Sunday, April 19, 2015

Midwest Horse Fair 2015 Part 2

Welcome to MORE HORSE FAIR coverage.
Time for some North Horse Awards! Like in Whose Line is it Anyway, the categories are made up and the points don't matter, but we have fun anyway.

Tackiest Tack!

It's like the Easter Bunny came and threw up plastic Easter "grass" on this breast collar.
Metallic pale green fringe, pink crystals, and pink, green, white, and burgundy beadwork. Ughhh.

Runner Up for Tackiest Tack

This is what happens when girls take too long to grow out of the pink and purple princess stage.

Honorable Mentions for Tackiest Tack

I have never seen a blue snake with a zig-zag pattern, but if one existed, I don't think he would appreciate being covered in asymmetrical gold and crystal plastic. The pink one is a little better, but boy am I getting sick of seeing chunky, blingy crosses on everything. Jesus was kind of a humble guy, not so much about gaudy displays that shout, "HEY GUYS LOOK HOW RELIGIOUS I AM!"

This set was priced at $40 at the 4H tack sale.

Confession: I kind of like this one. If I had seen this when I was 15, I would have wanted it.

Speaking of the 4H tack sale, did anyone else come out of there with PTSD? That disorganized, elbow-slinging, overcrowded madhouse was louder than a dance club but without the benefit of alcohol. It was like a "Where's Waldo" puzzle, except smelling of body odor and leather. Seriously, with all those big new buildings, we couldn't hold the sale somewhere else? Like, somewhere where trying to look at a bridle doesn't mean having to become physically intimate with three people and a wooden rack?

That spot of bare floor is an illusion-- it's actually just the compacted bodies of the fallen, stamped smooth by the crowd.

Most Colorfully Dressed Non-Costumed Fair Attendee

Every year I pick someone wild, but this year I'm giving it to the rather plain leprechaun cowboy. Why? Because I'm pretty sure he was here last year, dressed the same way. That hat is very unmistakable. Is his name Patrick Irishman? Does he just really like green? Maybe those are his saddle club's colors? WHO ARE YOU, GREEN MAN?

DQ'd because this is a costume, but honorable mention goes to this rodeo queen, who must go through a lot of makeup remover every week. If you stare at her hat/head too long, it looks unreal.

Worst Marketing

Let's say you spent $400 to put your stud on Stallion Avenue, and you made a display to further advertise his awesomeness. Which kind of picture would you choose to make the BIGGEST in the display?

A) Stallion participating in a show or competition
B) Stallion posing in front of a professional background
C) Stallion with good ground manners being gentle in a family setting
D) Stallion about to bite the face off of another horse

If you chose D, you took the same marketing course as this owner!
Do you think they offer pasture breeding?

The stallion is Stone Blue, a Tennesse Walker from Rock City, IL. He was more gentle in person.

Coolest Non-Famous People

Obviously there are lots of really cool people at the Fair, like Julie Goodnight and The One Armed Bandit. But I prefer my heroes unsung, so here are two gals living in obscurity that you should know about:

Stacy here is part of a Wisconsin group sort of like the A Team, but not-for-profit. The Blue Hills Mounted Search and Rescue volunteers spend hundreds of hours training to rescue humans they've never met, for no pay. They work closely with law enforcement, and specialize in methodically searching for evidence and people over rough terrain that ATVs can't navigate. Last August, they found an older woman who had become lost while backpacking. Each member is certified in CPR and First Aid, and they have training sessions to desensitize their horses to everything from rescue gear to rain slickers. Stacy herself is from Rice Lake. She says that more mounted search and rescue groups are needed in heavily wooded northeastern Wisconsin.

If you decide to start your own Search and Rescue, maybe you too can take a group photo this awesome.

Next up, this is Jenna Carlton, from North Pole. That's North Pole Arkansas, but we'll make her an honorary northerner this weekend if for no other reason than that I try not to offend badass girls with the upper body strength of grizzlies.

Jenna is beating molten metal into submission in the World Championship Blacksmithing horseshoeing competition this weekend. Oh, you didn't know that was a thing? Yeah, it is, it's at Horse Fair every year, but lots of people seem to miss the smallish tents in the parking lot on the side of the Expo Center. Go check it out! Just listen for the hammering noises and look for shooting flames. Be warned: sparks occasionally fly onto audience members, so no wussies allowed.

Last, but certainly not least:

These guys are so awesome, every time they perform all the bald eagles in Wisconsin cry tears of pure freedom. Don't take my word for it, just watch them. And stay tuned for Part 3 of my Midwest Horse Fair coverage!

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