A few days ago (Monday October 18th) Breakfast Television came to Winsong Farm. The BIG van arrived around 5:30 A.M. with Jennifer Valentyne pulling up the farm laneway before 6:00. This adventure was set up by two enthusiastic BT groupies, Barbara and Mary. Barbara’s daughter, Ciara, has a few horses here and since Jennifer did not ride a horse when she was at the Calgary Stampede the groupies were determined to rectify that at Winsong Farm. Mary has a lovely Lusitano mare, Arribada, who was shipped in to be ridden by Jennifer.
The other interest element was the liberty and tricks that we do.
Gaston, the technician for BT came to the farm a few weeks in advance to test the equipment. He needed to find out if he could get a broadcast signal from Toronto. Our farm has hundreds of lovely mature trees. I think these are the farm’s greatest asset. However, they do create a barrier to the heavens! Gaston was able to find a position on the farm laneway where he could send the satellite disc upwards and find that all-important signal. As the generator in the van powered the disc skywards he took a look around the farm. He instantly spotted the round pen next to the bank barn and said, “This is where we’ll film. Look at the autumn colours on the trees.” I led him to the arena, but he wasn’t interested in shooting indoors. I made a mental note to have the pedestals and toys brought down to the round pen the evening BEFORE the shoot. Couldn’t quite picture us carting the devils at 5:00 A.M.
With the signal confirmed, the program was a “go”. So you can understand my surprise when the week before October 18 I saw a different broadcasting van in the laneway. This time Kevin accompanied Gaston. Turned out the BIG van was in the shop and the older van just might have to be their home base. Once again they checked for a signal. Nothing. Gaston moved the van a few feet to the east and the signal came through! We were “on” again.
This early morning outing followed directly on the heels of two days of performing shows to raise money for the Toronto Cat Rescue. We figured we would be mellow, and we were right!
The horses, however, were perky, well-rested and quite interested in all the paraphernalia that surrounds a TV program. Several weeks ago we received an email outlining the live segments. The first one was around 7:20. I googled “October 18, 2010 sunrise Toronto” and learned that the sun wouldn’t be getting up until AFTER the segment. Hmmm….I discussed this with Bill and Ron. As usual, Ron had a solution. He brought some construction quality lights to the farm and attached them to a ladder. We decided we’d test the horses with this apparatus at night, probably around 8:00 as opposed to getting up early.
Gaston had said, “The more horses you show, the better.” So Bill and I started our apparatus test with Zeloso. He’s very laid-back. We turned on the lights and led Zeloso into the round pen. I’d placed a few piles of hay in the area. Zeloso headed to one of them and totally ignored the lights. We left him there and fetched Zelador. He noticed the lights, then the hay. The hay was much more interesting.
Third horse: Kye. Now this twenty-year-old is more horse-like than the two Lusitanos. He’s not as laid-back and more reactive. Bill led him past the round pen and to the grass on the far side. Kye never looked at the lights and Bill had a difficult time leading the horse back to the barn…Kye was very busy eating!
Final horse: Pax. This solid, massive Canadian is BLACK. Even with the lights we had trouble seeing him! He, too, was not the least bit worried about the ladder, the extension cord and the lights. However, he was more polite than Kye and didn’t burry his head in the grass. He quietly walked beside me and calmly took in all the sights.
We figured this is one horse that will never be seen before sunrise!
Time to check on the vizsla puppies. The vet comes today to give them their six week shots and microchips. More on BT later.