I am still floating in the aftermath that Horse Fair brings upon us all. Thoughts whirl around in my head, as I reflect upon experiences and all things horse. After three full days, it takes me a while to come back to reality. I feel fortunate to have such a wonderful event so close to home. Every year Midwest Horse Fair proves to be a little different, and yet many of the same things I enjoy return. To name one of my perennial favorite acts, Percheron Thunder. If you could see the smile on Jason Goodman's face, and feel the cheer joy, as he drives six gorgeous Percheron's while riding roman on his two wheel horses ~ you would know what I mean.
I'm not a big fan of standing on ones horse perse, but this feels different. Most are hoping their horses don't move, he expects it - and with speed. Jason is a great ambassador for the Percheron breed, and with his wife spends a lot of time talking horse with fans and giving back.
I originally planned to attend all the Western Dressage clinics held by Jeff Wilson but quickly learned, the presenter wasn't what I was looking for. Instead we gravitated towards attending Richard Winters clinics again. Some of his great messages were carried over from previous years. His practical advice is timeless. It's all about horsemanship anyways, the foundation of every discipline. Who can't use more of that? I sure can! Not only is Richard a great presenter of useful information, he is tactfully funny! This year he shared his clinics with his daughter Sarah, clearly a good horsewomen in her own right. Time will tell if she listens to his wise presentation messages, only a dad can deliver.
The Friday night PRCA Rodeo didn't disappoint a sold out crowd of 10,000. It had all the elements, including patriotism, skill, beautiful animals, danger, education, humor, camaraderie and more! The beasties got the best of many a cowboy, while others were victorious. Sitting only four rows away, I couldn't help but wish I had hauled my good camera in to capture the essence of the rodeo. I purposefully do not even bring my point & shoot to the Fair, so I can live in the moments with my husband. I don't want to watch fair through a lens, I want to experience it. But maybe next year, just for the rodeo.
We skipped the Saturday Night show for the first time. From what I've heard, we didn't miss much. They just aren't as good as they used to be. Altho I would have enjoyed watching Richard & Sarah perform together. The 2014 theme is "Horse Tales", as in fairy tales, maybe there is hope?
We stumbled across a Chase Dodd clinic when he stepped up to cover for some presenters, and were pleasantly surprised! Chase had to ad lib, and ended up combining portions of his Body Control & Advanced Body Control clinic into one. He did a great job breaking movements down, showing both sides of the arena, and explaining what he was doing & why. We found him refreshing, understandable, and liked how he interacted and answered questions from the crowd. Watch for this upcoming horseman, he knows his stuff. I finally figured out why I recognized him, we watched him win the Mustang Challenge a few years back.
After last years disappointing lead change clinic, we gave Al Dunning another try in Reining Rider Skills. Same thing, different clinic.
I wasn't there to watch him ride, which he clearly does very well, I
was there to learn. With all due respect, we walked away with
nothing. If they bring him back again we won't waste our time. I
can watch him ride on TV any day, it doesn't feel any different in
They also brought a roping duo from out West. I couldn't keep my hubby
awake, and he is more interested in roping then I am! We understand they had a rough time just getting to fair due to a big snowstorm, and were riding strangers horses. Roping isn't the most exciting thing to watch in the world, but it can be. We waited as looong as we could stand listening to them talk about themselves. It went on forever. Watching a rope be thrown over and over and over again, only teaches me that you can throw a rope. I get it, and already knew that. Break
it up. Make it interesting. Break it down. Sigh.
Speaking of breaking down, the Aussie Dan James did a nice job of it at one of his liberty work clinics. He explained reasoning, using selected participants and their horses, and added a twist of humor to bring it home. Wish we could have seen more of Dan's liberty progressive clinics, but even with three whole days at fair, we miss a lot.
For those of you that attended, what were your favorite shows & presenters?
If you've read this far, then you already know mine ~ BIG thumbs up for Percheron Thunder! Richard Winters! Chase Dodd! Dan James! and always the Rodeo!! Thanks for the memories & sharing your valued knowledge!! More Midwest Horse Fair experiences, what we hauled home, and what we didn't, to come in review ~ part two.
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