I call my horse Lilly "Brumby" as a term of endearment. But I didn't make the word up! In Australia a wild horse is called a brumby or brumbie. The word derives from the name of a Major William Brumby, an early 19th century settler from England who was a noted breeder of horses. Through the years a large number of his stock escaped and became feral. Another possible origin of the word-Booramby, Aborigine for wild.
This weekend I attended The Equine Affaire! It's four days of everything equine. Here I snapped Brandon and Kestrel's photo right after we paid to get in. I was so excited, it's like showing up at Disneyland. So I shouted, WAIT! I've got to take your picture! This is the best time to snap a photo: at the beginning of the marathon, before they start to burn out and their eyes glaze over.
As a non-rider, Brandon is still always interested in attending the Equine Affaire. So even though it starts on Thursday, I wait until Saturday so he and Kestrel can come along. Unfortunately, Saturday is when the crowds are the thickest. In any case, Brandon always stops to watch this chainsaw guy who is set up right by the entry gate. Every year he wants to stop and watch this guy. I think it is because he is using a power tool and my husband loves power tools.
We began our marathon day with a stop at the carnival-like food booths. This booth is my favorite because most fair food I cannot eat. So I always get a giant baked potato with cheddar cheese and broccoli. I only had to wait in line about 5 minutes. (Kestrel and Brandon had much worse luck at the burrito booth.)
There are 3 or 4 huge buildings at the Equine Affaire and they are filled with vendors, horses and clinicians teaching clinics. This booth is one of my faves. It's full of leather stuff from Australia. This booth makes me love Australia. When I am in this booth, I find myself wanting things I never want on any other day. Like holsters and scabbards.
You can go broke buying stuff at the Equine Affaire. Anything you can think of will be for sale there. But some of the booths are actually offering education. This one had all kinds of horse skeletons.
And this one was devoted to hay. There was a little station where you could get a hay testing kit so you could mail a sampling of your own hay to them and have it analyzed. I know my brumby gets excellent hay so I was not tempted. But it was very interesting. As I was snapping this picture, the women in the booth said, Is that for a science project? (For the world's oldest eighth grader apparently!)
At 3pm Guy McLean was having a clinic in the Coliseum. So we met my riding pal from eastern Mass there: Karen and her hubster Paul!! YEAY!!! At this particular clinic Guy was working with a green 2 year old. In this picture you see he has a plastic bag tied to the end of a handy stick. Just what my brumby cannot stand. This horse did not like it either. But Guy was so calm as he whipped it around, in just a few minutes the horse was tolerating it with no fuss. Guy said that if you stay calm you are telling your horse: I believe in you. He also said that the second you lose your patience your horse says to himself, I knew it I knew it I knew it! You are a predator after all.
Here we all are in the stands right before Guy came out. We were having quite a lot of fun hanging out, eating fudge and surrounded by thousands of horsey people just like us. And it was also Karen's birthday!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAREN!!!
Naturally, a trip to the Equine Affaire is not complete without a loop around the barns. I found Mr Pickles happy as a clam watching all the people go by. I left the Equine Affaire with a new helmet (by Ovation), and some new winter riding boots by MUCK. Fighting the masses of people to get to the color/size/brand that I wanted was not easy. It is just as well I had eaten that enormous cheese potato earlier. I think it supported my miraculous endurance. The only thing I really need and didn't get was a cinch. The ones I found were the right style but not the right size. Looks like I will have to order one online.
The next day (today) I was back at Bill's to ride my brumby. This picture is actually from when we got back (you can see how sweaty Lilly is), but I took it to show two new developments in today's tack. The first is Lilly's shoes. Not Cavallos today. I thought I'd use the Renegades. Lilly's feet seem so much better, so much less ouchie, that I thought I'd try a thinner (and more streamlined) option. It was worth it: she walked great and felt solid. We are getting closer and closer to barefoot status!!!!!!!!!!!! The other thing I tried today is the bitless bridle. I am not sure how the bitless bridle bee got into in my bonnet. But today, I woke up and wanted to try one. This one Lilly is wearing belongs to Bill. (because if it were mine it'd be pink)
I rode with Bill who is on Ruby. Today we trekked through a new path from the Ridge Trail over to the Parallel Trail. It was obviously a trail that does not get much use. But it was really fun. Lilly went very well in her new bridle and it looked like it was comfortable for her. However, moseying along the trail at a walk is not much of a test for a new bridle or bit. So I will have to zoom around in an open space with her to see how comfortable I really feel with it.
One thing Lilly probably liked about the bitless bridle is how she got to nibble carrots along the way unencumbered by a bit.Ruby is wearing a Chris Cox bit which Bill likes very much.
Tomorrow is a holiday so we will back in the saddle again!!!!
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog! One day I hope to make it bigger and better! Click on the words "Older Posts" right above this note if you would like to see more entries about me and my brumby.