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4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  John Vickery on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:34 pm

Vickery was not a cavalryman, but he was an experienced rider and knew his mount's habits thoroughly. He kept his hands light, correcting almost unconsciously to keep his place.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:39 am

The practice continued for a little while longer before they all came to a stop. A break was announced, which meant that all could get out of their saddles, allow their animals some rest and then gather at one side where they might discuss the quadrille they would perform for the show. Whoever needed to leave and get something to drink, or perhaps find a different reason to leave momentarily , was allowed to. Willoughby had gotten out of Herrero's saddle and returned him to stand side by side with Fairplay who seemed to have been only mildly interested in the proceedings.

"Anybody have any questions so far?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:11 am

Worcester, grinning in relief after having performed the last exercise quite creditably, dismounted and stretched his back.

"Yes! Is it possible to get totally out of shape during four weeks? I feel like this is the first piece of proper riding I have done since I came home and it is ex-haus-ting!"

Thankfully a servant stood ready with a tray full of tankards.

Torrington got out of the saddle as well and padded his horses nose.

"It went very well, don't you think?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:22 am

"Yes, it is quite tiresome and the ships might have taken some out of us." Willoughby answered to Worcester and smiled as tankards were brought for them to drink from. He turned to Torrington and nodded.

"With two days of practice more and with music, I do not believe we have much to fear from our competition. The horses will accept their order as well and stallions not feel as if they need to prove themselves more for being...intact." He smiled broader. "...What do you think? I do not particularly know how well they ride, might you?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:57 am

Edward shook his head, frowning unhappily.

"I know their reputation, of course, and I have seen some of them ride before, but ... I don't know, really. I guess we will have to ask those of out friends that have been in town longer than we are. They might not be bad, though. They had all the seasons we were away to train this stuff."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  John Vickery on Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:00 pm

"I think chances are better than even that they spent those months practising new ways of tying their cravats, or in playing billiards or dancing, than in dressage," Vickery put in dryly, accepting a tankard with a quiet, "Thank you."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:29 pm

"I doubt they will pick those friends who had done little with horses and most with the ladies." Willoughby glanced from Torrington to Vickery. "We have allowed them to pick pretty much anyone as long as it is a civilian anyone." He pointed out. "...they might have practiced also to charm those ladies with their skill in the saddle and as a way to display their new attires to as many as possible."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  John Vickery on Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:55 am

"If my brother is typical, they are more likely to drive than to ride, I think," Vickery said, with a wry smile. "Although I have not heard that Mr Vickery is to be part of this - it is not at all to his taste."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:35 pm

"Let us hope then, that he is typical, and that they have needed more to drive to and from their estates than they had to impress the ladies in the parks or elsewhere." Willoughby agreed. "I would not think that Mister Vickery would compete against us, would he?" He inquired and then glanced at Torrington: "Have either of you any thought or guesses on who they might have chosen?" He took his drink and took a small sip. Herrero was quite pleased to rest now, though he still flicked his tail on occasion. Fairplay, who was keeping him company appeared more interested in the sounds and glanced every so often around, his ears twitching in various directions.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:56 pm

"Well, the gentlemen who spoke up at the ball, certainly. My mother informed my that Richard Rawlings also belongs to their circle, as well as Lord Hartcastle. So I would expect them to be part of the team."

Truneno snorted and started to nose Torrington's pockets, and he rubbed the horse's nose. Sympher had lit up a pipe and was still quietly talking to the dragoon, while Lord Worcester seemed to have fallen asleep on one of the benches provided for spectators.

"Houxtonbury", he supplied without opening his eyes. "Saw Alconbury ask him. Can he even ride for them? Not that he hadn't sold out quickly enough when his father had managed to get him into the Commons, but for half a year, he was an ensign, wasn't he?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  John Vickery on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:43 am

"Well, if Alconbury is asking even those who served for six months to ride with him, that merely serves to prove that soldiers have something to offer," Vickery said lightly. "And no, he has not asked Mr Vickery, that I have heard about anyway."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:07 am

"Though it is doubtful that he is asking him because he was an Ensign, but more because he is his friend." Willoughby spoke his thoughts out loud.

"...Let us hope that they do not get William Kensington onto their side. I have heard him to be a highly skilled rider, though I do not recall whether I have seen him at the ball. But if anyone, he most certainly has done more dressage than he had done driving about the country."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:49 am

"Even one or two exceptional riders won't make that much of a difference - we want to proof coordination as much as individual skill", Torrington objected.

"Everybody knows that Kensington is an excellent rider, so there will be very little established if he actually performs well - if anything, he will only provide a generally agreed on standart of competence all others can be measured against."

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:43 pm

"True. It would not do if he was brilliant if others were mediocre. If anything, as you've said, it might make others look worse and I doubt their pride would allow for it." He nodded. "Think we could have our own performance made so that the majority is the presentation of coordination, of different figures we do together and such and perhaps finish it with the display of one thing each does best?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:59 am

"If we could spread out along both sides and at the same time all do one of the airs, we might end with a very classical display - like the marble rider statues in the gardens of Sanssouci or Versailles", torrington suggested.

