Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Training, Fun Ride, and 'A Night at the Movies'

Sorry not to have written for so long, but it's been a bit steady so far this year!  I've got loads of new ideas for shows for this year, which is a good job as the bookings are coming thick and fast.  We've currently only got two empty weekends between the last weekend in April and the second weekend in September, with shows up in Scotland, down in Surrey, and lots of places in between, so we really are going to be everywhere!

As such, I've been quite busy training the horses, and we've got a number of things to work on.  Casper has a new section in the show devoted to 'games', so he's learning to jump through a giant hoop, fetch a toy when I throw it, and push up a row of cones before weaving back through them.  He absolutely loves doing these things, especially the hoop!  He got so keen with the jumping that I had to devote quite a while working on his patience and 'wait' cue - which is no bad thing as it's a great behaviour to have on demand!  This little series of videos shows how his training progressed - he learnt very quickly!  I'm eventually hoping he'll go through a full paper burst, but this is something for the future.  I'm going to get him totally confident with the hoop at shows before introducing the paper burst in the arena, but we'll get there eventually - he's already going through a smaller and smaller gap with sheets of newspaper either side and across the bottom!

 By day four he's really getting the idea.

Day six and we're having to work on his patience.

Day fourteen and he's starting to go through paper!

With Tinker I've decided to do some bridleless vaulting to finish his show off.  I didn't think this would take much training, and I was right!  I basically decided one day to just take his bridle and side reins off and have a little vault to see what he'd do.  He was exactly the same as he is with them on!  I was half expecting him to put his head right down when I went into shoulderstand on his neck (which would probably make me topple off!), but he was perfect.  He only stopped once, and that was when I DID topple off from stand right at the end.  Trust me to spoil it!  I managed to video this as well, which is below.
 First time bridleless vaulting on Tinker.

Helen and I took both the boys on a fun ride at the start of March, which unfortunately turned out to be more of a cold, muddy ride.  The going was awful, literally through knee and hock deep mud in places and marsh land in others, but there were a few jumps which we all loved!  Casper really has got a good jump in him, despite never having done any, and Tinker just goes over everything in his own unique style!  I've always meant to do more with them jumping wise, but have never really got around to it as it's something I've never done.  Maybe one day!  Here's a couple of photos of us. (Photo credit to Chris Lax, sorry for copying!).

On the Wednesday before Easter I loaded Tinker and Casper up and drove down to the Devil's Horsemen in Buckinghamshire.  We were going to be doing their 'Night at the Movies' show over the Easter weekend - five shows in three days.  We spent all day rehearsing on Thursday and again Friday morning, but the first show on Friday night did come around quickly!  We sort of knew what we were doing, although I think there were a few pregnant pauses in between some acts! 

Unfortunately Karina (who does every show and is brilliant) was ill and couldn't be with us, so I ended up doing a few extra things during the show which I wouldn't normally do!  I was really busy all through the show, but my main parts were vaulting (for Slumdog Millionaire) and dancing (as Marilyn Monroe) with Tinker, comedy vaulting (as Fame, complete with neon pink hot pants!), dancing with Dan and Dante (as Baby from Dirty Dancing) and playing Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz - phew!  It was a great fun few days, and it's always brilliant seeing everybody again! I didn't get any photos but I have found a few, which are just below.


 So that's it for the time being!  Our first show is on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April at Oakedge Park Game and Country Fair - I'll let you know how we get on!

Love Rosie x

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