FINALLY we got some decent footage of Z and Z!!!!
I decided that no matter how animated and exuberant Zeloso might be, I was NOT going to work him before filming. (O.K. so I’m a slow learner… Also, I was hoping that the saying “third time a charm” just might hold true for me.)
I placed each horse on a low pedestal, Bill started the music (a turn from The Tijuana Brass) and I asked the boys to come with me to the other end of the arena. Everything Zeloso did was with a flourish. Whereas Zelador walked off his pedestal, Zeloso did a little leap into the air. For a brief moment I stood and watched them trotting… in tune to the music. Wow! They LIKE this song!!!!
I subconsciously did something right. As I asked them to trot around me I kept my attention on Zeloso. I figured Zelador would be his lovely self and do everything I wanted before I asked him. BUT Zeloso would be looking for a way to leave and play somewhere else. My plan worked. When you look at the footage the horses are obedient AND full of life (including the unpredictable part of life…)
I called them to me. They were cantering joyfully, swung instantly towards me and halted just at the edge of my invisible “comfort zone”. What GOOD fellows. I stepped to the right side of Zeloso and asked him to back up. He was soft and happy. Then we went forward with him doing a lovely LEAP into a high-stepping Spanish Walk (think his hoof touched his chin). I asked for the halt and he stood quietly, very proud of himself. Whew!
I turned to Zelador who’d been watching all the attention and praise I was giving to his brother. I asked Zelador to back up. He shifted his weight to the rear, then begrudgingly moved one hind foot, then the other. Hmmm… this from the horse who willingly backs up for five metres! I asked again. I got two and a half steps. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Zeloso smirking. I decided he was approaching the threshold of his willingness to stand politely. I asked Zelador for the Spanish Walk. He did a good job.
It was time to get them both moving. I sent them around me again and then asked them to head to the pedestals. I thought I’d positioned myself perfectly for directing Zeloso (the class clown), but he slipped through an invisible escape route and trotted to the corner. I praised Zelador for sticking with me and walked with him to his pedestal. I fetched the multi-ringed soft toy and threw it mightily for Zelador. He trotted after it, picked it up, brought it back, putting our Vizslas (bred to be pointer/retrievers) to shame. Meanwhile Zeloso realized that I had not been lured into his “come play with me and try to catch me…if you can” game. He decided Zelador was getting way too much attention, too many carrots and unwarranted praise.
I called out Zeloso’s name and threw the toy. He trotted to it, picked it up and bounced onto his pedestal.
The good news is: I was smart enough to say, “Bill, we’re done.” The better news is: the footage is really quite nice!