On Sunday four of us got together to practice some square dance moves. Bill and I were on the boys. Allen rode Kye and Sophie rode her horse, Blue.

We started with Bill and me at “A” with our backs to the long horizontal mirror. Allen and Sophie were on the centerline facing us about 10 metres away. We’ve practiced from these positions several times in the past. Allen called out movements, starting with the horses stepping forward, meeting, then stepping back. Well, Z and Z stepped forward with great enthusiasm, but going backwards was a slow, twisted journey. We tried again. Same result. After a few more ridiculous attempts I suggested that we change positions. Blue and Kye had their backs to “A”. And, they performed the same slow, wiggly reinback. That’s when I said, “There must be something different with the lighting today. I’ll bet the mirror is messing up these horses.” We abandoned the mirror and placed the horses perpendicular to it. Allen called out the first movement and all four horses walked forward and backwards on cue and straight.

The pas de deux saga with me riding one of the Zs and the other Z at liberty continues. Lindsey watched the other morning. Two minutes into the session she pointed out, “Zelador is very upset that you’re riding Zeloso.” Talk about lack of harmony! I dismounted, untacked Zeloso and tacked up Zelador. Behold! A transformation. Zelador was so happy. Zeloso showed his approval by walking to his pedestal, stepping up on it and calmly waiting for me to finish bridling Zelador. So, now it is painfully clear that I ride Zelador and have the extreme challenge of teasing Zeloso into accompanying us.

Our square dance caller just phoned and I brought him up to date on the movements the horses can do. He’s pleased that they can back up, that we can do a grand chain and a do-si-do. He’ll come here next week and finalize the pattern. Yippeee!!!!

On another note, two women came to Winsong Farm last Saturday to see what we’re doing with the horses. Here’s the feedback.

“We thoroughly enjoyed watching Zelador & Zeloso on Saturday.  It was so enlightening to see how much they enjoyed performing for us, and how smart and loyal to you they are.  It really puts in to perspective how we interact with our own horses, there is so much we really don’t understand about these magnificent animals (and how much we underestimate their intelligence)!  It was a real treat to watch your liberty games, thank you!”