After a week of preparation, today I’ll ride each boy and pop a balloon with the lovely balloon popper Ron Marino created. The balloons will be attached to the kickboards, about four feet off the ground. I’ll pop a balloon when I am positioned beside it. I’m wondering if I’ll need a really long popping stick. The one Ron made is about four feet long. Leading up to this momentous occasion I’ve popped balloons far from the horses, ten feet from the horses, four feet from the horses…

Ron created a huge Horse Mailbox, complete with red flag to show there’s mail in the box and a sign on it saying, “Horse mail only”. The first day I showed the mailbox to Zelador he stuck his head way into the box. Don’t know exactly what he was looking for.

Zeloso and Pax also enjoy retrieving letters and packages from the new creation.

Ann Clifford found four different coloured ribbons. I’ve attached one of the colours to a clothes line which I’ve hung above the horses. I still need to add the other colours. Zelador can now go through the curtain (about halfway), stop and back up. He’s very interested in the ribbons and occasionally tries to take one in his mouth.

We’re also working on balancing forward and back on the teeter-totter. The best teeter-totter horse in our barn is five-year-old Bucephalus. He’s also the smallest and lightest. Perhaps that makes it easy for him.

We’ll be doing a skit with Zelador for the fundraiser. During the skit we check a satchel to see if everything we’ll need for a trip is in it. So far the canvas satchel (which Zelador delights in picking up and swinging around) contains: swim trunks, beach towel, a golf club, sun hat (for me), dandy brush and Zelador’s passport because we’re heading to Florida.

The last act in the fundraiser is quite spectacular. Pax along with Ron controlling the longe line and Daniela balanced perfectly on the horse are practicing a vaulting routine. We have a child’s bubble blower and accidentally discovered that putting “no-tears” head-to-toe body wash in the bubble blower makes bubbles that last up to an hour. We’ll create a vaulting circle on the arena floor that is larger than the one Pax needs, then bring in Pax to work inside it. The effect is quite lovely, especially when the music that Ron and Louise mixed starts playing.

The first time I walked a circle with the bubble blower, Zelador was watching me. I went to the centre of the circle and called him to me. He checked the bubbles, walked along the outside of the circle, sniffed again at the bubbles and finally found a spot where there were fewer bubbles. At that point, he walked through the imaginary barricade and joined me.

A few days later I ran out of carrot pieces to give Zelador. There are additional carrots in the barn attached to the arena. Only problem is: the door to the barn is next to the “table” (made out of bags of shavings with a piece of plywood on top). This table is covered with interesting things: a radio, balloons, bubble blowers, a towel, a small wand…to name a few…) Every time I go through that door Zelador skedaddles to the spot and wreaks havoc on the table. So, I picked up the bubble blower and made a dense arc of bubbles protecting the table. When I returned to the arena Zelador was standing politely behind the barrier!

Kye is opening our show by rolling out the carpet. He certainly understands this trick and should be able to do it without me hiding treats every few feet in the rolled up carpet. However, he’s made it very clear that without the treats his mind wanders. So, treats it is!

Got to head to the arena and add all those other ribbons, then see what the boys think…not to mention the balloon experiment.