Ah, Midwest Horse Fair. Fun, sun, shopping and horses of course! After the first day, my brain is already fried. Consequently, Part 1 here is lots of lovely pics and fairly little blabbing. Don't worry, I'll fill you in on some of the presentations later. Now then, let's get started.
Two people in an RV in the camping area of the Fair were taken to the ER for carbon monoxide poisoning traced to their own leaky generator. Super kudos to the person who figured out that "horse hasn't been fed by 10am" = "maybe something's wrong." They may have saved the lives of the owners. News link here. (Update: the victims were Mr. & Mrs. Taylor of Taylor-Made Paints from Junction City, WI. Please send good thoughts to them, as they are in serious condition.)
Steampunk Freisians! The riders of the Friesian Heritage Horse & Sporthorse International Group all went as gorgeous fairies last year. This year, they absolutely rocked the sci-fi/Victorian look. If you aren't quite sure what the whole steampunk thing is, just imagine if the world of the 1800s was run by crazy scientists/adventurers like Captain Nemo, with lots of steam-powered gadgetry.
Some more Friesians, these less steampunky:
|Update: this guy is Mystic Warrior, a Friesian Appaloosa cross. Thanks Christy!|
Sooo beautiful! Thanks for giving us a great show, Friesian Heritage. Your horses are amazing.
Unfortunately, now it's time to move on to something a bit ugly.
While I was watching riders in front of the coliseum, an Appaloosa stallion was led onto the wood chip lane by a woman wearing a Wisconsin Appaloosa Horse Club jacket. She constantly yanked on the horse's nose chain, despite the fact that he was pretty darn well-behaved. This wasn't a couple of corrections, this was harassment. If the stallion so much as looked up at another horse coming down the lane, she quickly jerked down on his face. Moved slightly? Yank! Batted an eyelash? Yank! Stood fucking still? Yank! Now, the funny thing about someone constantly jerking a chain wrapped around your nose is that it tends to make you more agitated, and throw your head more, not less. And so it was with this stallion, whose name, by the way, is Totally Included, barn name Kenny. Kenny got a little jumpy. Not rearing, not kicking, not trying to run, just agitated. His handler's response? Start beating him in the chest and neck with the rope in her left hand. I could hear it snap and smack him hard from thirty feet away. By the time I got closer and got my camera switched to video mode, the worst of it was over. Kenny was breathing hard but being good. I started filming anyway, and sure enough, Kenny's bitch of a handler started hitting him again. Towards the end of the video, a woman in a white T-shirt approached and told chain-yanker-bitch I was filming, and to maybe tone it down a bit.
At the end of the video, you can just barely hear one of the girls talking about my filming them, saying, "That's just because some people are ignorant... they don't know [inaudible] handle a thousand pound animal."
Actually, hon, yes I do know how to handle a horse, and it doesn't involve continuing to punish him when he is already standing still. That's the opposite of how to teach a horse to behave. And yes, some of you readers out there are crying, "Oh, but it's a stallion, that means he's so viscous and powerful, you have to treat stallions like that!" NO. No you don't. For proof, just visit the Horse Fair-- there are a couple dozen stallions walking around without a fuss, and without their handlers constantly yanking on their faces and hitting them.
The poor horse, Totally Included, AKA Kenny, is owned by Daryl and Tina Mahloch of New Horizon Farm in Brillion, WI. I don't know if Tina was the one handling him today or not. (Update: more than one person has said that it WAS Tina herself.)
OK, enough ugliness for a while. Let's look at some pretty, well-behaved, and well-treated (at least as long as I was watching) stallions that were also on the woodchip path:
OK, a few more quick photos! Again, this is by no means everything from Friday 17th, much less Horse Fair 2015, so stay tuned for Part 2 (and 3? and 4?).
|A good rider! The horse was a jumpy, but she got him calm without getting in his mouth, and did it one handed!|
Update: this guy's a stallion as well! The rider is Kricket J.
|The new buildings are so big, at one point I went into the same one twice without realizing it.|
|So huge! Pics from the Kids Korral coming soon, it was cute.|
|Horses are born with indents in their teeth, called "cups." The teeth wear down as a horse ages, erasing the cups.|
|Blingy dog collars: $80-$140.|
|So. Many. Strollers. Love the little kid eating her pony though.|
|They scoot forward when you bounce, and really steer. They don't back up though. The big ones are over $200.|
|If you haven't been to the Medieval Times dinner show, go! It's a bit cheesy, but's it's very worth going once.|
|Drooling over this Bighorn endurance saddle, but it's out of my budget. Also not sure about the seat.|
|Just want to say "thank you" to all the riders who were friendly, patient ambassadors for the horse world.|
|Madison Mounted Police! Love these guys.|
More coming later-- stay tuned to Northhorse.org!