Have you ever been to Horse Expo or Equine Affaire or Midwest Horse Fair? It’s like a much cooler version of a car show. I have been to Horse Expo Pomona before and I’m going again. The following info will give you an idea of what to expect.
8 reasons to go to Horse Expo Pomona
1. Get up close and personal with world-class trainers of all disciplines. Confession: I was about to bypass the Q & A session with the cowboy. I happened to be nearby when the Up Close and Personal talk was about to begin. Since I’m not a Western rider, I didn’t think it would be for me. However, I stayed thinking, “I’m here, I might as well see what this is all about.” I sat down and was thrilled I did. The conversation was centered on how to work through your horse’s spooks. This is a universal horse issue, regardless of discipline. Cowboy wisdom imparted freely!
Weird coincidence! The day before, I was at a girlfriend’s house and my husband texted me to turn on a certain TV channel. I did and there was a cowboy riding a horse sans bridle and saddle in a round pen. And this was with three other horses in the same round pen! I didn’t catch much of the show, but I knew Mark was recording it. When I got home from Horse Expo I turned on the DVR and voila! There was Jonathan Field. The guy I had been chatting with earlier that day. . . Other notable presenters were John Lyons (and several members of his family), Gina Miles, and Jane Savoie.
2. Audit a clinic for no extra fee. I watched a hunter trainer, but there were barrel racing, dressage, 3-day eventing, and even combined driving clinics. The cowboy dressage clinician was a real character. Eitan Beth-Halachmy cracked jokes about how dressage people are so smart because every movement has a name. Cowboys want their horses to do the same movements, but they don’t have fancy names instead it’s “move sideways so I can open up that gate.” But he assured the audience that cowboy dressage practitioners are going to be more conscientious about naming moves in 2014 so they can be smart like the traditional dressage people.
3. Shopping! Everything from arena footing to halters to polo wraps to trailers and zany T-shirts. You could even buy solar panels for your house. I couldn’t pass up this long sleeved hoodie. It has a somewhat sheer quality with a paisley design (imperceptible in the picture, but very fun).
4. Equine Art. There was an equine art show and sale. I was particularly taken with a painting of a little girl in cowboy boots at a gate with two horses on the other side waiting for her. (I have a photo to share but need to ask the artist for permission first). 🙂
5. Meet Authors at the Book Corral. As a lifelong reader (and former English teacher, now teaching history– “Readers are Leaders!”), this was my first stop. I was delighted to have an in-depth conversation with The Tao of Horses author, Elizabeth Kaye McCall. We clicked right away. Elizabeth had some copies of her Tao book, but was there to promote her latest work based on her own Egyptian Arabian stallion, a former show horse.
Rajalika Speak is a book that tells the tale of how Elizabeth’s Arabian literally and figuratively found his voice. Rajalika is a modern, gray version of Mr. Ed and Black Beauty. I’m halfway through the book at the time of this writing, and I’m eager to know what’s going to happen!
Besides Elizabeth’s beautiful writing (she’s written for the LA Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and Chronicle of the Horse), the illustrations are colorful, entertaining, done in kind of a manga/anime style. The illustrator Dani Bowman is a 19-year old artist still in college; she happens to have autism. Elizabeth told me that Dani aspires to be the next Temple Grandin. I believe that she will. 🙂
6. Horses with “Rad” Haircuts.
7. Meet different breeds. I saw this gorgeous Andalusian stallion at the Breed Barn. There was also an Azteca, Tennessee Walker, Friesian, Mustang, and Gypsy Vanner.
8. Food trucks. Some of the choices were a taco, burger, BBQ, or crepe truck. I decided to go French. Oui oui!
It was a great day and I plan to go back next year. I might even drag my husband along with me. I think he might like talking to the mule people who are from the Mammoth Lakes area where he spent part of his childhood. And I think he’s been meaning to look into solar panels. . .
Have you been to Horse Expo (or another similar one) before? What did you enjoy about your experience there? Did you drag along a non-horsey sidekick?
Finally, if you want to trot along with Knight and me on our horsey adventures, please join our community of Saddle Seeks Horse blog readers.