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Thread: WOW! CAVALIA!

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    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Went to see CAVALIA with my daughter this afternoon. We had seen it years ago - the first year it was in production - but this is a different show entirely - it has evolved into absolute equine magic!! Go to the site and check out some of the videos - horse, acrobats, dancers - think Cirque du Soleil with 60 horses added... There was a big hill built on the stage that you didn't even see at first - the lighting and effects crew are amazing - and then all of a sudden there are horses and riders pouring over the top like in the movies - but LIVE!!! And later there was water that just came up onto the stage out of nowhere (when you weren't looking, there was something gin on upstage - classic misdirection but SO effective!) to make a lake for the horses to dance in. I know not everyone is as horse-mad as my family, but even if you know nothing about them it is well worth the price of admission. If you get a chance - go see it - it beats Broadway by a New York Mile!!!
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    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    I saw it last year. It was pretty impressive, but I couldn't get over the first scene with those monkey-men doing back flips off of spring boards onto those poor horses' backs. The way they treated the animals in general seemed a little abusive. My 2 cents.

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    WDF Staff m3n0tu18's Avatar
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    I am not usually into horses. BUT it looks amazing!!!!! Oh how I wish I lived in the US to go see that...
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    And I thought the shows in Vegas were good...
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    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoseley, post: 220263
    I saw it last year. It was pretty impressive, but I couldn't get over the first scene with those monkey-men doing back flips off of spring boards onto those poor horses' backs. The way they treated the animals in general seemed a little abusive. My 2 cents.
    Well, the show we saw is a brand-new one, and nobody was using springboards.

    I have a friend who has worked with horses for years (as have I) and he worked with Cavalia here in Quebec for a couple of years, before leaving to start his own training facility. He has described to me the techniques they use, and indeed he uses them himself.

    I have seen many of his training sessions, and I can definitively say that there is no abuse whatsoever. The training is based on rewarding and reinforcing desired behaviours. Rewards - lots of them. Patience - oceans of it. Punishment - never.
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    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    I didn't mean abusive in the sense of beating the horses. But just the way the show was put together... the horses REALLY didn't seem to want to be there. That first scene, for example, where the monkey-men were doing backflips on the horses' backs, they had these horses running around in a circular ring, which was formed by a low, circular, plywood wall. The horses were big, and the circle was very tight. They kept hitting it with their hooves (you could hear it), and they were very agitated, jerking their necks around wildly like they really didn't wanna be there. Also, in a lot of the other scenes, you could see the horses were agitated, as well.

    May have just been the show I went to, or the new format may have fixed a lot of the issues, but anyhow, that was my experience.

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    There's historically been a lot of animal abuse at equine shows, circuses, and anything else where animals are performing for the public especially when they're doing it in showy ways. I imagine there are ways to avoid this, though. Maybe the show has made use of them and the same problems won't arise today. I'd do some research on this before paying to see it, but that's just me.

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    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Interesting thing about Cavalia - all of the horses performing are males - about half are Stallions and half are Geldings, no mares at all. That alone is torture, if you ask me! ;-)

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    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    I have known people involved with Cavalia since the first year it performed here in Montreal. They have a permanent installation in a place called Sutton, south of Montreal, with large grassy pastures and big, clean stalls. I have seen it and I wish the place where I keep my own horse (which is considered one of the best in the area) was as nice. The horses rotate in and out of the show to the farm, so that boredom is avoided, and free time and rest is given regularly. Horses who have formed attachments ( buddies) are kept together and travel together.
    Quote Originally Posted by smoseley, post: 220445
    Interesting thing about Cavalia - all of the horses performing are males - about half are Stallions and half are Geldings, no mares at all. That alone is torture, if you ask me! ;-)
    As for the stallion and gelding thing - if you've ever been near (let alone ON!) a stallion with a mare in heat anywhere nearby - you'd understand why there are no mares!
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