As my last pair of shirts and jeans are finally unpacked from my travel bag, I reflect fondly on my adventure to see some amazing horsemanship in action at the NW WA Horse Expo. It was the first ever Horse Expo in Lynden, and I was lucky enough to be there for this exciting, inaugural event.
What I witnessed
Beautiful horses, great people, trainers, clinicians, authors, interest groups (equine dentist, Back Country Riders). Clinics and demos from mounted shooting, vaulting kids on Belgian horses to the ever entertaining Extreme Cowboy Race (hosted by Craig Cameron from Texas!). I really enjoyed the different breeds being presented. As for breed demos, my favorite was the Haflinger demonstration. Not just because when I was a kid, I grew up learning to ride on Haflingers but these little horses and their riders rocked! Watch this!
Everyone was talking about it!
We enjoyed the Extreme Cowboy Race tremendously as it was open for everyone to enter and not just for professional trainers showing off their "stuff". The contestants were of all ages, and with varied backgrounds and experience. The contestants had to ride their horses through a variety of obstacles and it was a timed event. It became pretty apparent that while you can despook and teach your horse to do a lot of things, what you really need is a solid, trusting relationship with your horse. And a few people had it!
We watched a very fine example of an amazing relationship, it was a young woman (Chesna Kimek) riding her 14 hand little Haflinger gelding "Pippin" in the Extreme Cowboy Race. While everyone else participating had saddles, she rode the race bareback, that's right, bareback, and completed all obstacles with ease.
Watch this video and watch the trust her horse has in her. Their relationship is what everyone aspires to. I love the fact that she had so much fun doing it! This is what I aspire to do with my horses!
After the race, I talked to Chesna to congratulate her, and to tell her I've never seen a Haflinger go this fast! She laughed and said she does it just for fun. I thought that was really amazing because it is so easy to get competitive and put pressure on yourself and your horse. They had fun and it showed!
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More Pictures From the NW Horse Expo!