Happy New Year!
Given the number of Penny posts here, you probably wouldn’t be surprised if I said our Holidays “went to the dogs”, but you might be surprised to hear that you might more accurately say that it “went to the horses”.
You see, like many American girls, the Beloved was (and still is, I suppose) entranced with horses. So, during the run-up to the holidays, I noticed an ad for a traveling show that was making a stop in San Diego — Cavalia — which seemed like a Cirque du Soleil sort of show, but with horses. Really. I suggested that we might go while the Beloved’s mom was in town for the holidays and everyone thought it was a bang up idea and we went on the Saturday before Christmas.
Personally, I thought the show was great. A really fascinating combination of human acrobatics, live music, lights and imagery, and, well, horses. I shouldn’t put the horses last though, because they and their riders/trainers were really what made this experience so different. Dressage vignettes, jumping, drill-team, and rodeo-like trick riding were each integrated into different production numbers.
I haven’t ridden a horse in years and years, and I’ve seen a number of Cirque du Soleil shows, but I enjoyed this show very much. So if it sounds interesting to you, keep an eye out as for whether it might come close to your town.
Along with our tickets, we also received a flyer for an exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum entitled “The Horse”, so last Saturday we decided to head down and check it out. The Beloved was surprised (and perhaps a little appalled) to find out that I’d never been to “The NAT”, so it was doubly fun for me.
The exhibit covered the biology and evolution of horses over the last tens of millions of years. Something I didn’t know — horses originated in North America and spread over to Eurasia, but were then driven to extinction in the Americas and ended up having to be reintroduced here. Huh.
The exhibit also covered the history of the domestication of horses by early human cultures (including a reproduction of the cave paintings at Pech Merle, which was the one thing we wanted to see in France last year, but was closed to the public while we were there) and their impact on society as a mode of transportation, engine of war, and aid to agriculture. Fascinating stuff.
The exhibit also did a good job of showing how horses have been integrated into nearly every culture around the globe, and how in the modern world their day-to-day impact has been diminished due to technology.
At the end, the exhibit highlighted the horse’s place in local San Diego culture, especially at the Del Mar Racetrack. The Beloved even got to pose with (a portrait of) one of our most famous equine Californians — Zenyatta.
We actually finished the day off with a movie — and if it was last year at this time, we surely would have seen War Horse — but we traded horses for Eagles and saw Silver Linings Playbook.
All in all, a pretty great day.