Yes, every man, woman and child who is crazy about horses will be milling around West Springfield, Massachusetts for the annual Equine Affaire held at the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds for four glorious days. As my husband would say, the horse-o-meter will be off the chart there with non stop horse talk. So, of course I gotta be there. And yes you can bring your horse there too if it gets selected to participate in the wide selection of demonstrations and clinics to observe. Unfortunately, my girls will stay home and wait for the goodies I bring back to them.
It is billed as North America’s Premiere Equine Expositions & Equestrian Gatherings. It is pretty much Disney World for horse lovers. Equine Affaire, Inc. was founded by Eugenia Snyder and incorporated in the State of Ohio in 1993 with the goal of creating a first-class, education-oriented horsemen’s exposition in which horsepeople representing all breeds of horses and all equestrian disciplines would convene in a non-competitive environment and share their passion for horses. A second Equine Affaire was introduced at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, MA, in 1998.
There is a group of three of us that have been going for years together, and our ring leader who introduced me to the event books our hotel year after year right after we get back. Hotel rooms seriously are all booked up by the time the event takes place.
Picture your state fairgrounds with every building packed with horse merchandise, and at each end of the buildings are horse demonstrations taking place. You can walk around at free will, take a seat and watch the presentation, or get up and go to another. There is so much to choose from and do there. We all split up and go our own way attending the clinics that interest us personally, and at the end of the day we meet back up for dinner and information exchange horse talk, and of course, to see what everyone bought to take back to their horses!
Now I can’t lie, the Australian horse trainers have me at “hello”. Watching them handle with patience and care a young horse get his first experience with a rider on its back is magical. In less than two hours these professional horse trainers have calmly without frustration or anger convinced the horse to walk, trot, canter around the coliseum in front of a crowd. It truly is amazing every time I watch it.
My favorite event to attend is the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, featuring up to 30 horse and rider combinations who will tackle the timed and judged obstacle course created to test communication between horse and rider as well as each competitor’s horsemanship skills. It is something I have participated with both my horses on a recreational level.
So for the next 48 hours my husband will be holding down the fort. And my horses know what to expect too when I get back. I instantly want to implement everything I learned on them.
See you at the fair!