The Parelli method of natural horsemanship is growing. As it goes world wide, Pat and Linda are doing more and more venues over seas...... and fewer in the states. It's understandable. But I do miss my pilgrimage to see them. It has been three years since my circumstances and their geographical location lined up sufficiently for me to go see one of their tour stops. It was at the Royal down in Kansas City.
The Royal is located down where any cowboy place would have been historically located, in the bottoms. It's squeezed in close to the river and the railroad tracks, surrounded by the industrial area. The slaughter houses were probably close by at one time. Not exactly a prime real estate location.
Now the trick with the Royal is catching the right turn off. If you miss it then there is no where to go but over the river. Over the river is the neighborhood that we ALWAYS seem to get lost in. The neighborhood that my nephew told me to never stop at a stop sign in. Moving targets are harder to hit! The neighborhood that we only saw six white people in... us, the three lost cowboys and the hooker. The hooker was the only person that seemed particularly chirpy about being there.
What struck me the most was that the neighborhood felt shrouded. It felt grey. Grey houses with grey boards nailed over window voids. Grey streets with broken glass in the gutters. Grey mood. Folks just looked solemn. Then we made a turn onto a wider street thinking we had finally found a through street, a way out. Well, it wasn't a way out. But we saw a group of kids laughing... on HORSEBACK!! There WAS some happiness in this dismal place! There they were, skinny kids on skinny horses, urging them across multiple lanes of traffic. Cars stopped to let the dull coated chestnuts walk across. As the cars started moving again the kids laughter disappeared down over a hill.
Even in this frightening place, horses and humanity meshed and made lives brighter. It's funny how, despite our circumstances, some of us just need horses to be a part of our lives... to be complete and happy. I think about those kids often. I wonder if they are alright. Worry about whether or not those skinny kids have enough food and whether the skinny horses have enough hay. Is there anyone there to help them with worming and grooming and picking out hooves? I'll never know.... but I'll always wonder.
And in the meantime.... I miss Pat and Linda. Miss their expertise in a horsemanship philosophy that is also a studies in the humanities I have a lot of dvds for home study, but miss them none the less. Don't miss the Royal.