From the Archives continued - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by joanro on 24 November 2018 - 21:11

Ok, Mrdarcy, here is the new thread. I had a thread on here five years ago with similar title....

The liberty act I'm talking about was in the Circus spectacular. Six Arabian geldings that belonged to the park.

That woman in the video carrying the American flag on the white horse is Joanne, wife of the guy on the two horses, Roman riding. He is owner of the white horses... Anyway, his wife was supposed to be working the Arabians in the Circus spectacular, but she could not handle them and they got so bad they were not just jumping out of the ring during performance, they actually all left the building out the back curtain! Plus by that time, they had lost about fifty percent of the act...behaviors lost and so the act was not complete.

Anyway, the management pulled the act from the show and asked me if I could work them. I had never done that before, but told them I'd give it a go. I had to re-train them! They were broke to the act about ten years earlier by a friend of mine, there was one video of them being worked and it was from up in the seats above the volume, so no voice commands in the video. I watched it, studied it for hours, having to reverse all the signals to the perspective in the ring with the horses. I was given six months to get the act ready to put back into the show.

I took one horse at a time and retrained the cues [and] the behaviors, then two, then three then the other half of the act, same thing till I put all six back into the ring together.

One morning practicing in the building ( I had an outside practice ring I was training them in) the management was watching without me knowing. He came to me and said, put them in the show Monday! That was only six weeks after I started on the project.

Well, Gunther Gable Williams ( who I was friends with) heard about me taking on the project and he came to our premier performance...unknown to me. After the show he came to me to congratulate me on an accomplishment that was unheard of....retraining a soured horse act that had not done their entire routine for years till I took them on....on top of it, these horses were in their late teens, the oldest, Tony, was twenty.

An image

An image

This is Zack, the second horse from the left in above pic.

They had all lost the rear, and Zack had lost the hind leg walk...I had him walking all the way around the ring on his hind legs!

by joanro on 24 November 2018 - 22:11

Beetree: Joan, have you ever trained a jackass? Imagine a show with a jackass, a mule, a Chinquoteague pony and a flashy Arabian or Tennessee Walking horse. Maybe a small dog and a bird of prey, too. I think it would have to be a comedy and set to some good ol’ rock n roll guitar music, too. Can you make money on that?!


Yes, bee, I've trained mules and donkeys. Trained full horse size mules to do everything from work in a team to tricks. Trained pony mules for trick riding for comedy act to a full length comedy act for a clown on the Ringling Show.

Here's a picture of that mule before I delivered him to Venice, fl to Ringling winter quarters.

Circa 1980..

An image

The dog is my Aussie, the old man is a retired Ringling exec., holding ng the mule for me for the pic.

mrdarcy (admin)

by mrdarcy on 25 November 2018 - 09:11

Love these pics/posts...keep 'em coming joan, I find your stories fascinating.


by Jessejones on 25 November 2018 - 18:11

I love them too Joan.

I suspected you must have known a lot of folks in Venice, Fl.

Did you ever do the Kissimmee Rodeo? My grandparents lived there...and all through the 60‘s and early 70‘s when visiting them, we‘d all go to the rodeo. It was great fun and very exciting. Some of my best memories.

by joanro on 25 November 2018 - 19:11

Thanks, Mrdarcy and Jesse.

Jessee, I was a member of the IPRA, and Kissimmee ( Silver Spurs Rodeo) was PRCA....never the two shall meet. They would not hire any one who was a member of the other.

They did try to hire me, until I told them I was IPRA. Getting card was rediculous and very job controlling. ( They dictate who you can work for and threats of banning if ever caught working for anyone on their black list...stuff like that)

Anyway, while I was working at Circus World, the park had me ride in the Silver Spurs Rodeo Parade, representing the park. Here's a picture of me in the parade on my young Brahman Bull, Pancho.

An image

An image

by joanro on 25 November 2018 - 20:11

Down the road was Davie, Fla ( at the time it was practically suburb of Ft Lauderdale, just a little cowboy town. A lot of horse ranches and Calder Farms was there. They were the owners of Calder race track. I got my first job out of high school at Caulder Farms, grooming race horses. The track, at that time was just starting construction. When I got out of the Army, my first job was at Monmouth Track in Jersey, then when I went back to FL, I got a job Calder track as a groom!).

Anyway, I worked the Davie rodeo in the mid seventies two or three times. Here are some pictures of me working the three horse Roman team.

