Day 68: Gala of the Royal Horses Show

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Today’s first was a beautiful event in Springfield, MO. The Gala of the Royal Horses Show is an international horse show that is touring the US for the first time. I was really the invited guest on this first. Greg discovered the show and thought of Elissa, our daughter. She is the horse lover in the family. When she expressed interest in going, it became an opportunity to experience something I hadn’t before. Greg, Elissa, my grandson Dayan and I made the trip to Springfield, and what a fun day and evening we had, watching the horse show, eating dinner together and browsing at Barnes and Noble!

The Gala featured four magnificent breeds of horses: the Andalusian, Friesian, Lipizzaner and Arabian. What a gorgeous display of horses and horsemanship. The show is called an “Equestrian Royalty presented at the highest level in a culturally rich and stunningly beautiful tribute to The Royal Horses, complete with Flamenco music & dancers.” We were enchanted. The power and grace of the horses was amazing to watch. The riders wore beautiful costumes and together with their mounts, performed a variety of maneuvers . There is bond of trust and affection that must exist between man and animal and that was evident this afternoon. Force would never have produced such results. Rene Gasser, the trainer and producer of the show, demonstrated how the young horses are trained, much to the delight of the audience, and showed off his skill at handling horses. I admired his use of love and reward in training his equine performers.

The show was educational and a joy to watch. Having Dayan there for his first horse show was fun too. He went with us good naturedly,  with low expectations and it was great to see interest light up his face and to hear that he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He was glad he attended and we were glad he chose to accompany us.

Watching Elissa during the performance was heartwarming. She began riding horses when she was 13 year old and quickly moved to showing in local and national horse shows. Elissa is a natural rider and trainer and has a bond with horses that is magical to watch. Her deep love for these big animals endears her to them and I’ve seen a huge American Saddebred gently take her ponytail between his lips and follow her around the arena like an overgrown puppy. Her father and I have spent many hours in arenas watching her ride and compete. She sold her horses and stopped riding when she was pregnant with Dayan, who is now 14. She has only recently begun to ride again. Being in the arena today in Springfield felt like a homecoming…the sights, the sounds, the smell even, all reminiscent of her years of working with and riding horses. Seeing the sparkle in her eyes I’m guessing that she will be picking this passion back up!

Helen Thomson says, simply, “In riding a horse we borrow freedom. “ This afternoon as I watched the horses and riders move as one around the arena, I thought, how beautiful, graceful, soulful, and free. It stirred my heart. I think Elissa would agree.

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