The Draft Horse Classic
We visited the barns at the Nevada County Fairgrounds for the Draft Horse Classic experience. The Classic creates a community for the event. All of the barns are open to visit while the shows are not happening (they close for safety once the horses are being moved to and fro). The Harvest Fair also shows wonderful arts, crafts, and garden goodies for inspiration. All in all, it's an event that gave the kids (and me) up close adventures with these mighty animals.
The horses all have space in their stalls to be away from people if they don't want attention. For the most part, they love getting lots of pats. They enjoy making friends.
The Classic showcases teams of Draft Horses pulling wagons and carriages. We have seen how big the horses are. Standing beside them is quite humbling. But we hadn't seen the tack before. One stable had the harnesses on display. A nice gentleman even let the kids try and hold one up. They're heavy! The harness, not the kids :)
Everyone in the stables is busy getting the horses ready for showtime. The horses seem to really enjoy all of the attention and preparation.
Anika started created stories for each of the horses. Colorful alter-egos that had complex lives on the farm. Such as George who annoyed everyone with constant whinnying, so he had no friends, and Fred who jumped fences to get away from George. Each new horse in the story got a new role.
We saw two in stalls beside each other. "Oh, they're best friends," she said.
"Ha," responded the owner sitting beside them. "Actually, they hate each other."
Which gave us a good laugh. So much for Anika's abilities to horse-whisper :)
Along with the horses and Harvest Fair is a wonderful exhibition of art. From quilting to sculpture to photography, the exhbition is inspiring. Of course they request that people don't take photos of their hard work (wanting to keep their images for their own media), but this quilt was part of the Quilt Guild's exhibition. Beautiful!
We learned about history with the Scottish Fell Ponies. The kids puzzled about why the horses were called ponies. They marveled at the wooden saddle. We imagine days when a horse was your only way to travel from place to place, and how it would feel to "road trip" with saddles like this one.
The Harvest Fair showed beautiful art and craftsmanship (craftspersonship?). We particularly enjoyed the fairy gardens.
Visiting the horses was a unique chance to adventure in our own town. Thank you to the many people who join this gathering. And all of the organizers! We thank you!
We are looking forward to visiting with our new friends next year :)