They were a hand full and really liked to race each other. The one in the middle was a tree year old here. I broke him to ride and added him in the middle of the team.

They would be feeling their oats upon entering the arena, at a run, bucking and kicking. Sometimes Tonka ( middle horse) would kick high enough to hit my butt...I had to be prepared so's not to get knocked over the front of the horses.

I approached the arena sitting on the middle horse and when announced for the act, as soon as the gate opened, I had them moving forward and jumped up to standing on the outside horses and we were off at a full gallop....I had to get up fast and be set without mistakes because they weren't slowing down!

An image

This is behind the bleachers on the way to the arena.

An image

An image

This is at the Davie rodeo, working the horses before performance.

An image

This is at opening night at Pompano Race track, passing in front of the club house!....same night as the trick riding I posted pictures on the other thread.

An image

Pompano race track


by Jessejones on 25 November 2018 - 21:11 are so beautiful to boot!
You must have turned a lot of cowboy‘s heads and driven them crazy.

So funny! Small world...
Is that you on your bull on Kissimmee Main Street? Looks like accross from the movie theater.

Also, I lived in Monmouth NJ too, long time ago, in the early 60‘s as a kid. My dad was in the army.

This all seems so astonishingly dangerous too...were you ever hurt badly? At least our dogs only weigh usually less then 100 pounds...but a 2000 pound horse...and then 6 of them???? Oh man....

by joanro on 25 November 2018 - 23:11

Haha, yes, I suppose heads were turned. But I was too busy to pay attention.
I also shoed all the horses, including the Roman team and I had an extra paying job at Circus World shoeing all the horses owned by the park ( including the wagon horses)...they even paid me for shoeing my own!

Yes, of course that's me on the Brahman bull. He was only about two years old there...I raised him from a calf.
I'll post pictures of the Brahman I raised and trained over the years, later.

I never got hurt doing all this. A horses fell on me starting a parade and he landed against a concrete post, mashing my leg between him and the post so he didn't go all the way to the ground. Nreves are still messed up in that leg. That was about 1975.
One time in Verginia, it was pouring rain and the left hand horse got away from me, crowding the right hand horse into the a dead run...he was running away with me because I couldn't get any footing on slippery wet leather pads I stood on. So anyway, the right hand horse sucked back to keep from hitting the fence... there was a telephone pole on the fence I saw coming up as I came off. I held the rains and tucked untill I felt the fence on my back ( I was between the running horse and the fence) then I let go and hit the ground!
The team was caught and brought to me and I was given a leg up, and I finished the act. Bruised back but nothing broken.

by joanro on 25 November 2018 - 23:11

By the way, in the parade in Kissimmee, where I'm having to my left....on the other side of the road ( the street was split with a median) the other part of the parade was still over on that side and right across from me was a guy on his Buffalo! It was on the Brahman passing the guy on the Buffalo!

by joanro on 26 November 2018 - 03:11

Here are some of the Brahmers I have raised and trained, in sequence. 

An image

This is the first Brahmer I raised and trained, Snoopy. I was told by an old trainer that I could not teach a Brahmer to march like a horse because bulls don't strike with a front foot like a horse does. True. But I didn't let that minor detail stop me. I had the only Brahmer that did a march from saddle like a horse. Picture of my horse doing a march so's you get an idea what I trained Snoopy to do.

An image

An image

An image

The is,Pancho, the one in the parade, while working at Circus World, as a calf.

An image

This is Pancho at Circus World turned out to play...he is playing with a traffic cone!

An image

Beautiful Pancho!

An image

Sierra and my Appaloosa, standing in for my paint who had pulled a ham string muscle. This was Lakota's first time in this act during show...I trained him for this act in case the paint was not able to perform. He worked as though he has always been doing this liberty act!

An image

Sierra, I'm signaling for the paint to come into the arena ( a nod from me and gate man would swing the gate wide to let him enter)...crack the whip and he came flying in, bucking and shaking his head.

An image

He circled us one time and as he ran out past us on the right, I signaled for him to halt! And he slid to a stop his butt towards us, then I signaled for him the rear, pivot and walk to us on his hind legs...same performance always without fail!

An image

Sierra as a FL for rehearsal wit hmy horse act for a show in Canada for the summer..

He and this young elephant became buddies, getting a drink together.

An image

A performance in Michigan

An image





Contact information  Disclaimer  Privacy Statement  Copyright Information  Terms of Service  Cookie policy  ↑ Back to top