I’m going to cheat here with my tale of the weekend’s pas de deux. Mainly because I can’t recall ever looking so floppy as a rider–hence the rag doll reference. So except for the little movie clip at the end everything will be stills–which fortunately can be manipulated to capture the least offensive “moment in time”.
The premise of this pas de deux’s story line is that a fictional “pink panther diamond” has been stolen from the Louvre in Paris and relocated somewhere on the showgrounds. We are on a “mission impossible” (using that theme music) and have costumed ourselves as secret agents (using the “Secret Agent Man” music sung by Johnny Rivers) on the hunt for the diamond. Half way through the routine we will morph into the Pink Panther (using that music) and discard our secret agent costume to reveal the Pink Panther. That’s why we’re wearing those silly pink half chaps, have pink boas in the horses’ manes, and it’s hard to see–but pink jewels on the browbands. Oh yeah, and we also have pink tails concealed under those jackets–but yours truly forgot to pull hers out…
So, here we go–We’ve already entered, halted, and saluted the judge. From there we trot opposite each other down the long sides a very short distance, pick up a canter and wonder of wonders we cross each other exactly on the center line.
We have a second cross at the canter at C–right on the money again.
There’s some fancy shmancy 10-meter circle stuff where we do a tiny figure 8 on the short dimension of the ring, then head up the long sides again to get ready to halt somewhere just past R and S. Do we look “secret-agenty” enough?
OK, so we halt and have to get those danged jackets (they’re actually men’s suit coats, nice and loose to help us shed them–mine’s an old Armani LOL) off really quick. The music only gives us a few seconds and in order to do it we have to drop the reins. Another reason for not showing you the movie where you can see that my horse was perfectly still while I removed the jacket but then decided to do a look-see around the premises and swing her rear end to the outside.
And let fly–the script calls for the jackets and sunglasses to be thrown out of the ring. You can see my partner Kim sort of pulling out the panther tail that was wrapped around her waist. Mine is still nicely tucked in where it shouldn’t be.
We then cross over toward each other to do this really cool back-and-forth walk movement. At this point Kim and I have both moved toward the right of the photo already and are beginning to move to the left. This movement requires one horse to be going forward while the other is going backward, then reversing the directions. We eventually turn around facing each other and proceed down the centerline away from the judge.
There are a couple more cute 10-meter circles at the far end of the ring, followed by some tight cross-overs on the diagonal as we change direction back toward the judge. We wanted to get those cross-overs looking really tight, so you can see from the photo that we’re almost on a collision course but it’s timed just right to avoid it.
Another tight turn in front of the judge, and we come together and start a side-by-side leg yield to the right, down the long side. I think this photo is really neat, considering our horses are different sizes and have different stride lengths. We’re right together!
Once we get to the rail, the music changes and we pick up a canter again. This is the best part of the whole routine. It doesn’t have a formal name that I know of, but we call it the “bicycle”. We canter two circles, switching from inside to outside on each one, as opposed to cantering side by side the whole way around as a pair. It’s tricky to get the sides changed, but it looks oh-so-good!