Our fundraiser is this coming Sunday, May 7, and we’re working on a pas de deux with Zelador and Zeloso. The choreography calls for some side by side movements. The herd dynamics is quite interesting. Zeloso rules the roost in the paddock. Zelador rules the roost in the arena because when I’m with him he feels that he’s promoted to ‘king of the world’. Zeloso is about two inches taller than Zelador at the withers, but when we’re side by side Zelador puffs himself up, elevates his gaits and HE’S taller!

The pas de deux also has side by side circles and loops. We’ve learned that doing a tight circle at the trot is not easy for Zeloso. Zelador, on the other hand, is sensational at shortening his trot so that Bill and I are side by side.

The music is Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, the second movement. We found a version conducted by Otto Klemperer which has a slower tempo. His second movement takes four minutes and thirty-six seconds. One version with another conductor takes three minutes and forty-five seconds.

Bill says Beethoven wrote the 8th Symphony shortly after the metronome was invented. When riding the second movement the horses happily step to the precise and consistent rhythm.

We’ll start our fundraiser with Lily, the vizsla, playing and dancing with her owner. Lily is one of our puppies, celebrating her fifth birthday May 6.

A friend is bringing her two miniature horses to the fundraiser, Robin and Whisper. They were here last Thursday to practice in the arena. Really, they don’t need to ‘do’ anything. They’re adorable and such fun to watch.

Dora will be in her first performance. A friend commented the other day, “That’s a very opinionated pony!” And that’s correct. It should be highly entertaining to see what she comes up with Sunday.

Yesterday a friend came to the barn to meet the gang. Dora blew her own horn, did a BIG smile and sat on the bean bag. Zelador showed a few tricks, then we chose Pax to demonstrate bubble blowing. He hasn’t done this in many, many months and I was tempted to blow a bubble, catch it on the wand, then present it to him to blow it off the wand. BUT I threw caution to the wind (yes, there was a breeze and that always makes bubble blowing challenging) and dipped the wand into the liquid and presented it to Pax. The sweetie blew and fifteen bubbles cascaded out of the wand. What a star!

The jury is still out on whether or not Hombre will perform. We started liberty games with him in the middle of last October. He’s learned many things including opening the mail box and picking out the mail, stepping up on many of the pedestals, fetching toys, rolling out the carpet, activating the EASY button. However, he’s a bit sensitive to noise and I always make certain he has plenty of room to move away from things that he thinks are frightening. Perhaps for his first show we’ll lead him and if he is calm we might give him an opportunity to do some of his favourite things at liberty.

The latest challenge I’m giving him is: can you eat carrots off of the blue tarp lying on the arena floor? His initial answer was, “Only if the treat is at the very edge of the tarp and even then it’s extremely frightening.” Day four of this activity he accidentally put one toe on the tarp. He didn’t faint, but he did retract the toe extremely quickly. On day five his toe touched the tarp while he was trying to get a bit of carrot. This time he drew the toe off the tarp without any histrionics. Day seven his toe was on the tarp and he continued to eat treats. THEN he put a hoof on the tarp and left it there, calm as could be, while he reached for a treat. WOW!