Midwest Horse Fair ~ 2 of 2

If you missed it, here is the link for the first half of Midwest Horse Fair.


This PRCA event was our first time attending a rodeo this decade. Two nights of rodeo at MWHF always sell out. We either get tickets early, or simply don't go. This also applies to attending music events. At this stage of my life, nose bleed seats just don't appeal to me. 

The rodeo at fair was something else this year. Freshest calves we have ever witnessed! They literally were like jumping beans. Non-stop bouncing off the ground. I wonder what they fed them to make them strong, big and fast. With a dose of crazy. One calf repeatedly tried to kick a cowboys face off. Some ended up running towards the Tie Down horses, instead of away. Expressions were priceless. The cowboys wrassled, got tangled up, fell backwards, tucked-n-rolled and tried their very best. In the end, the four legged animals won most of the time.

I tried to get a few key photos from my seat. We were sitting behind/next to part of a drill team that performed at the Friday Night rodeo. I learned a few things. Fun chatting with the spicy one sitting next to me, when she wasn't going in/out of our aisle 50X (insert eye roll).

Onto the photos! 

10 horse all gelding Belgian pyramid hitch

I not so secretly want to drive a single or pair of drafts. The lead Belgian was so proud and confident!

The Fox Hound group was fun to watch again. The red jacket rider is a distinguished experienced lead. This lady has led for decades.

calling in the hounds (with a whistle) 

The well-known award winning rodeo clown John Harrison and announcer Kelly Kenney were entertaining as always.

double trouble

Harrison's rodeo act with his horse Peanut was just as cute as the first time I saw it.

the horse was playing dead

trying to get his horse to stand up

I only took a couple shots of the cowboys, mostly because of our seating situation. We were plenty close to the arena, but most of the shoots/my shots were blocked. Totally okay. Rodeo shooting is just for fun.

I thoroughly enjoy watching the fearless talented pick up riders and mounts. They are life savers.

sadly this bull rider got hurt (stomped on)

I am a big fan of the acts. The endless hours these folks must put in to showcase their talents.

Liberty Cunningham

This young roman rider is only 13 years old. I cannot imagine the confidence it takes to trick ride in a sold out arena. At any age.

The main entertainment act was a highly award winning Roper & Trick Riding husband wife team (Rider & Bethany Kiesner). I had the most camera fun trying to catch this acts non-stop action.

Some entertainers use spotlights, which is ideal for photos. Otherwise rodeo shots have very busy backgrounds. Here is just a small fraction of the duo's snappin-n-jumping-riding act:

closing out with the stars of the rodeo, horses


Well, that's a wrap. I hope your eyeballs didn't fall out. In conclusion, I really enjoyed attending fair again this year. I will go as long as I am able. There is something to be said for hanging around like minded people and watching the incredible talent presented. Not to mention the gorgeous equine!!


Midwest Horse Fair ~ 1 of 2

Another year, another horse fair. This year we attended two out of three (part) days. It was too nice outside the last day (a Sunday) to be stuck inside watching other people accomplish things. Have to admit, it was a tough decision. We would have really enjoyed watching Sunday's Top Hand Finals.


Midwest Horse Fair (MWHF) was once again mobbed on Friday. Crazy mobbed! Where do all these people flock from?! Parking required copious amounts of patience, even for those of us locals well schooled in all things MWHF.

Friday is known for being "horse people" day. It has always been our get it before it's gone shopping day. We walk the entire mega center's double sided aisles before purchasing. Reminds me of herding cows...moooo-ve! You can't, unless others move first. This is our shopping MO unless an item is unique. Like the hat below. It was the last one. Such a happy find!

Hidden Cactus Ranch apparel

I've been looking for a baseball cap that A) fits my big square-ish head and B) isn't promoting some random business (aka free hats) usually related to construction. My hat is a bit lot more distressed than I would like, but the novelty cap fits perfectly ~and~ was made custom onsite to us!! Yipee! Proof, it is the little things in life. The back mesh is soft and form fitting. Did I mention it fits my noggin perfectly?!! You have no idea how rare this is for me. I've already got a different style hat (that also fits great) picked out to personalize and order. It was out of stock. This gives me incentive to finish our looong overdue ranch logo. It could happen.

I am happy to have made a great connection (Whispering Pines, their website isn't up yet) for personalizing human and horse stuff!! Making in-person connections is one favorite thing about fair. We also found a local person from our former home town who cleans and repairs horse blankets etc and a couple stall shavings contacts to consider. We are looking for better solutions. 

Of course we did more than shop. We watched a bit of stallion review. Below was one of the handsome young guys. I love feathers!! In my dreams. I bet this boy takes long baths and ton of grooming.

