Cheyenne jumps through the hoop.
It was the end of a long day. After months of planning and rehearsing, in less than two hours our production was over. Excited children carried souvenir horses and coloring books or munched on hot dogs and chips while their mother’s shopped the silent auction for bargains. Colorful costumes, lively music and beautiful horses filled the night in the circus themed production “Le Cirque of Horses”.
More than 100 spectators were entertained by a variety of performers including the Heartland Equestrian Center’s Little Hoofer’s Savvy Team, Sliver Steppers Drill Team, Rachel Lamb and Graeleigh Lacky, Clowning Around 4-H and my Amazing Paints.
For many years visions of dancing horses filled my head. I had studied natural horsemanship for 10 years and was ready to grow as an artist. I was most inspired by the music of “Cirque Du Seleil” and my daughter, Jenna who is a circus artist. The production would not have been possible without the help of good friend, Bonnie Keller and the support of my husband, Terry and daughter, Tracy. Over the past few years, Bonnie has given me many opportunities to perform with my horses. My family is my right and my left hand.
The night began with a rhythmic routine. It was what I was most nervous about, having never performed before an audience. The routine uses a dance ribbon, poi and hoops. Opening to Brittany Spears “Circus”, with flashes of color and amazing tricks the routine set the tone for the evening. The Little Hoofer’s Savvy Team demonstrated their skills using miniature horses and various obstacles. Their routine to “Singing in the Rain” using umbrellas for props is a favorite. Rachel Lamb and Graeleigh Lacky were perfectly timed in their “English verses Western” jumping demonstration. Let’s not forget the clowns! Clowning Around 4-H is a group of kids who love to have fun. The Silver Steppers Drill Team is always up for something fun too. Their colorful costumes and painted horses were a hit with the crowd.
When working with horses one is to always expect the unexpected. Tonight was no exception as my horses seem to have ideas of their own and more energy than expected. Cheyenne, my three year old miniature is quite the entertainer, looking much like the energizer bunny as she sprang across the arena. Lead horse, Sundae was in heat, challenging me mentally and physically to keep her on task. In spite of all that was going on she always managed to hit her ending. Dakota, my dominate gelding does what he does best, run. His beauty and movement expresses the true spirit of the horse and is always a hit. I felt like I was running out of energy and prepared myself for defeat, knowing that our last trick was not likely going to happen. But, my team pulled together and wowed the crowd as they all three stood on the pedestal, making all the sweat and hard work worth the effort.
The night wasn’t without flaws, lessons learned so we do better next time but, non the less a success. The event netted $1,051.00 for our charity, the United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware/ Camp Lenape and a great time was had by all. I think my friend MaryAnn best summed it up in an e-mail “The accolades do belong to the ones in the arena who know the sweat and work of the day. Weather we know the thrill of the winning or the disappointment of defeat, it is he who dares valiantly that succeeds for trying. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and comment on where the strong man stumbled”. I still dream of dancing horses.
- Sundae & Cheyenne on the pedestal.
Photo’s by Leva Taylor
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This article has been featured in the June 2009 Horse Force Monthly Magazine. Visit Horse Force Productions
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