I don’t remember when I’ve seen our outdoor thermometer registering this close to minus thirty! Yesterday it was a balmy minus twenty-five and the only horse I played with was Bucephalus. I figured it had to warm up…WRONG! Today, somehow, each of the horses will have an arena outing.

I did spend a few minutes yesterday with Z and Z in the “piaffe stall” working on lifting diagonal pairs. The boys do like individual attention.

Robb Roberts presented me with the latest piano prototype. I’ve had it on the farm since late Thursday, but haven’t had a warm enough day to take it to the barn and show it to the horses. This model looks like a picket fence with a piano behind it. Robb reattached the wooden keys to the base and added a board across the top of the keys. The keys are under this new board. This new addition was created in hopes that Zeloso will not be able to grab the top of a key, pull it towards himself and essentially detach it from the piano! Can’t wait to see if it works.

Robb is playing around with the idea of breaking into one of my three floor pianos to examine the electronics. Then he’ll create a separate board with at least three discs/keys on it. The discs will be attached to the piano’s innards so that when the horse touches a disc a specific note will play. He hasn’t quite made that leap because he’s hoping I can teach the boys to softly touch the piano. He’d like to keep the piano in the picture. Once we go to discs, the horses will be playing a tune, but not a piano.

I just received the February issue of “Horse Sport”. In it the 2011 Photo Contest categories are presented. One of the categories is “Zero to Hero: restricted to horses that have come from any type of rescue situation. Please tell us a bit of his/her story.” I’ve contacted two friends who’ve done a marvelous job with their rescue horses and challenged them to WIN that category. One of the horses was rescued in 2005 along with more than 30 other horses. They’d been abandoned. The other horse is a PMU gelding who learned (before he found his current owner) that he can walk through just about anything…including fences.