Over fifty people came to our farm Sunday October 25th for our Autumn Get-Together. Five of the horses performing had never been in front of an audience and none of them spooked, shied or ran away!
Throughout the performances we had a person stationed at each end of the seating area, ready to protect the onlookers. Out of the ten horses Zelador was the only horse that stuck his nose beyond the barrier. You see… a lady sitting in the front had won some horse treats during the raffle and was holding them on her lap. Even though Zelador was extremely polite and gentle as he inquired about the goodies, he was quickly turned away.
He also provided an “ah… isn’t that cute” moment when he was at liberty. Zelador’s job was to go to each of the small five cones, push them aside and eat the carrots that had been underneath them. Lindsey’s job was to gather the cones when Zelador was done. Just as Zelador was leaving the fifth cone he noticed her. He picked up the cone, turned to Lindsey and offered it to her. She graciously accepted it.
On the human side of things during the 48 hours prior to the performance the people were getting wild and exciting ideas to add to the acts. Only problem with that is: last minute changes can cause confusion. One of the additions we all agreed on was: Ron and Bill should do a special act entitled: Men Doing Dressage. Several years ago there was a short video on Youtube with that same title. Three men (without horses) performed a spontaneous pas de trois. It was hilarious.
For some reason this video came to mind Saturday morning minutes before the dress rehearsal. After a bit of persuading, both men agreed to do the skit. Only problem was: we wanted it to appear impromptu so we did not include “Men Doing Dressage” in the list of acts on the program. This meant that Kim, the person filming the Get-Together (she was only there Sunday), had no idea that two men walking into the arena with pitchforks and muck-out buckets would morph into something important. Kim said, “I was leaning over to pick up my glove when I heard the classical music. I looked up and started laughing! Then I realized, ‘I should be filming this!!!’”
The youngest horse in the Get-Together is Denali at sixteen months. The oldest is Kye. He’s nineteen years-old. Five of the horses are five years-old. One of the five year-olds is Robin. Her story is: On January 5, 2005 the OSPCA received a call about a Thoroughbred racing farm north of Brampton. The caller was concerned about the welfare of the horses. The OSPCA responded immediately and found 33 horses abandoned. One was dead in a paddock. Another had to be euthanized on the spot. The remaining 31 were in precarious health and it was touch and go as to whether or not they would survive.
Help for the horses came from many sources. The local fire and police departments brought in food and water. The Longrun Thoroughbred Society took over the vet care and placement of the horses, allowing the OSPCA to focus on the investigation.
Our neighbors, Ann and Bud McLean, found out about the rescue operation and volunteered to adopt two of the horses. They acquired two yearlings and named them Robin and Batman. Both were in the same stall when the OSPCA came onto the site.
Robin’s halter had grown into her head and had to be surgically removed. The McLeans learned that she cowered behind her stall-mate and no one could catch her. Robin knew if someone touched her halter, it would hurt. Finally she was lassoed.
A lady with horses at our barn adopted Robin this summer and brought her to Winsong farm. Robin loves stepping up on the pedestals, playing the cone/carrot game and learning new things.
Our Get-Together raised money for the OSPCA. Mindy Hall represented the organization, had a display table with information on the Society and answered questions. She was especially pleased to meet Robin and, with us, rejoice in the robust good health of this lovely five-year-old.