Gorgeous Gypsy Vanner "The Postman"

A talented black Andalusian stud was fun to watch, especially while 
dancing. Here is a short clip of his stallion review:

RA Maximo (1.19 mins)

We also watched part of an Ray Ainsworth "Communicating Better With Your Horse" clinic. It was pretty good. He talked about "Changing the attitude before you change the behavior" while working with some Mustangs in hand. It included trailer loading introduction. At one point Ray made a loud crazy ass amplified non-stop noise, while backing the inattentive horse alllll the way across the arena. It seemed a bit extreme, but it did work. It resulted in the horse being very tuned into him. Even when he asked the crowd to clap.

We skipped walking up and down the barn aisles to see the different breeds. We have EHV floating around our county, and surrounding ones. Better safe than sorry.

Saturday was a cold day and fair was not nearly as busy. It worked in our favor. We got another great parking spot, without requiring patience.

I picked out a new saddle pad for riding Nemo in my saddle. His hair is something else. Very VERY fine. He requires his own stuff. Cierra/Koda/Harmony can share brushes etc. Jury is out on Hope. I think she will also require her own tack and brushes. 

More scenes from fair:

Fox Hound presentation (11 secs)

We tried to watch another one of Ray's clinics on Saturday. It was hard to hear and even see what he was doing. There were other announcers in the pavillion along with a non-stop screaming toddler in the stroller next to Brad. Making it impossible to enjoy. Our whole seating section was less than happy. Needless to say we didn't stick around long.

Later on, a Mounted Shooting presenter caught our eye. She was entertaining and easy to hear/see. Sometimes unplanned clinics are the best. Staying at the Von Holten's 100 year old ranch would be so much fun!! Below is a clip of Brandy Van Holten shooting off her mule JoJo. Of course seeing a mule made me think of Blogger Val :) 

Mounted Shooting (19 secs)

I lugged my mid-range lens to the Saturday night PRCA rodeo. I'm planning to share some pics and observations on MWHF post 2 of 2. Don't hold your breath ;) Trying to cram all things fair into one long post just didn't work.

Also swirling around my head are looong overdue horse updates. I
t is a busy time of year and the outdoors are calling my name. I've read some of your wonderful blog updates. Be well and continue enjoying your Spring-y lives!! 


Padame's turn

Here I am, typing from the Equine Hospital. Waiting to find out what is going on with Padame. She has been experiencing on again/off again lameness. Most recently at her second show of the season, in Minnesota. Padame came up lame the night before we were heading up to watch. She did not show.

We were here for Koda's lameness MRI, less than a year ago. Now it's Padame's turn. The hospital folks are very nice, but I reeeally do not want to become a regular!! Cost aside it is hard on the horses, and us. It takes an entire day. 

The MRI will reveal key information, including the possibility there are no injuries. Lameness yo-yo-ing is anybodies best guess otherwise. Obviously I hope there is nothing "wrong" with Padame. An MRI may seem extreme, but we know others in the show circuit who have spent years patching the unknown. In the end, it is more cost and more so a frustrating loss of time. Something you can't get back. We hope to target the care Padame needs and keep her sound.

wondering where she is

Padame is so dark & shiny

Our daughter (Harmony's mom) took a half day off work to cover animal care at home for us. 

We tried to distract ourselves on this beautiful 72+F sunny day. After lunch we walked the boardwalk and enjoyed lake views. Frequently checking the time.

Now we sit. We read. We pace. We check. It is hard not to worry as closing time approaches and Padame is still not back in her temporary stall. Similar to what we experienced with Koda.

She was finally returned to her stall! We met with the MRI vet, and at first glance nothing appeared to be wrong. Good news. After the MRI scans get reviewed by a specialist, the MRI vet and our vet will discuss findings and come up with a plan of action.

another loop and attempt at loading

Padame was less than willing to load up in our trailer. She has ridden in it before, but is used to a large slant load and having company. Poor girl. We all made it home without incident. I bet Padame slept good last night.


return to winter

Wisconsin decided to return to Winter, so I did too. Sharing photos from earlier this snow season. As always, click to enlarge and see detail.

January 2024

Our recent weather event lasted 2.5 days. By this afternoon we were already melting-n-soaking up the much needed moisture. Sunnier days are coming!

Hope wants everyone to know she really dislikes being wet. Dontchaknow, water drops tickle. She would really like it if we let her rub herself dry on us. She might enjoy being towel dried. Or even blow dried. With a hair drier. It was required during my lesson years at the place Harmony came from. Way back in the day. You got in trouble if you put your horse away wet. Those were some late nights! Wishing Winter coats would hurry up and dry.

We haven't given Hope a bath, yet. We aren't big on baths, but if you are going to be a show horse bath days are guaranteed. Mother Nature has done a good job with "feeling wet" training!

Hope at 9 months