Our Fundraiser Sunday for Horseplay Sanctuary just might have been our best ever! And, of course, we were so busy doing all the jobs it turned out that we didn’t have anyone to film the show! Bummer!!! I’m going to see if we can recreate some of the acts this weekend and get them on film. Here are a few of the things we enjoyed doing:

  • For the first time ever our two and a half year old vizsla boy, Trooper, participated in a fundraiser. He joined Spring Song in “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better”. We grouped three or four challenges together with one animal, then the other animal demonstrated them. Trooper started his tasks nicely (for a few seconds) then a chipmunk scurried along the top of the kickboards, mere feet from him. Talk about losing the dog’s focus! The only treats I carried were carrots. Both Spring Song and Trooper LOVE these tidbits and thankfully, Trooper was able to drag himself away from his “find that chipmunk” mode and nibble on a treat I offered.

    I was able to let Trooper run free during his turn, but I kept Miss Spring Song on lead. I didn’t need these two sweeties getting too close to each other.

    It was interesting to see how the dog and the horse approached a task. He pushes the BIG ball (over three feet in diameter) by getting up on his hind legs and batting the ball with his front paws. Spring Song noses the big ball around the arena. Spring Song is just learning to take one lateral step with her hind legs when she’s got her front legs on the rotating top pedestal. Trooper prefers to sit on it.

    For the dog tunnel Trooper dashes through it and loves jumping over it. Spring Song goes sideways over the tunnel, but really prefers to get her hind feet on top of it, twist the tunnel and drag it along as she walks away.

  • For another act in the fundraiser we introduced a new version of “Catch a Falling Star”. For over six years Bill has ridden Zeloso and I’ve been on Zelador. We toss hula hoops back and forth. Currently there’s no riding for Bill since his fall from Zeloso September 22. He does NOT have the all-clear from the specialist to get back in the saddle just yet. Three days after Bill got home from the hospital he got into the Gator (a farm vehicle with two seats and a dump wagon) to get around outdoors. I said, “Let’s try tossing the hoops with you in the Gator and me on Zelador. If we can do it, great. If not, you can free-longe Kye from the Gator.” Saturday morning (the day before the fundraiser) we did our first, and only, rehearsal. Bill’s hoop tossing was greatly inhibited by the vehicle. He couldn’t create a backswing, but he could fling it horizontally. When the hoop flew sideways, so did Zelador. The hoops were all over the arena floor. Slowly but surely Bill developed a technique which did not require any backwards movement AND somehow went UP, then down into my outstretched hand. Zelador really appreciated UP followed by gravity politely and lightly lowering the hoop.

    Surprisingly the bridge, teeter-totter and three pedestals were accidentally placed in just the right locations allowing Bill to drive in between them and around them. When we performed the routine the audience laughed from beginning to end. Zelador put the gap time between Saturday and Sunday to great use. He was calm and never deviated from my suggested line of travel.

  • Dominique Maida rode Zeloso and I was on Zelador for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. We held the garrocha poles, entering the arena twirling them like a pin wheel parallel to the horse. At one point Dominique is cantering Zeloso around me with both of us holding the garrocha pole. The pole is twelve feet long creating a 20ish feet diameter for Zeloso. That’s a tight circle! I quickly learned that dropping the reins on Zelador’s neck and having two hands to handle the pole was the most efficient method. Zelador totally understood what I had to do and stood like a statue with his brother cantering around him.
  • Marie-Lynn Hammond was our MC for both fundraisers this autumn. She was wonderful! Whenever there was a gap between acts she had an interesting story or tidbit to tell the audience. When the many toys were being removed after “Anything You Can Do…” she sang one of the horse songs she wrote, “The Naughty Pony”. It’s on her CD “Hoofbeats” which has 12 original songs performed by her. The audience loved “The Naughty Pony” and were eager to hear more! We have to schedule a barn concert with Marie-Lynn.