This Sunday we’re practicing each of the acts for the October 16 and 17 Fundraiser for the Toronto Cat Rescue. This practice will most likely be slow and laborious, but oh, so valuable!

Our square dance caller came last Sunday to see our movements. During one of our phone conversations a week ago Morley said, “Do anything you want, Win. I’ll be able to call it.” That being said, we really did surprise him with some interesting moves. Morley had explained to me that the head couple (couple one) has its back to the audience and that the couples are numbered counter-clockwise. After a practice or two we realized that the audience wouldn’t see very much (sitting at ground level) with two horse rumps in their faces. We shifted our formation so that couple number one is off to the right side, couple two is at the far end facing the audience and couple three is off to the left side.

Sunday Morley had me call out the movements while I was riding Zelador. However, Morley was confused when I called “couple number one” and the horses to his right moved. Turns out that if the couple with their backs to the audience aren’t couple number one, then the couple facing the audience (which in this case is Z and Z) becomes couple number one. Well, we’re extremely adaptable and everyone chimed in, “We can change our numbers!!!” But Morley said, “I can adapt. Don’t go changing anything.”

Over a month ago when we were at the beginning stages of our Horse Square Dance journey I told Morley that we didn’t have eight horses available at the farm. But, we did have six. He said, “In that case, let’s create a triangle of three couples.” The next time we met Morley pointed out that after extensive research he couldn’t find any reference to a three-couple square dance (neither could I)! However, with only six horses on the property able to work side by side AND do the walk/trot and canter we are unique in the world of square dancing.

Morley returns tonight for another run-through. I watched the video a friend took of our Sunday practice and did make a few wee changes…

On another note…Ann created a horse-friendly drum peddle for our orchestra. Picasso has taken drumming to a new level. He loves the thing. Here’s a video clip of Picasso enjoying drumming.

At the end of our Sunday session we practiced FOR THE FIRST TIME with four of the horses at their instruments. We placed Zelador at the piano with Pax, Dart and Zeloso taking turns with the tambourine, maracas, sleigh bells and the three individual bells. The piano is the only instrument on the east wall of the arena. All the others are on the north wall. Well, much to my surprise Zelador who usually plays and PLAYS the piano hardly noticed the thing. He was keenly interested in all the other horses and their noise makers. We have a few more horses scheduled for the orchestra, plus a violinist, guitarist or two, a second floor piano with a human stepping on the notes and quite a few singing along. We’ll be attempting a few more rehearsals before the big day. Who knows what the horses will do!