In which we go to the convention for business, parties and treasures

Time at last for the annual Gathering of the Clans, also known as the Pacific Northwest Endurance Rides conference: the convention of our regional endurance riders!
Business first: the meeting of the 2010 PNER Board is held Friday afternoon. This isn't a very fun event, it's mostly work. Next year we've promised to serve rum in order to boost attendance by board members and also to make the meeting more...interesting....

Jim serves on the Board as a Washington State rider rep, and he's also the head of the Education Committee, which is really important work and not very glamorous. The position requires a lot of time and energy all year.

In contrast, I serve as the organization secretary, and as the Junior Advisor. That means I only have to work 5 or 6 hours per year, and spend the rest of the time hanging out with kids. No wonder Jim likes to help me with my PNER obligations--they are mostly fun!

I do head the Scholorship Committee, which sometimes is a little more political than it should be, especially when parents get involved with the essays submitted by their kids. Sigh. I'm sure Elizabeth over at Standardbred Excellence knows how much fun that can be (NOT), since she teaches English in a public high school.

After the Board Meeting: awards!
The Friday evening awards are very casual (especially in contrast with the Saturday evening awards). Two of the kids ran into the hall in their bathing suits, because they'd been swimming in the hotel pool and didn't want to miss being called for their awards!

Although Jim and I didn't compete enough this year to earn "rider awards", we both were honored by the Juniors. The kids give the adults who help them in the sport of endurance a small token each year. Super sponsors don't just sponsor kids in competition. They also haul horses, feed or clothe kids at vet checks, and speak kindly and encouragingly. You'd be amazed how often adults will ignore kids in camp...and these juniors remember every kindness.

(the pin says "SUPER SPONSOR").

The current Prez and administration also honored some of us as longtime volunteers:
Check out the embroidery:
Unfortunately, Jim's jacket got left off the list! Really sad, especially since he does so much work! :-( They re-ordered it this morning, and Paul announced the omission at the Sunday morning Board Meeting, so at least Jim got some public recognition for the unglamorous work he does!

Hanging with the Evil Twins: always fun.
And then, of course, there's the SHOPPING!I did not buy this headstall, because I love the sidepull bridle that I use for Fiddle...but I do think I'm going to ask the company to build me a similar browband that I can swap onto the bridle when it's time to Pirate Up in public!
I did buy this rump-rug, however, which was custom made for me by PNER member Sally Perry. It's similar to the rump rug I already had, made by Victoria White, except that it's much bigger. As she's gotten more fit, Fiddle's hindquarters have gotten HUGE, much larger than the back end of an Arab...and Victoria's rug left Fee's caboose hanging out in the cold. I still love the old rug, though, and I'm keeping it...but the new one is purple with skull and crossbones!

Sky had some stuff on her shopping list as well:
These are handmade gortex and polarfleece chaps, to keep the cold and rain off in the saddle. I'm jealous, but I stuck to my list and my budget. They certainly are awesome.

Mona and Marilyn are writing their names on raffle tickets. Raffle is really important at our convention: we like being able to contribute to the organization....and the prizes are great (I'll show pix at the end of this post, I promise).

PNER is a points and awards organization with the mission of educating riders and promoting endurance rides in our region. That's why our conventions always feature fabulous guest speakers. Donna Snyder-Smith is well-known in the endurance community and beyond for teaching riders how to use their bodies to assist their horses in athletic endeavors.
More meetings for me: our "recurring president" Paul Latiolais (Jim's evil twin) visited the Junior Luncheon meeting, ate a piece of pizza with us, and asked the kids for input about the organization website and what "junior stuff" should be on it.

I collect horse books throughout the year, just so I can give them away to kids at convention.I love giving kids stacks of books, can you tell?

And then, at last, it's time to dress for the banquet. Gail declined to wear a prom dress but the peacock-feather hair ornament was perfect for her outfit.
Sky also declined to dress for the prom, but I still think she cleans up real purdy.
Jim and I dressed in shiny and sparkles!
It's not always easy to find a prom dress that complements the tattoo, you know? But doesn't Jim look just splendid in his tux jacket and bow tie? swoooooon!

Wally and Carlene: KING AND QUEEN OF THE PROM!
(We joked that Carlene was late to the Sunday morning board meeting because it took that long to get back out of the dress.)
Gary found a ruffled shirt, but had to make cuff links out of raffle tickets.
Our Fishy Friends surely clean up nicely, don't they? I love Lori's elegant frock!

The Pink Flamingo team has its own sense of style. I like that.

But my former junior Tiffany
and her daughter ("the grand-junior")Ashley Ann
are clearly the most beautiful ladies on the dance floor!

Puzzle inspected the loot carefully when we got home....
He carefully examined the greeting cards that I bought as a gift for our next door neighbors (who fed the horses and hens while we were out of town).Here's a shot of the cards without Inspector Kitty: Pretty, huh? The artwork is by my friend Sky--if she sends me the link to her website, I'll post it here so y'all can shop for these cards yourself. They make excellent birthday cards or thank you gifts!

Remember I mentioned the raffle? Look at all the stuff we won: Yes, my friends, this stack includes three ride entries, a bunch of horse cookies, a large bag of Mare Magic, some water bottles, a step stool, and a brand-new Kerrits jacket!

This stack of raffle prizes
has been approved by Inspector Kitty.


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  2. ^^^ Oooh, targeted spam! You're lucky, or something - I just get the random stuff.

    Sounds like a great con! You and Jim looked absolutely adorable in your matching prom outfits. Loved all the pics!

  3. Love the jacket and the pirate brow band. You look STUNNING in your dress. The cards are also beautiful. This post made me grin :)

  4. Hey I didn't know you and Jim were PNER royalty!
    I was there for the membership meeting and kept thinking "that guy looks familiar" when Jim was giving his report on the Ed. committee.
    Now I know where I've seen him before, on your blog, training those jumping chickens!
    Do you guys help arrange for the speakers at convention? I've really enjoyed the presentations I've been able to attend.
    Please tell Sky I love her cards- does she do any horse portrait work? I've been wanting to get someone to do a portrait of some of our horses.
    Karen W.

  5. Jeeze, my targeted spam is never accurate. And it's all in Russian. Lucky you! :)

    I LOVE the dress, the tattoo, the wonderful honors you received.

    I'm ready to join now. Hudson and I want to do endurance with you!
    And oooooo liking the chaps.

  6. Jane: bring Hudson up to our region any time! We'll take you to an endurance ride (well, you can ride an LD or even a novice distance if you like) and ply you with strong drink and piratical songs.


  7. Or come to Nevada! I've talked to several people who think NV rides are very friendly, welcoming to new people, etc. I've only done NV rides so I can't compare to anything. :)

  8. good good achivement … and in my personal opinion you have done very gud job and you have very gud collection of peacock feather dress 2011 … Some nice collection is also availble on fashion blog..

  9. Congratulations on your spam, Aarene! Is it your first? The first is always the most special :)


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