On Saturday I went to go see this touring show called "Cavalia." The best way to describe it is Cirque Du Soleil with horses. It has various acts which portray man's relationship with the horse from the beginning to the American west. But of course it's presented in a very thematic manner so if you're not a very observant type you might not notice. My mom and I are obviously horse fans given that we've owned one for 7 years, so we figured we'd go see this show because it featured horses. We didn't do any research about the show beforehand other than hearing that it got a whole bunch of great reviews from newspapers and other sources. All I can say is that it didn't fail to impress.
It perfectly mixed human acrobats and aerialists with horse disciplines like dressage, Roman riding and trick riding. Even if you don't know anything about horses you would love the show if only for seeing how the handlers and riders interact with the horses. I can't even imagine all the training theses horses have to go through to do their various acts in the show. Some have people jumping around on them and others have trapeze artists flying around above them. As a horse back rider, an English rider specifically, I loved watching the dressage. Even though I don't know a whole lot about it and it wasn't the most exciting part of the show I appreciate the subtlety it takes to ride dressage and make it look like you're not doing any of the work. All of the horse handlers were clearly professional riders/trainers. It was particularly evident with dressage and an act where a handler was on the ground controlling five loose horses with just his voice and hand signals.
My two favorite acts were of course the high octane ones. They were the Roman riding and trick riding (which you can see in both videos). For these particular acts the performers were allowed to let out a few "hoops and hollers" for lack of a better phrase, so that made them even more fun. Plus I could see myself doing them if I ever had the right horse and environment. But like I said the dressage and act where the horses were loose were probably the most impressive to watch in a technical/training standpoint.
There's no way I can describe how amazing the show is, you'll just have to take my word for it. If it ever comes to a city in your general vicinity then take the time and money to go see it. You won't ever see anything like it.
At first I was worried that with a traveling act like this, they would only treat the horses as machines and not really have their health and wellbeing as the first priority. But with the reading I've done and videos I've seen they take great care of their animals. Performers only work with specific horses which is a great thing to hear, and in between towns they get to spend two weeks out in a field being horses. And by the looks of their coats, manes, and weight, they're treated well.
So long story short; go see Cavalia if you ever get the chance. Here's their website if you wanna look at some videos and pictures and such.