Equine Affaire 2013

I forget sometimes that Massachusetts is horse saturated. People think Massachusetts, and they think Boston, Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, Boston Tea Party, Revolutionary War, Battle of Lexington and Concord, foliage, people with funny accents, and really terrible driving…but not horses! It’s only when I sit and think do I remember that Massachusetts is home to many, many horse people (and two of the largest equestrian equipment retailers in the world — SmartPak and Dover Saddlery). We have beautiful trails, incredible farms, varied disciplines, and lovely horses all over the state.

So, I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised every year that people flock from all over the East to go to the Equine Affaire in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Toss some big name clinicians in there, and we’re likely to see people from as far away as the Carolinas. Equine Affaire has been going on for as long as I can remember. The first time I went, my aunt D brought me for my birthday. I was either twelve or thirteen, and it was one of the best weekends of my life. I was only taking lessons at the time, so being immersed in all things horsey was one of the most exciting things I had ever done at that time. Ten years later (oh my good lord I almost threw up writing that!), I still get the same rush when I enter into the Better Living Center and see the hundreds of horse people milling around. Of course, things are a little bit different now that I’m working for a major tack company. Shopping isn’t quite the same, that’s for sure! However, I’m still surrounded by like minded people and that’s always a great feeling.

I usually go with a friend, so this year, M and I coordinated a day trip on Saturday. After an obligatory coffee stop (PSA: EGGNOG LATTE IS BACK AT STARBUCKS. SQUEEE!), where M proceeded to order two coffees and double fist it the entire drive to Springfield, we were on our way. I’m surprised we made it in one piece, if we’re being honest…M had me in stitches the entire ride. Of course, this was in between the two of us singing along to the Wicked original soundtrack.

COFFEEEEEE

It was a cold, blustery day on Saturday so we made an immediate beeline for the Better Living center to peek at all the pretty pony things. M had a shopping list, and I was hoping to run into something special for Christmas presents. I came away empty handed for the first time, and M found most of the things she was looking for. Quick plug for monogrammedhorsehalters.com — they have beautiful product and were quick to monogram a dog collar for M. They were helpful, kind, and thorough, even amid the Saturday Equine Affaire kay-oss!

M and I were sidetracked on our way to the C barn by a clinic worth watching. C barn is where you can pat the ponies…and maybe buy a pony, if you’re so inclined. Just as we were heading over, aunt D texted me to say they were in the Coliseum to watch Guy McLean. If you’ve never seen this man work with horses, you are missing out on an insanely awesome experience. Guy is genuinely kind hearted. He loves his animals more than anything. He is a wordsmith, and can keep us all entertained without even demonstrating anything. In short, if he can make horses love him as much as they do, I can’t help but wonder…what can he do to WOMEN? πŸ˜‰

I stood on the rail with M and proceeded to test out my shiny new toy in low light settings. I don’t totally hate the results! I have a lot of work to do to really wrap my head around this lens, but I’m not regretting it one bit…and, despite not having Image Stabilization, the only blurry images were the ones I didn’t focus correctly. Love it! The images are still a bit grainy for my liking, but that won’t be remedied until I can afford a camera body that handles high ISO

Guy McLean and his awesome, awesome horses!
Love the expressions here!
So much kindness is emanated from this gentleman.
Spinabbey jumping on command!
Collection comes from within. I would love, love, love, LOVE to be able to learn how to do this with my next critter!
Quarter Horse gelding from Road to the Horse. CUTE!!
*ovaries explode* SO ADORABLE. I want one…meaning one of Guy. Immediately. Where can I get one?!

M and I bebopped over to the C barn after that. On our way, though, we had to stop and squee over this:

HNNGGGHHH SO CUTE OMFG

I was hoping to run into some lovely gaited people in the C barn, but no luck there. M threatened to smuggle a gorgeous, tall, total sweetheart of a Friesian home in the back of my car (which is a Chevy Prizm, mind you!). I was courted by an adorable buckskin pony gelding, who decided that the best way to get my attention was to stuff his nose in between my boobs and motorboat. No, I’m not kidding. No, I didn’t get a video. Yes, I’m mad at myself that I didn’t because oh my good lord was it FUNNY! I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe, and the lady sitting with him seemed to be a touch mortified. I would have taken him home, too…SO much personality in one little horse!

One other thing I realized while meandering through the C barn, is that if I ever decide I’m bored with gaited horses (yeah, right!), I’m getting a Morgan. I was absolutely enamoured with the Morgan aisles, especially the older style Lippit bred ones that were charming the heck out of everyone that wandered through. I love their build, their brains, and all that hair!

After I determined there were no Paso Fino or Peruvian representatives hiding in the C barn, we puttered around for awhile until finally ending back up in the Coliseum. D and her friends (one of which is a coworker of mine as well!) had decent seats for the Arabian and Friesian demos. I, of course, spent the entire time behind my camera. It was so much fun to see these two very well known breeds do SO many different things. I’m not an Arabian person, but I dream, like so many do, of owning a Friesian one day. Both breeds were represented well and they were GORGEOUS. Drool!

Spunky western pleasure Arabian.
Dreamy!!
Saddleseat Arab…preeeetty!
Hoooooly trot, Batman!

We had to scamper back home after the breed demos, so after a quick wave good bye to my aunt, we headed back to the car. I was officially wiped out by that point, and had a sneaking suspicion I was developing a nasty cold. I brought M back home, spent a few minutes snuggling her horses, and skeddadled back to Framingham to fall into bed.

On Sunday, I did…well, I didn’t do a damn thing. It was lovely for the first five hours, but then I got bored. I like to THINK I enjoy sitting around doing nothing, but I really don’t like it as much as I want to! πŸ˜‰

The holiday rush has started at Dover, so forgive me if I’m a little more absent than usual the next few weeks. I do, however, have three exciting things going down this weekend…but no spoilers!

Until next time, ya’ll! πŸ™‚

5 thoughts on “Equine Affaire 2013

  1. Karley November 13, 2013 / 7:12 pm

    Wow amazing pictures! Looks like a great time!

    Like

  2. Allison B November 13, 2013 / 7:43 pm

    I enjoy watching Guy McLean, he is a great presenter and very funny. And Squeee! at the mini donkey! So so cute. Any more photos like the last one? That's a draft, I will guess Percheron. I love those mane roll colors.

    Like

  3. Madeline C. November 15, 2013 / 2:45 am

    Did you see the morgan that one of the western dressage guys was riding? BEA-UUUUUUTIFUL! I've never seen Guy before but I am now a follower. I really love how every horse is an individual and he rides them that way. You can't put a horse in a box.

    Like

  4. Aoife January 8, 2014 / 11:20 am

    Since my friesianX arrived (eep almost a year ago now) I am completely converted and of a day comes where I can breed from my sport horse mare I'm sorely tempted to go for a friesian mate. Gotta love their brain!

    Like

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