Early last month, we had an event come to my work. This time, it wasn't a music artist I'd never heard of or a sporting event I'm not interested in. Instead, it was a horse event!
Called The Gala of the Royal Horses, the show is loosely based on dressage, with a big dose of Spanish flair. Besides traditional dressage riding demonstrations, there were Spanish themed performances, and a couple of Lipizzans performed the famed "Airs Above Ground."
Parts of the show were certainly cheesy to actual equestrians, but the crowd loved it. In a talk with one of the riders prior to the show, he remarked, "Things are different in the performance than they would be in a show or training session. Sometimes I'll get bitten or kicked, or the horse will misbehave. I can't correct him, just grit my teeth and smile."
There were certainly moments where the horses misbehaved, and I enjoyed watching the trainer's face during those moments. While he had a smile on his face, you could tell he was bothered. How difficult!
Overall, it was a fun night. A big group of my riding friends from the area attended, and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. My job for the night was to take photos for our in-house archives. So, enjoy my shots!
|Here the trainer was demonstrating teaching the piaffe. They used 3 horses in various stages of learning the move.|
|A couple of young Lipizzans doing liberty work.|
|Whatever this horse's failings at lead changes, he was a piaffe machine! Also, get a load of that TAIL! So lovely!|
|The start of the Airs. Here a Lipizzan demonstrates some Levade. Of course, I managed to catch a moment where he was hopping around... oops.|
|I have no idea what this movement is called, so I'll just call it "The Flail." The horse would rear as high as he could, then strike out with his forelegs.|
|See ... lots of flailing about.|
|The famous Capriole! These guys went SUPER high into the air to perform this. Much higher than I've seen previously. It was almost impossible to capture on film, though.|
|Here's another shot of the fancy Andalusian. He was my overall favorite. Just a gorgeous mover!|