A talented friend of ours, Robb Roberts, created a prototype for the floor piano. He put a hinge at the front attaching a piece of wood the width of a key extending onto the key. He also placed a round cushion under the wood at the spot on the piano that activates the tone. When a person/dog/horse touches the wood it depresses onto the key and we hear the note. Ron, Bill and I showed the new apparatus to Zelador and Zeloso yesterday in the barn. We placed it horizontally on hay bales and bags of shavings. We’re thinking (so is Robb) that perhaps it’ll work better for the horses if the piano is perpendicular so they can push with the front of their faces.
Right now it’s quite cold (hovering around zero and up to four degrees) so we can’t leave the piano and its electronics for very long in the barn or arena. As a result we’ll be carrying it back and forth from the house and only practicing when we have the man-power to move it! But, I figure by springtime we’ll have several horses playing one note at a time.
Robb already has another prototype set to go if this model needs adjusting. It’s smaller than the cushion with a spring to place beneath the wood to activate the tone. Horses don’t push hard with the tip of their noses.