Sunday, February 24, 2008

Incredible Horse Video!

My friend recently shared this with me and I have to say, it's really amazing. If I could do this with my Esmae (my horse, who happens to look a lot like this) that would be more than enough to ask of life.

Watching this reminded me of the feeling I had watching a trainer work with an orca at SeaWorld. There is something incredibly, but unexplainably, moving about watching a human and an animal communicate so well and work together so smoothly. I can't think of any greater display of inter-species communication.

With the video my friend sent this additional background info:

"At the National Congress for Quarter Horses, competing horses must perform pre-set patterns in the show ring. Walk to side-left, walk to side-right, spin-left, spin-right, figure eight pattern-wide, figure eight pattern-tight, walk, trot, gallup, and then must finish by tucking rump under and doing stop/slides, then backing up. Riders work with saddle, bit and bridle. They are given three tries in the arena, and the score from their best ride is used.

This young woman, Stacy Westfall, had already decided to use the score from a prior run. She used her third time in the arena as an 'exhibition ride'. She dedicated it to her father who had passed away less than a month before. She completes the entire pattern without saddle or bridle. Enjoy."

Watching the horse's tongue is cool too! The only downside is the bit of showmanship at the end, which detracts a bit from the experience for me. But, see for yourself...

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