Over 70 horses arrive in Scottsdale for Cavalia Odysseo

More from this show

Cavalia Odysseo, a theatrical production including aerial, acrobatic and equestrian arts with more than 70 horses, will be at the White Big Top in Scottsdale this February and March.

“They’re like 12-year-old boys,” rider Chelsea Jordan says. “They have so much energy. They’re always playing with you and trying to get your attention.”

Everyone in the performance agrees that caring for the horses is no easy task. Each horse has their feet checked, the hair brushed and protection gear strapped on. They require seven meals a day and consistent grooming. There would be no way for just one or a couple of people to take care of them by themselves.

“We shower because we want to look nice, but mainly because we want to stay healthy. It’s the same idea for them,” Jordan says. Many of the horses are imported internationally. There are 10 groomers, three vet technicians and 18 artists who take care of the horses.

Cavalia Odysseo runs from Feb. 21 to March 18. For more information, go here.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S WHY WE NEED YOU HERE. APPRECIATE IT. YOU MAY HAVE SEEN BILLBOARDS AROUND TOWN WITH A GIANT WHITE HORSE ADVERTISING THE ODYSSEO SHOW. WELL, THE HORSES HAVE ARRIVED, ALL 70 OF 'EM, AND WE SENT PHOTOGRAPHER SAM MENA TO THE BIG TOP TO FIND OUT WHAT IT TAKES TO GET ALL THOSE FOUR-LEGGED STARS READY FOR THE STAGE.

HORSE BREEDER #1: THIS IS THE HOME OF CAVALIA ODYSSEO, A SPECTACULAR THEATRICAL PRODUCTION THAT INCLUDES AERIAL AND ACROBATIC EQUESTRIAN BREEDS. SO AT ODYSEEO WE HAVE OVER 12 DIFFERENT BREEDS AND EACH BREED SPECIALIZES IN A DIFFERENT DISCIPLINE. MANY OF OUR HORSES WERE IMPORTED INTERNATIONALLY SO WE HAVE HORSES FROM SPAIN, PORTUGAL, FRANCE, AUSTRALIA.

HORSE BREEDER #2: THEY NEED CONSTANT CARE. THEY ARE LIKE CHILDREN. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE HAPPY AND HEALTHY. WE HAVE TEN GROOMS, THREE VET TECHS AND 18 ARTISTS THAT TAKE CARE OF THESE HORSES. GROOMING IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THEIR HYGIENE. THEY’RE LIKE US AS WE WANT TO SHOWER TO LOOK NICE, BUT MAINLY BECAUSE WE WANT TO STAY HEALTHY. IT'S THE SAME IDEA FOR THEM.

CHELSEA JORDAN: IT'S A REALLY SPECIAL TIME TO SPEND WITH YOUR HORSE BECAUSE IT'S A BONDING TIME. THE FIRST THING I ALWAYS DO IS CHECK THEIR FEET. I’LL CHECK OUT WHAT’S GOING ON HERE TO BE SURE THERE ARE NO CRACKS. HE DOESN'T HAVE SHOE, BUT IF HE DOES HAVE SHOES, I WOULD MAKE SURE THE SHOE WAS COMPLETELY THERE AND HE HASN’T STEPPED ON IT AND PULLED PART OF IT OFF. EACH HORSE HAS A GROOMING BAG AND INSIDE THE BAG HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED. IT HAS BRUSHES, HOOF PICKS, THESE PROTECTIONS THAT WE PUT ON THEIR LEGS. THEY HAVE PEGS TO PUT ON SO THEY DON'T STRIKE THEIR LEGS WHILE OUT MOVING.

HORSE BREEDER #2: WE USE WHAT WE CALL A MAIN BRUSH, WHICH IS A VERY GENTLE BRUSH THAT DOESN'T RIP THE HAIR WHEN YOU BRUSH IT. SO HIS HAIR IS ALL NICE AND LUCIOUS ALREADY.

HOUSE BREEDER #3: WE HAVE MULTIPLE BRUSHES THAT HELP TAKE ALL THE DUST AND DEAD HAIR OUT OF THE COAT.

HOUSE BREEDER #4: THEY ARE LIKE KIDS. I THINK OF THEM AS 12-YEAR-OLD BOYS. THEY HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY. THEY ARE ALWAYS PLAYING WITH YOU, ALWAYS TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION.

HOUSE BREEDER #5: THEY’RE LIKE HIGH CLASS ATHLETES AS WELL SO DIET IS DEPENDING ON WHAT THEIR PERFORMANC IS.

HOUSE BREEDER #6: WE HAVE A WONDERFUL TEAM OF RIDERS AS WELL RESPONSIBLE FOR TRAINING. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR KEEPING TRACK OF HOW FIT THEY ARE AND HOW CONDITIONED THEY ARE FOR THE SHOW.

HOUSE BREEDER #6: THIS IS ONE OF OUR FOUR ARABIAN HORSES. THEY’RE CURRENTLY BEING HELD BY EQUESTRIAN DIRECTOR. YOU’LL NOTICE THAT THE CUES GIVEN TO THE HORSES ARE VERY, VERY SUBTLE. IT’S VOCAL COMMANDS AND BODY LANGUAGE. AS YOU SEE, HE SLIGHTLY MOVED BACK AND THE HORSES CAME DIRECTLY TOWARDS HIM.

HORSE BREEDER #6: THEY REQUIRE SO MUCH CARE AND LOVE, IF WE HAVE TO DO IT OURSELVES, WE COULDN'T DO IT. IT’S A HUGE SHOW. WE HAVE OVER 70 HORSES HERE SO THE MORE HANDS WE HAVE, THE BETTER.

TED SIMONS: FOR THE RECORD, THE HORSES GET SEVEN MEALS A DAY, INCLUDING AT LEAST FOUR SERVINGS OF HAY, AND THAT DIET INCLUDES MORE OATS, GRAINS AND SUGAR FOR MORE ENERGY ON DAYS THAT THE HORSES PERFORM. THURSDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON, WE'LL ASK CONGRESSMAN PAUL GOSAR ABOUT HIS POSITION ON GUN CONTROL. AND WE'LL CHECK IN ON THE CACTUS LEAGUE, AS SPRING TRAINING GETS GOING IN THE VALLEY. THAT'S THURSDAY, ON ARIZONA HORIZON. THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Chelsea Jordan: Rider, Cavalia Odysseo

airs Feb. 28

Desert Dreams: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert

Barry Gibb singing (Bee Gees: In Our Own Time)
aired Feb. 24

Bee Gees: In Our Own Time

A cute little duckling with text reading: Arizona PBS Ducks in a Row Event
March 6

Getting Your Ducks in a Row to Avoid Conflict When You Are Gone

Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson
aired Feb. 23

The Highwaymen: Live at Nassau Coliseum

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: