We had our dress rehearsal for the April 14 and 21 Fundraiser for Youthdale Riding Program on the weekend. The weather forecast was sunny and plus five. Guess that Toronto forecast didn’t extend to King Township! We did see the sun (for a minute or two), but the temperature didn’t break “zero”. In spite of these challenges the horses and people did a fantastic job.

Zelador and K-8 ( a border collie) had their initial rehearsal for the act “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better!!!” at the dress rehearsal yesterday. Both were focused on their owners AND interested in what the other was doing. However, they didn’t try to intermingle. Both were quite secure in their own abilities and waited patiently for his/her turn to answer the challenge: jump, retrieve, etc.

During “A Place in the Choir” Zelador attempted (and succeeded with his first stuffed animal) to place each member of the choir in its chair. I’ll set up the chairs a bit differently (more horse-friendly) and see how that brainstorm of his develops.

The square dance went really well. Morley Batt (our square dance caller) arrived in plenty of time and knew all the ins and outs of the PA system before the eight horses assembled in the arena. During our first run-through I called out the movements and he watched. During the second (and final) dance he called it. We were in and out of the arena in less than twenty minutes!

Cassie on Faith and Kristy on Prince did a lovely Cowgirl Dressage. It was so much fun to watch. The horses did mirror-image movements and again and again they were perfectly synchronized. The women wore Cowgirl outfits and Faith (who is a tall, well-boned Percheron/Thoroughbred cross) wore a decorated breastplate. Stunning!

For the act with the obstacle course the three horses and humans were so good at doing the obstacles we realized we need to add more to keep them challenged. It’s an interesting act with Ron long-reining Pax, Donny riding Skippy and Lynn leading Fila. The audience gets to see the unique relationship between each horse and handler and how they successfully go over the bridge, walk and balance on the teeter-totter, play the maracas (Pax does this himself, no human needed, thank you), toss a ball into a bucket…

We have a line dance featuring four ladies and Zeloso. All of them got “into” Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking!!!” At the conclusion of the dress rehearsal Zelador sat on his bean bag.

I presented his white plastic bottle to drink out of. He held it briefly, then stood up. I explained to the audience that when he learns something he is pretty sure that he’s only able to do ONE thing at a time. When I ask him to do two things simultaneously (for example: salute and give a Big Smile) he thinks it can’t be done. Then, he figures out how to balance his body and do the two things. Well, wouldn’t you know, as I was giving this explanation Zelador sat himself back down. I presented the bottle again. He took it and held it!

There are several more acts, but I’ll not describe the entire program for the fundraiser because I want you to come see it!