I tried to get a horse fix tonight (and mostly succeeded) by doing something totally Las-Vegas-Tourist-y. I went to the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur Hotel. I found out if I'd wanted to get into the stables, I should have gotten there before 1:00 so as not to interfere with the horses getting pretty for the show. Drat.
It was fun, and I would *love* to train Lena and Bar well enough to, oh, joust, deal with fireworks, have sword-fighting riders, etc. I admit we may have a long way to go, though.
At the very end, a couple of the riders and their horses stayed in the arena to talk to the guests, so I had a chance to touch soft horse noses and talk about riding with the actors.
I also helped convince a couple kids it was okay to get close to the horses so their parents could take pictures. Horse are big, and if I were a smaller human, it might take a little bit of coercion to convince me sitting next to a large horse I just saw racing around the arena was a good idea. Especially Diablo, a 14-year old Fresian who had the role of the bad guy's horse.
He's a big baby, though, and very affectionate with his rider--a nice guy (despite the dragon face paint) who has been riding Diablo for 5 years and told me he's the only one who rides that particular horse. They had quite a relationship which was cool to see. (No, didn't get the rider's name, just the horse's.) The nameless rider says Diablo makes everyone miss their horses.
The only downside about these horses is that they are so well-groomed that my hand didn't smell like horse after petting them. Oh, well. It was still a pleasure to watch such wonderfully trained (though still feisty and energetic) horses.
The rest of the show was a lot of fun, too. :)