"Of course it would detract from the individual performance then. The other possibility would be that we choreograph our performance in a way that after a part of uniform riding we add in a solo or even better mirror part, then go back to coordiantion work ..."

He shook his head.

"I'm sorry - I'm not making myself very clear. Allow me ..."

He turned to an empty page and sketched out what he meant in a series of diagrams: Figures ridden by all, in lines or columns, sometimes waving through each other, interspersed with performances of one or more often two riders while the others remained standing in various positions, sometimes being even used as "objects" to interact with. It would certainly take much more time to properly choreograph and learn the firstroutine, but it had a certain playfullness and artistic claim that made it more than just a string of figures.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:59 pm

"Looks very interesting." Willoughby said leaning over the paper to see what Torrington meant. "I quite like it actually. It is complicated, intricate and yet elegant, a little like a dance ..as of course it should be." He added. It did not get over complicated and yet it used the men not merely as riders but also as objects with which one could interact. Imagining it brought forth a rather beautiful presentation of horse and skill. It felt as if it had it expressed more emotion and felt less rigid than the standard presentation could be.

"Well, if anything you have won me over with that." He said, knowing that others would have to see and confirm it as well, but he hoped that there would be no protest or if any, very little.

"So in this one, the solo performances would happen every so often? Or to complete a 'certain set of figures'?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:44 am

"It might be easier to remember if we could adapt the movements of a real dance for this - at least then everybody already knows the basic structure", Torrington replied, tipping his pen against his chin, then suddenly realizing and stopping, folding his hands over the pommel of his sattle.

"Something like a grand Promenade?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  John Vickery on Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:21 am

"Hmm." Vickery nodded thoughtfully. "That would probably be the easiest dance I know of that we could adapt in the time we have. How would you organise us within the dance, though - by size of horse might be the best for that?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:43 am

"While we need to make it easy for us to remember, we must make certain that it does not become too easy and thus fail to compete against whatever our opponents decide to conjure." Willoughby murmured while he studied the paper a little longer. "And we might want to match the skill of rider and speed and gait of horse as well as we can so that they match when we walk them in step with each other."

He glanced at the animals in question. "And hope that the stallions will not attempt to establish the pecking order among themselves disagreeing with our choices of who goes first.."He smiled, glad at least that they had no mares, which could have posed a bit of a problem.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Allhands on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:57 am

"I would not have believed to see the Foot soldiers to ride so well, and I mean no offense to that branch of the military." Bernard, of the 4th Dragoons spoke bluntly. "One would have thought that you practiced dressage all day, instead of marching." He shook his head. "You did though do it frequently, did you not?" He inquired, his gaze on Dalrymple and Vickery and then slowly glancing also at the two, that were not cavalry, but were not from the Regiments of Foot either.
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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  John Vickery on Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:08 pm

"There was a reason I chose to ride Brandy for this, although I should be thinking of retiring him in the next year or so," Vickery said easily. "We have been together for a long time, and I am the one who taught him dressage, though I must say I am pleased he has remembered it so well." It had naturally been under the eye of his father's head groom, but Vickery had been the one doing most of the work with the horse.

"Although I cannot say the same, I have ridden Achilles here since he was young," Dalrymple said, indicating his own bay.

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Allhands on Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:54 am

"Ah, riding and proper dressage are quite unlike each other." Bernard smiled. "Anybody can sit on a horse should they do so long enough, but it takes the training of the horse and his fitness as much as the knowledge of both him and the rider to achieve a fine execution of the rather demanding airs." He nodded lightly to his own.

"Some say that not even all breeds can manage them, or manage them well, but I have only ridden the likes of him." He indicated his horse. "So I cannot pass judgement on that." He stretched as much as decorum allowed him. "But do not downplay your time at dressage when speaking to cavalry." He winked at that.
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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:26 am

"Gentlemen ... perhaps we can postpone that discussion until later?" Torrington asked lightly. "Sufficient to say that we managed rather well for a first effort and now should try to put together a routine that neither is too boring nor too complicated to be performed with less then perfect execution?"

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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Allhands on Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:00 pm

Bernard waited patiently for a response but which seemingly did not come and then turned towards Lord Torrington giving a slight inclination of his head.

"We can sort performances by strength of horse as well as size and lastly colour, so that should it be possible, it still appears pleasing to the eye. Should it not be, we will do with what we have." He had observed the combination of horses that had earlier been used. "The present order and pairings are not too bad I believe, so we can try and build on it?"
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Re: 4th October 1814: Dancing with horses

Post  Marashar on Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:23 am

"It worked well!", Sympher agreed. "I think we look rather ... mottled ... with our wide range of uniforms, headgear and tackle, though."
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