One question that’s been floating through my mind is: will the boys do liberty and tricks at some other location? Well, Saturday we put this to the test and shipped Zelador and Zeloso to Christi’s farm. Zelador was at one end of Mike Charter’s trailer and Zeloso at the other. In the middle we placed the new low platform, the rotating top pedestal, the ball, the bunny box, the ridge ball, the hula-hoop and the guider whip I got from Allen Pogue.
As Mike pointed out: we don’t want to be hauling that platform too far! He parked his rig as close as possible to the arena door. Bill and Mike successfully hauled the platform into Christi’s arena and placed it JUST inside!
We led the boys off the trailer and into the arena, took off their halters and lead ropes and set them free. There were a few jumps, poles and standards (plus our toys) scattered about. Zeloso took charge and cantered all over the place, inspecting things. After they did a few laps I called them in. Ciara was there to help so she and Bill became the invisible line which the horses were NOT to cross (about a third of the way down the arena).
Z and Z did manage to fly through their “barrier”, but joyfully cantered back to see what I wanted. At one point I called, “Here!” and tapped on the platform. Zeloso flew onto it. Zelador was a split second behind him and was able to find room to place one front hoof on it. Zeloso moved towards Zelador, managing to take up any extra space that might have been vacant on the platform. Zelador stepped backwards, removing his hoof, turned to me and waited patiently for me to move his brother so there would be enough room for both of them. One look at Zeloso and everyone laughed. He’d dreamed up a NEW game: be FIRST on the platform! Little did he know that Musical Chairs has been around for a long, long time.
We pondered: how do we set up this game for the boys? Certainly we can’t remove a “chair/platform” each time the music stops. They’re WAY too heavy! Perhaps we can block off the “chair” or MAYBE get some beanbags made for horses to sit on (Allen Pogue has these) and see how that works! But, then again, stepping up onto something is a lot easier than sitting on a bean bag. Back to the drawing board!
I asked the boys to trot around me, change direction, do a waltz turn… you name it, they did it. Then Ciara took charge of Zelador and Bill worked with Zeloso. They went from one apparatus/trick to another. It was like a two ring circus with the boys totally focused on the job at hand and not in the least bit distracted by the proximity of the other team of two. They even had an audience (not a large number of spectators, but enthusiastic, nonetheless!)
Next on the agenda was riding outdoors in the sand ring. This was a first for the boys. When that was done Zelador had a special job to do. We went back to the arena. Kieley had her pony Shadow with her. Zelador’s job was: do all of his tricks and play with every bit of apparatus while Shadow watched. Then Kieley and I would help Shadow play.
The pony did a great job. She was up on the platform without any hesitation. She loved the carrot/cone trick and by the time she got to the fifth cone, she had the trick down pat.
While the pony and K played, Z and Z settled into stalls at Gryphon Farms, munching their hay, waiting for Mike. All of us enjoyed the lovely late summer evening. And, if this outing was any indication, the boys might actually be able to do liberty/tricks at different locations.