fair findings

We survived another Midwest Horse Fair weekend! It never ceases to amaze me how different our experience is from year to year. I hate to say it, but for us this year it lacked pizzaz. We drove right into fair, all three days. No lines no waiting. Very odd. Some years it's taken 1.5 hours just to get through the gate and parking. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome to get in fast and get great parking.

For the most part, we did have a fun three days and enjoyed memorable experiences. However, fair was definitely lacking something (besides attendance). Just can't quite figure out what. Perhaps it's just us. We are in a different place in our lives and
 really just want to be with our horses and/or working on our land. Almost didn't even go on Sunday. The weather was sooo gorgeous. It's a good thing we did go!! You'll find out why later.

Here are my fair findings:

We shortened our shopping list this year, and didn't do any impulse buying. Altho I tried! First vendor we stopped at had a copper metal relief wall hanging that we both liked. While deciding on purchase, the vendor reached over my shoulder and slapped a sold sticker on it! I was stunned. Someone bought it minutes earlier. Funny part is, they said it's hung for 5 years in their shop and no one even asked about it. Oh well. Win some, lose some.

We picked up the custom saddle we ordered for Brad over a year ago. It turned out really nice! Workmanship is outstanding. Now we each have our forever saddle from Reed TackWe got our yearly supply of Nemo's hoof supplement, bug spray & Show Sheen. Koda also needed a new cinch. I am trying a new one that allows for more airflow (photo credit to Weaver):

We attended a couple Ranch riding clinics given by Butch Campbell & his AQHA Judge wife (from Texas) they really know their stuff. They were rider lesson based clinics. You can only watch so much of that, we opted to skip the remaining four. The part we enjoyed the most was watching Nemo's half brother & his girl riding in the clinics. Funny how certain characteristics carry through genetics.

The only other clinic we watched was by default. It was on working cattle, led by Sandy Collier. It was also lesson based. Looked fun, and challenging. Maybe someday I'll even give it a whirl? Nemo & especially Koda is bred for it.

The PRCA rodeo was blasé. Our seats were tucked in the corner, by the chutes. Good for behind the scene and chute release, but everything else was far far away. Brad talked to a couple other guys who said similar, along with "Animals Won, Cowboys None". Next year should be better, they'll have two nights of rodeo. 

My favorite photo from the rodeo:

The best part of fair this year were the new vendors we met. We had a ball chatting with the stall rep, sign maker and a couple furniture repurpose gals. It's fun talking future things for our new place!!

We left fair early Sunday afternoon to head up to the barn for a ride. Our horse filled weekend was topped off with an unexpected visitor...to be continued...


Shirley said...

My friend Shayla interned with Sandy Collier a couple of years ago. She learned a lot and has a lot of respect for Sandy.
That is a really cute photo!

Linda said...

Interesting. I found myself going less and less to fairs & rodeos, etc after getting a horse property. You do really get your fill with that day to day interaction. My perspective changed, too. I really don't enjoy the rodeo anymore. I don't know why. I'm not anti-rodeo or anything, but I don't enjoy it. I savor the quiet moments with my herd. I can sit and watch them interact ALL day, and I do mean all day. I'd live out there with them if I could, but it's too damn cold.

aurora said...

Wow, lucky Shayla. I bet she learned a ton. Sandy was very seasoned at working with riders, horses and cattle. Instantly reading every scenario and animal that presented itself, and giving spot on solutions that you could visibly see. She was really fun to watch!

Shirley, we try to go to clinics that apply to where we are in our horsemanship. Hence the planned ranch clinics for Brad. They were good too, but for us it was a lot of schooling repetition. Might have been different with less riders. I would have liked to watch the clinic on how turns are judged. Might have offered an aha moment to help me with turns on haunches.

I am with you Linda. We will likely end up cutting back to one fair day, Friday. It's close and you can't beat the all in one stop savings.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like you had a nice time at the fair. I rarely go to them anymore. I do like to shop at the different vendors though. I'm surprised you didn't post a picture of the new saddle. Love the last picture that's adorable.

aurora said...

We didn't suffer too bad at fair, ha ha! It was just missing something this year. I have a good reason for not having a saddle photo to include. We planned on taking one Sunday, during Brad's first ride in it...but that changed unexpectedly. I even kept this post as a draft for a while, having every intention of including a saddle photo. Decided to release it without (bad blogger) but once the weather clears up I will take one and share!

Mrs Shoes said...

That photo is great - I love the serious look on the boy's face as though he is trying to soak up every bit that cowboy tells him!

aurora said...

Good observation Mrs. Shoes! They announced the cowboy was the little boys dad, who knows what wisdom was being exchanged between the two.