Yesterday Bill and I saddled up Zelador and Zeloso to practice our act for the October 25th Get-Together. Yep, we’re actually having a “show” during a month that is not traditionally COLD. We’ll still have our annual mid-February Get-Together. It’s an excellent motivator for those winter months.

For the first time we’re charging a small fee to come and watch. Every penny will go to the Ontario Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A supervisor from the OSPCA will be at the “show” with a table-top booth.

Back to our first practice.

We were walking around the pedestals, barrels and bridge trying to figure out the pattern we’d ride. The act is actually a pas de trois with Kye (ridden by Ron, the owner of Pax, the Canadian) joining us. Ron and his family are moving from Cookstown to Bolton next week. We’re hoping Bill and I will have a pattern decided upon SOON so that when Ron has some free moments to pop on Kye there won’t be three horses and riders meandering aimlessly around the arena.

First of all, I’ve always suspected, and this practice confirmed, that Bill cannot convert the spoken word into a ridden movement. I suggested, “Let’s walk three abreast down the centerline, turn right one behind the other, go along the wall towards ‘E’, then do an arc across the arena side by side in the left shoulder-in.” He rode along the wall, did turn to the right, made it to ‘E’, then performed a leg yield…

We stopped the horses and started brainstorming. I want to do things that people don’t usually see several horses doing. I suggested placing three hula-hoops on the ground, have each horse step his front feet into the hoop, then do a turn on the forehand. Z and Z and sort of do this. Kye cannot.

Then I suggested pushing the big horse balls (yes, we have TWO!!!). Z and Z quite enjoy this. Kye does not.

And, of course, how about coming towards the audience doing the Spanish Walk!!! That should be spectacular! Z and Z LOVE the Spanish Walk and offer it up whenever things get dull. Kye can’t do it.

My next thought was: how about three garrocha poles, we place the points in the centre and circle around. Then we each do a pirouette under our pole. Kye CAN do this. So, Bill grabbed one pole (the aluminum one) and I took the wooden one (two long dowels duck-taped together with a suspicious section wrapped in black electrician’s tape. I have no idea why that was placed there).

As I was walking Zelador down to the far end of the arena to work I noticed a pigeon cooing overhead. I lifted the pole and shoved it at the bird. It flew to another rafter. Z and I followed the bird. I poked. The bird flew. We followed. After five of these attacks we were near the wall. I reached up and accidentally snagged the pole against a support beam. Zelador stood his ground and the pole snapped… right where the black tape was.

I dismounted and examined the two pieces. Neither was long enough to do much of anything garrocha related.

Within minutes Bill’s pole slipped out of his hands. As he was preparing to dismount, Zeloso stepped on the aluminum pole. This was a deliberate move on his part. And, it did the trick. The aluminum pole had a 45 degree bend in it.

A few minutes ago we had the challenge: create a third pole for the Pas de Trois. Now we need three NEW poles. Perhaps garrocha wasn’t meant to be in this Get-Together.

Today we didn’t break anything. Except for Zeloso deftly nudging the green hulahoop and detaching the small brown section that keeps the thing in the shape of a circle. I mean, this is easily fixed so we really didn’t BREAK anything…just redesigned it.

We actually have a pattern. Both Zelador and Zeloso are comfortable with it. Now we need to add KYE and see what happens.