Monday, April 27, 2015

The Expo

I swear this is my favorite event that I get to go to on a regular basis. I usually put the Friday of the expo on my calendar almost a year in advance and go at least two days out of the three that it is held. This event is held at our state fairgrounds and the turnout is amazing! They have great fair food, the first opportunity of the year to get a corndog, and so many vendor booths as well as presentations. They also have the parade of breeds and there is usually a pretty good representation of some fairly rare breeds so that makes it really fun to watch. 

This year I got there right around noon on Friday and after grabbing something to eat I did some shopping! Anymore I have such specialized tack that I rarely need things (or find things) like bridles, bits, girths etc. This event also tends to cater to more western riders so there is just less English tack in general however, they do have a huge used tack sale and that was the first place I headed. I did have a few things on my list including a Micklem bridle, Havana reins, hoof boots, nice brushes, saddle cover (I’d like a nice zip up one to protect my new saddle), and boot bag plus I always love looking at the used books.


I figured out pretty quickly that there wasn’t any chance I was going to find a Micklem, especially not in the correct size, so I moved on to looking at saddle covers. There were a few options but most were pretty worn and/or they were just priced too high for me to not want to get a nice embroidered one at our local tack shop instead. However, they were located right next to the horse blankets and when I saw a Baker poking out of the pile I had to look. It’s not that Katai needs another sheet since she’s got two already but Baker blankets are just so amazing that every time I see one at one of these sales I have to look. Unfortunately they are usually too large and/or too expensive but this time I hit the jackpot and the one I pulled out was a 66” and only $30! I checked to make sure it would fit later when I was at the barn and it is nearly perfect :-)

                  I found this picture to demonstrate but now I really want to get mine monogrammed!


After snatching that up I was in such a good shopping mood that I looked around at everything else but other than three used fiction horse books I didn’t find anything else to spend money on so I moved on to the vendors (after buying a delicious bag of kettle corn). I was again looking for items on my list but I knew they would be tough to find since this even is so western focused. I did find some lovely brushes and got a soft rubber brush like this for her face,

 I also bought one of these.


I got this one since it was cute and the bristle stiffness seemed nice and it is amazing!!!

 And a really, really soft larger brush that isn’t a specific brand. I also tried this one with Katai at the barn on Sunday and it was amazing as well and really made her shine. After that I dropped my purchases off at my car and then went to see some demonstrations. First I watched some of the Parelli demonstration and was again impressed with his horsemanship but his salesmanship annoys the heck out of me so I didn’t stay for the whole thing.

 I also watched some of the parade of breeds and saw the donkeys, American Warmbloods, Miniatures, Dakota horses, Appaloosas, and Arabian crosses. I’m always impressed at how well some of these horses, who I know just got pulled out of a field after winter, handle our huge stadium and loud crowds.

 Finally I went to see the only presenter that I really planned to watch and it was easily the highlight of my day. Jec Aristotle Ballou

I LOVED her presentation, in fact I loved it so much that I paid to get back in again on Sunday so that I could watch another one.

She did a few things so well. One was that she had three very different horse and rider combinations. In the above photo you can see an Icelandic in the background and he happened to be very much like Katai. She also gave a scientific explanation for everything and yet kept it simple enough that it didn't go over anyone's head.

I could rave on and on about her but since this post is long enough already I'll do a review on her book in an upcoming post and share more about what I learned and have tried so far!

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