The day of the fundraiser dawned cold and cloudy. The temperature was 2, but there was no rain for the first time in a week. Forty people joined us in the arena at 2:00. We actually saw the sun once or twice!

We started our day with Lily, the vizsla. She’s one of the grown-up puppies, owned by Wendy. The two of them put together a routine and people were pretty much amazed at the speed of the vizsla. The only thing Wendy forgot to do was place a treat on Lily’s paw and have Lily wait patiently until given the word to eat it. The trick is adorable with Lily totally focused on the treat, with her nose inches from it and her ears hanging down.

Lily’s fifth birthday was the day before the fundraiser so, naturally, Wendy brought a BIG birthday cake. It was delicious.

While people were munching on the cake Ron Marino brought Noel, the miniature horse who starred in our Snow White videos and booklets. Noel was a seamstress in one version and the huntswoman in the other one. Bill and I had fetched her from her farm earlier in the day. Ron and I had turned her loose in the arena when she arrived. She zoomed all over the place. I said to Ron, “This was probably a mistake. She’ll get all the wiggles out now and when it’s show time she’ll probably stand and look at things.” Well, I needn’t have worried. When she was brought in front of the audience she ran and ran and ran! Ron heard one child say, “I didn’t know ponies could run that fast.” We’re thinking that all the mud and sloppy conditions in paddocks has kept her to a walk for way too long.

Bill and I were next on the agenda with Zeloso and Zelador. We’re going to create a video of it and post it here…soon. The boys did a great job side by side and the riders did pretty good remembering the pattern. A few days before the event Bill and I were practicing. Allen and Amanda were watching. We did two run-throughs. Amanda filmed the second one. She’ll be bringing it on a memory stick soon. As Bill and I were coming down the centreline with one volte (left for him, right for me) remaining, as we were walking side by side we both noticed that our boots were attached to each other. We kept on our ‘game faces’ and hoped for the best as we separated for the voltes. Miraculously, the boots disengaged and we remained in our respective saddles. After our final salute we told Allen and Amanda about the boots. They hadn’t noticed any problem.

About ten years ago Bill had a similar incident at another arena. He was trotting along the wall when his riding pants got snagged on a very small nail. The horse trotted on and Bill descended to the arena floor, standing, with a rip in his pants.

Meanwhile, back at the fundraiser, Zelador and Zeloso had great fun being very polite while Bill and I tossed gymnastic balls to each other and bounced them off the pedestals. We then picked up gymnastic ribbons, twirled them and finally created a carousel with Ron holding on end of both ribbons while we walked and trotted around him. We ended the riding with our tossing of hula hoops to the tune, “Catch a Falling Star”. The temperature was a bit chilly (no warmer than 7) and we hadn’t practiced since last autumn. We were pleasantly surprised to finish the routine with no hoops littering the arena floor.

Dora, the adorable pony, came in and did many of her favourite things. She sat on the bean bag, rolled out the carpet, did a lovely cross-over, tidied up the toys, etc. To finish her outing I announced, “Now you will see the two sides of Dora. In her Spanish Walk her right front leg extends and hesitates, very much like a beautiful ballet let. Her left front paws furiously. As if she’s saying, ‘I hate that!’”

She did not disappoint. However, over time her demanding left front leg is getting calmer. I don’t know if she’ll ever do a ballet point with it, but she’s pawing a bit less nowadays.

Katherine brought her two miniature horses to the fundraiser, Whisper and Red Robin. They are learning how to be therapy horses. No zooming like Noel did. These two were lovely with their Canadian flags (it IS the 150th Anniversary of Canada) as they walked around the arena and up onto the pedestals. Charming describes those two.

Ron Marino brought the Canadian, Pax, into the arena in the long reins. Pax has a tremendous presence and is magnificent. When Pax enters the arena you don’t see anything else.

With all of our people working we didn’t take any photos. I’ll post some as we receive them.