We’ve started practicing for the October 17th Fund-Raiser . I met last week with our square dance caller. He had a CD of his band playing music. Can’t wait for the horses to hear it!

Yesterday four of the six horses (there’s a rumour that we might have access to seven horses, however one of the original six has graciously said that she will drop out if “six” is the preferred number), were able to practice square dance movements. There’s also the possibility that if we have seven the eighth “horse” will be a human riding a stick horse.

We were also thinking that four horses might be a perfect number to perform in the arena because there isn’t a lot of room width-wise (about 18 metres). And, maybe, we could do two different dances with four horses. In that scenario, horses one through four would perform the first dance, then a few horses would leave the arena and the new horses would step in (creating a total of four) for the second dance. Our minds are “open”.

Allen Kalpin was our leader. As a young man he square danced on horses in Arizona. He had us practice:


-allemande left

-grand right and left

-swing your partner

-travel side by side

-four steps forward, four steps backward (bow to your partners)

Surprisingly things went really well! My husband Bill and I rode our two horses, Zelador and Zeloso. They’ve been buddies since they were born six years ago and were comfortable side by side.

Ron Marino rode, Pax, his six-year-old Canadian (big boned, stocky horse) side by side with our twenty-year-old Quarter Horse/Appaloosa, Kye ridden by Allen Kalpin. They, too, worked well together. Allen declared that Kye is the perfect square dance horse. He’s nimble, agile and very responsive to cues.

Whereas Kye was super, Bill was a challenge. For the “swing your partner” EACH and EVERY time he forgot to have his horse’s head in front of the horse’s shoulders. The head was bent towards the partner. I had to reach over, move Zeloso’s head, then take Bill’s hand as we “swung”.

Also, when Allen called out two moves, Bill did the first one and usually forgot what the second one was.

On the “grand right and left” I had no problem joining hands as I passed each rider, except when I came to BILL. Hmmm….

Perhaps husbands and wives should NOT be partners in a horse square dance.