Janna and I have been great friends for about 35 years give or take a year or two! We have written together in the past and Janna provided this great guest post for Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl about one of her passions, horses! Read on!
Midwest Horse Fair by Janna Seiz
Cindy is a great person to share with because she is so willing to share. She likes horses, from a distance, but we are going to work on getting her up and going on a more personal basis this summer.
Horses have been my love since I could be bribed into silence in church with the promise of a pony ride at about 18 months old. I’ve had horses for years, mostly pets, as four children and being a farm wife, and a career in physical therapy didn’t leave much time to ride. But when I retired I found someone great to give my horse and I lessons. That led to barn friends and that led to a trip to Madison, Wisconsin to the Midwest Horse Fair at the end of April.
Now I thought I was being invited to a horse show when I said yes. As old as I am, I am still pretty new to the horse world. My friends and I looked it up on the internet and found that this was a three-day event with multiple seminars about every aspect of the equine world. Mostly it was a chance to see drop dead beautiful horses, learn how much we didn’t know but wanted to know and to fill in some of the knowledge gaps with time spent listening to some of the outstanding trainers and professionals in this country. It was also a great place to shop for any and everything “horse”. This included clothing, boots, jewelry, gifts for grandchildren, and if we had a horse trailer with us – several horses!
Hospitality at the fair was warm and welcoming. We bought our tickets ahead of time for $30 for all three days ($15/day at the gate) and parking was free. Once inside you found a schedule of events and just packed in as much experience as you could. John Lyons is a veteran trainer and now his son, Josh, works alongside him to impart equine wisdom. Stacy Westfall also presented on a number of topics, including how to get your horse to bow. Sounds silly until you find out that it is a great way to mount a horse that is too tall for some of us older folks. Turns out Stacy had loaned her beautiful little reining horse, Popcorn, to an older friend over the fall and winter who had recovered from a hip injury but thought she could never ride again.
There were too many events to mention, but I will tell you about Ben. He is the only Boulonnais stallion in the United States. This is a breed of draft horse from France that is as gentle as it is beautiful. The breed nearly died out after WWII but there are efforts to build it back in France and now in this country as well. His owner told of bringing him over from France and of her efforts to spread the word about these graceful giants. He is the color of Carrera marble and his picture says it all.
One of my friends found us a place to stay at the hotel Ruby Marie (http://rubymarie.com), an antique brick hotel that had served railroad construction workers over a hundred years ago, but has been renovated to a lovely comfortable place to stay. Madison, WI sounds like a great place to go and from what we saw it was really someplace that needs to be explored. Next year!
If you want to combine horses and exploration go to www.MidwestHorseFair.com to get the details about what happened this year and what is planned for next year. Next year the Midwest Horse Fair dates are April 21, 22, & 23, 2017. To explore what to do in Madison try visitdowntownmadison.com. Have fun! We did!