“With a smart horse you constantly have to improvise!” Interview with a trainer
I have a whole zoo: dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and also circus horses.
How long have you been training horses? What do you do with them?
I worked in the circus for almost 14 years, now I have taken the horses from the circus, and they live in private territory, in the fresh air. Here the horses are free to breathe, enough to move, and here we are slowly rehearsing. Now we are preparing for the equestrian exhibition.
My horses work both in training, and in high school, and in free training, and comic training (the commands "Sit", "Lay", "Aport", "To me", etc.) This is a bit like dog training, only big ones.
I have been with horses for over 30 years, I came to them at 11 years old. I’m a former athlete, then I worked as a caretaker and a coach at the box office, and began to train in a circus.
I came to the circus quite by accident, with the help of friends of my parents. Over the years of work there, I, of course, went through a big school, because good trainers came to the circus, from whom I could learn.
There is an opinion that animals are bullied in the circus. But people are different everywhere, and someone starts training with a study of physiology and psychology - not just setting a rigid framework, but leading the horse to what they need. It is letting down, correcting and explaining, and not driving with sticks. I am a supporter of such a training. Although sometimes it is necessary to put a tight frame: "This cannot be done." But this is exactly the same as with people.
Do you create numbers yourself?
It’s like dancing. There is a certain set of movements, and each director combines them in his own way.
You left the circus - and what are your future plans?
I left not from the circus, but from the Belarusian State Circus. An agreement has been reached that from April I will go to work in a big tent in Russia.
You can work in hospitals, but you can - in clubs. On stage, I worked with both a large horse and a trained pony.
In principle, you can work with a horse anywhere. The main thing is that she climbed there and the floor was not slippery. Moreover, it looks very interesting if no one expects: someone is dancing, someone is singing, and then a horse appears on the stage! And not just left, but also dancing!
So, if there are people who are interested, we are ready to provide our services. In addition, my horses and ponies can participate in photo shoots and commercials.
Is it difficult to work with animals?
Animals know very well when to do something and when not to. For example, my horse Gosh - he is still fun. He can do everything clearly at the rehearsal - so that he bounces off his teeth, then go to the arena and say: “I don’t want to! And what will you do to me? ” But nothing! Because the audience is sitting.
Or in the story: I am standing in the center of the arena, and the horse must reach the barrier, take a bouquet of flowers lying there, come and give them to me. And at this time I was dancing in the center of the arena and seemingly did not see anything. And Gosha takes these flowers and goes to tease the audience. They hold out their hand, and he: "Nope, I won’t give it!" And I stand and can’t do anything while he is having fun there.
If the animal doesn’t do something, it still needs to be forced - not necessarily by force, it is possible to “crush” morally, but it is necessary. And even during the performance, if the horse refuses to do something, you need to repeat the number so that you can do it. Otherwise, she will definitely refuse the next performance.
With Gosha, you constantly need to improvise, because he is very smart! It’s easier to work with a not-so-intelligent animal: to learn it for a long time, but then it is like a nail - where it is nailed, it is kept there - it goes and does what it has been taught. But Gosha quickly grasps everything, thinks well, invents something himself. In addition, I am a supporter of allowing the animal to express itself - so interesting.
Yes, and the audience is so interesting. Ticketers loved me in Riga very much. They said: "Everyone has numbers like numbers: once I looked, well, two - and every time you have something new!" I can only try to overtake Gosha by half a step - to improvise myself.