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[RC] Red Barn Part I - rides2far@xxxxxxxx

Whoo boy,

Just back from Red Barn/AHA Championship. If you looked at the techno-color 
channel graphics, yep, that was us. Weather.com said it was going to rain 2" or 
Thurs, 1-2" Fri. have tornados and hail with rain Saturday. Then I had to  make 
decision whether to just say, "what the heck?" and go or actually say, 
"This is insane; why would I drive TOWARDS Armageddon?  Well, for one thing we 
couldn't back out since Josie had been offered a ride on an FEI horse to get 
qualified for Young Riders and we couldn't stand the owner up. So...decided it 
was just one of those days you hope they're wrong and go.

We headed out Thursday morning. When I got up the wind was so strong the house 
popping and moaning. I had to lean into the wind to do my chores. It died down 
by 9 AM 
but we drove  I was getting constant updates from all sides on my cell phone, 
telling me the "convection index" was extremely high and climbing. That's 
apparently something that tells you if your chances of joining Dorothy and Toto 
in Kansas 
are good. At one point as we were driving through Atlanta in a blowing rain I 
"So, what should we do? Turn around?  and Bill just laughed and pulled out his 
wallet and handed me a quote someone had posted on ridecamp which was a forward 
another site. 

It said some stuff about how as humans we need to place themselves in spots 
where the unexpected can ambush us. " It said "On a subconscious level, we need 
these mishaps. We understand that they pack powerful medicine. They're 
antidotes to the quiet desperation of modern life, reminding us that we as 
individuals, as a species-are survivors, showing us how truly extraordinary it 
is what humans can endure. How much we can outwit, outflank, or with clenched 
teeth, simply withstand." Then it ended with, "Sometimes we have to set 
out-presumably innocent of our interior motives-and go have a really bad time". 

It seemed so appropriate at the time I just decided what the heck, let the bad 
times roll.

We drove through rain almost till we arrived. When we pulled it it was clear, 
and the ground was dry! They were supposed to have a couple of inches of rain 
but all they'd had were high winds. We hurried desperately trying to get a ride 
in on the borrowed horse to set stirrups, etc. It's not every day an 18 year 
old gets to ride one of Valarie Kanavy's horses and we were pretty overwhelmed 
by even the prospect when she offered. Managed to get in a pre-ride, set up 
camp, and still no rain!  Went to bed expecting al heck to break loose any 
second. Nothing. Friday dawned with a light rain at 5:30 AM, but it stopped in 
time to saddle. We couldn't believe our luck when the ride started in the dry. 
All day reports came in that the "big storm" was hitting in an hour or two, 
then nothing. Finally some HIGH winds came through and rain for an hour and a 
half but considering what we'd expected it was blissfully wonderful weather. 

I've got to throw in now that the camp and management for this ride were 
something I hadn't expected. WONDERFUL!!!. The name "Red Barn" made me picture 
cow pastures with a big red barn. Nix that. Try a summer camp setting, lots of 
TALL pines (lots of picket line opportunities) a lake, cottages, WONDERFUL. 
Also, management was unreal. The FOOD!! Would you believe racks of bbq ribs & 
all the fixings? I couldn't believe how well everything worked out. Then, 
Josie's borrowed mount, My Wild Irish Gold was an absolute DREAM (OK, she can 
throw a heck of a spook but lets herself get caught again thank you Megan 
Savory & Kyle) and came in 3rd and took BC!  We'd worried how Josie would 
handle two days, but she rode a 50, came in and did a pre-ride with Cade & my 
borrowed mount Bailey, and then was good to go for Sat. All was well Friday 
night. We were still getting all the dramatic weather predictions but I'd 
pretty much decided this place was charmed. All the wild violent stuff was just 
splitting and going north and south of us. I went to bed to a warm peaceful 


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