Today the tape player worked at normal speed! Unbelieveable! Zelador and I practiced “Alice the Camel”. Allen sings the five hump and four hump verses while Zelador is getting his outfit on. The song goes like this: “Alice the camel has five humps, Alice the camel has five humps, Alice the camel has five humps, so go Alice GO.”

Zelador’s got a camel coloured sheet on his back that has three Camel humps (balloons) on the spine and the words “Alice the Camel” on both sides of his body. I pop a balloon with each verse and he holds the corresponding number (three, two, one), flinging his head and having a good ole time.

At the final verse (“Alice the camel has no humps!”) I take the sheet off (with a flourish) and Alice is a Horse.

Tried to practice “These Boots Were made for Walking” but the tape and I were not in sync. Later I checked the other side of the tape and found the music! We’ve decided to ride both the boys during this song and there will be four ladies wearing the square dance skirts doing a line dance with us. It starts with us watching them. They watch us, then we dance together. I began working on this in January and have changed my mind many times. Zelador reflects this change…he likes the version where he goes sideways to the right to start the dance. Now we’re doing that as the third movement. It’s not easy redirecting him…I’m sitting on a very determined horse!

In Jutta Wiemers’ book about liberty and in the corresponding DVDs she has the horses learn to walk through tires. She says that when horses learn to carefully place their front and back feet into the tires they become confident and feel more in control of their legs. This is a good thing for a flight animal. I decided that I didn’t want to lug tires around. We got some old malleable feed tubs and Ron cut a circle out of the bottom. We have five tubs. I brought two to the lower barn and three are in the arena. I bring out one tub and help the horse put a hoof in it (click/treat).

Last night Ron brought “the plank” and placed it in the arena. Allen Pogue and Jutta Wiemers use this apparatus. The “starter” one Ron made is 12 inches wide and eight or ten feet long. It is not elevated. Our beginner plank rests on the arena floor. The idea is for the horse to walk on it with all four feet. I started with Zelador today and was able to get each foot on it at one time…or another. He’s able to walk the entire plank with this front feet on it. I’m sure he’ll put the overnight gap time to great use and do a lovely job of walking the plank tomorrow. I must say it’s very nice to be able to say “right front” and have him pick it up and hold it there, waiting for me to tell him where to place it.