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!! 


Marie Smith said...

Every time we pass a field with horses now I am reminded of your beautiful animals. This looks like great fun!

Linda said...

How fun is that! I wish we had a horse expo around here. We used to have a small one, but it ended. We drove to Boise for a much bigger one, but that’s pretty far away.

A good fitting hat is essential. Glad you found one that is so custom to your unique head. I used to wear baseball caps a lot, but I found them to be kind of painful and ill-fitting, and switched to wool (winter) or straw (summer) some years back. I have a wide-brimmed palm hat that I bought, but just hangs in my closet. I need to pull it out and start using it because I’ve developed a weird neck line. Did they have a lot of straw hats at the Expo? It’s so hard to buy a hat without trying them on.

Speaking of hats, I tried on a beautiful wool hat in Sedona and it had a burned tattoo around it of a horse. The gal who did it works in the hat shop and also does tattoo work. Anyway, it was beautiful, but expensive. I didn’t get it. Wish I had.

Shirley said...

The crowds are the worst thing about those fairs! The ones who stop in the middle of the flow to chat, oblivious of those who need to get past them... uggh! Glad you found the right hat; I was going to shop for a new straw hat at our Horse Expo but didn't want to take the time to wait at the busy booth.
That Andalusian is gorgeous- my second favourite breed. Beamer can rear like that!
Mounted Archery shooting must be difficult! I have seen pistol/rifles used but not a bow.
Of course Hope needs her own grooming tools! Special girls need special treatment.
How is Padame doing?

aurora said...

Thanks for letting me know Marie! Love reminders of those we connect with <3

Yes Linda, there were many straw hat options. You are the queen of hats! They all look so good on you!! I watched for personalization sayings (like your daughters hat) but saw more typical "choose your hat band/feathers". I didn't try any wool/straw options. I have a black wool cowboy hat and two straw ones. One is a bent mess because I've worn it for gardening for many moons. The other is my beloved CO wide brim trail riding hat.

There were a lot more smaller vendors with apparel/hat shopping than past years. Brad always encourages me to stop-n-shop when I "ohh and aww" but I feel guilty spending money on myself for things I don't really need. Plus, not much fits. I wear a ponytail outside at home, so adjustable caps work best for me. You can always go back and get that wool hat :) sounds gorgeous!

Shirley, this was the year of a zillion kid toting soft sided wagons. Nothing against kids, but talk about oblivious parents and aisle blockers. I did look for brushes for Hope, but didn't like what I saw. She is shedding like crazy!

The mounted shooter wanted to shoot with flaming arrows, but it wasn't approved. Padame is doing well. We visited her yesterday. Not back to training, yet.

Val Ewing said...

We were driving through Madison when the MWHF was on. I had to laugh as both Rich and I were like: what is the traffic all about!
Then we reminisced about the time he drove to MWHF to meet me as a date. This the man who didn't leave the farm!

I did ride my mule Badger at MWHF and it was fun. I could shoot off from him with my pistol. Brandy has to have a great level of trust with her mule to do that.

Oh, I love that hat!


aurora said...

Sweet memories!!

We seriously thought about learning Mounted Shooting when we first got Nemo & Koda. JoJo was a chill and willing mule. Her husband (?) also shot off of her.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great videos, I enjoyed the dancing horse very much! That first horse, they must braid or tie up all that hair...interesting.

Grey Horse Matters said...

The fair must have been interesting! I hate crowds and especially inconsiderate people and screaming toddlers. Glad you found a hat. I love hats but never wear them cause they just don't look good on me. Beautiful horses at the fair, I always wanted a Gypsy Vanner but never took the plunge because of the grooming I'm sure is involved. Andalusians are wonderful horses too.

Read your other post about Padame. I hope she's doing well. Time off and rest will probably be what's best for her. She is absolutely gorgeous too.

Sorry I haven't commented more but there has been a lot going on around here. I'm still planning on emailing you sometime with pictures of Angus and Maisie the two Aussies. Hang in there and don't work too hard.

aurora said...

I love all that hair Connie! SO pretty when running!! Yes, mane & tail braids are likely common. I always wonder how they don't step on their tails.

Always great to hear from you Arline!! Thanks for keeping in touch when you can. I think of you often. Hope Blue, Rosie and the rest of your herd is doing well. Love that you have two Aussie's now!

Grey Horse Matters said...

The herd is doing well thanks. I don't have two Aussies but sometimes it seems like I do! Maisie is my daughter Jacquie's dog. But the two are brother and sister from the same litter. I will email you some pictures when I find your email address again. I seem to have lost it. But that's par for the course for me!

aurora said...

I feel like I have three dogs when in reality we have one (Tank). Our younger daughter and her dog live with us, and our son's dog is here at least two full days a week. The grand dogs are very attached to me. More than Tank, and he was suppose to be my dog!

My email is my first name (dot) last name, and I use gmail. If you need a hint, my name is watermarked on better photos and tagged on those posts. No rush. It sure is good to hear from you again!