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4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:18 am

"We ..do indeed look far from uniform." Willoughby chuckled. "But I do not think we can change this, since each of us would prefer - I assume - to wear their own uniform and by this represent their own branch of military. I do not know how we could make ourselves appear more uniform but if anybody has a suggestion, speak!"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Allhands on Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:01 am

"Never the less, our appearances don't matter as much as how well we perform. We certainly cannot change our uniforms, nor pick a regiment since we are each from our own." Burlingame said. "..Lets focus now on the plan of performance.. the order's good. We've got it fairly well balanced...anyhow." He glanced at the earlier suggested plan.

"Maybe we could do this...and this.. "He pointed at the parts he had quite liked. "Small and big circles... in different directions at this point..." He indicated the part in the performance where he had thought it needed. "For the end of each figure we perform, I would suggest that one of us performs a very short solo...by that i mean.. perhaps an air above ground or something of the sort. In short, the thing they and their horse are most skilled at doing. And at the last figure we might perhaps fan out forming a square and then from it a circle by one horse of each pair taking the final step? ..it's not quite conventional.. but it is a little symbolic. Especially the square.. " He shrugged. "The horses might be tired enough by then that any final airs could possibly not be executed as nicely as they might have been during the show."

They had been discussing this with Willoughby yesterday late in the evening, and some of those ideas had been presented now.
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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:05 am

Torrington faithfully took notes of the suggestions, occassionally asking for additional clarification. When he had taken down everything the others had to say, he leafed through the pages.

"Very good - it seems we have a lot of ideas to work with. Gwydyr, as it is your challenge, I think it falls to you to establish the final routine, but I volounteer as secretary to take down and publish the final routine to all concerned, if you could use one."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:52 pm

Willoughby smiled. He was a little surprised and not struggled with an answer that would do justice to Torrington's own. Looking at the faces of the men gathered around him, he could see many being rather senior to him in rank and of different backgrounds and branches and it did feel a little intimidating.

"I will try to do my best and most so that it is a choreography that will honour our skills. But I will need more than merely a hand to write." He spoke to Torrington. "If you would be so kind as to assist me with this endevour, now that we have gathered all the wonderful ideas I would be most grateful." He was about to say more, but there was some ruckus at the entrance, and two things happened. The first was a larger number of people who began to fill in through the door, the second had been an individual, that had speedily left, slowed only by the number of instruments and people blocking the exit.

Whoever it was, it had not been a groom nor a part of their group. The musicians, who, once inside, did not look anymore like an invading army with their uncountable numbers, but rather a fairly decent group of performers, dressed neatly and ready to play for the last part of their training, spread out in good order, taking their places.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Marashar on Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:15 am

Worcester, when he saw the man leaving, kneed his horse around, obviously intent on following him, but Torrington held out a restraining hand.

"Leave him be - whatever he will report to his masters, one day is not enough to substantially improve abilities anyway, and he can't have seen what we plan to do. And if it was a journalist, he has nothing to write which would be of any discredit, and following him might subject you to rather uncomfortable publicity."

Sympher nodded, but added grimly:

"I will make double sure that my doors are locked and my horse safe tonight. They can't change our skills per se, but they can well try to impair our ability to show them!"

Worcester immediately agreed, and offered his own stables, where a trusted groom would keep watch, for those who had their horses housed in public stables, an offer that Sympher immediately and gladly accepted.
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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:50 pm

"Excellent. We have that sorted. I will also ask that we avoid for these three days, any disputes that might take us out of the competition since I have a feeling that we are in danger of facing any and all possibilities should they decide we are too good to be taken on easily." Willoughby said, pleased that the horses would be kept safely and out of harm but hoped that the men would take equal care of themselves. While he doubted that the other side might try do something as drastic as harm any of them, one was never too careful.

"The musicians are ready. If you agree, we can go through the same steps as we had earlier, testing our horses but this time at the rhythm of the music. Of course are final choice will have a fitting tune to it as well." He grinned. They may have unintentionally instilled a little fear in their competitors. If that was their spy, he may not know what they'd perform, but he would know to tell them that the military was not an easy one to take on. Let them worry!

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:17 am

The musicians were told what music they were to play first and then as they settled and were given the signal the melody began. As before the riders went, following the same patterns and the same lead, but at this time in a quicker tempo, needing to keep also to the tempo of the music. Burlingame, Willoughby and Bernard seemed to be rather at ease with it, their horses keeping their heads righted and proud and their tails almost as though there was a banner with which they announced the arrival of an army.

The music piece would not take them long and once finished each could do as they pleased or, if they had no more time to spare, could leave for home or wherever they wished or needed to go.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:24 am

With the first music piece finished Willoughby rode from the group to Fairplay, his horse. He slid of Herrero's back easily and just as quickly pulled himself into the saddle of his second horse.

He chose to practice a few of the near dance steps with that animal, while Herrero was allowed to follow them, walking now on a longer rope to cool down.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:25 am

As soon as they were finished, Torrington drew up on Willoughby's side.
"Well, that went better than I actually expected. I'm heading home to clean up and change - where and when shall we meet later? My study is at your disposal, of course, but any club should do as well."

The other riders likewise walked their horses to cool down, exchanging comments and goodbyes.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  John Vickery on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:30 am

"Well, I think that went rather better than I had expected," Vickery said, slipping from Brandy's saddle and giving his neck a pat. "Actually, I think we have every chance of besting the others, unless they manage to pull off something rather spectacular."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:38 am

"Your study is fine by me, or you can come to Parham house if you should like. I would prefer that we do not discuss this anywhere, where the public ear is close at hand, and a club.. while fairly private, may still have an unwanted ear present while our homes less likely so."  He had slowed Fairplay, Herrero tagging along quietly.

"Equally I will make certain that the gates to the training grounds are locked tomorrow and that there are no men other than ourselves present inside...I'd prefer to keep the actual performance a secret for as long as is possible." He glanced at Vickery. " We have done well, and let us hope that they do not have instructors of the airs on their side.. as they would perhaps know perfection we do not, training day and night in the same sphere."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:58 am

Torrington shook his head.

"Alconbury is most of his evenings at a gaming table, has a rather dictatorial aunt he needs to keep entertained, two younger sisters and a host of social engagements. Most of his friends share his life-style. I would think that precludes training day and night. They may be good, but I would wager each of us has spend more time in the saddle each day than they did in the last years - especially the cavalry. They might have better training, but we have the greater experience in thinking on horseback and our horses know how to behave."

He nodded to Willoughby.

"Then come around whenever you are ready? I think we don't need to disturb your grandfather. We should be finished in time to change for dinner and the theater, but if you want, you can certainly bring your man and your gear along. Heaven knows that house has enough guest rooms."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:13 am

"Let us hope then, that it will be solely his friends and himself that participate. If the majority of their day is spent behind a table, gambling or otherwise, we need not worry at all." He smiled at the thought. Throwing dice could never teach one to ride, nor could a set of cards that were used for some of the other games. Nor would horses without proper and lengthy training be able to do what theirs had done.

Never the less, he wanted them ready and with a performance that would best that of the other side and impress the professionals who might come to judge.

"If we take longer than we expect to, I shall send for my man and the gear , otherwise I would not want to impress on you for more than is proper and hospitable." He smiled lightly.


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