictures of this amazing place.