My birthday usually falls at the same time as the PA Horse World Expo, so several times, over the past few years, we have tootled on down Rt. 15 to Harrisburg to make a birthday celebration weekend of it.
We missed it the past couple of years, due to personal inertia, but this year we got our act together, including finding a dog kennel for our ancient pooches and a horse sitter willing and experienced enough to take care of the five horses, morning and night. And off we went.
|The legendary Jimmy Woffard -- with seat angles on white board.|
For those who haven’t gone, or looked into it, the Horse World Expo is held at the PA Farm Complex. It runs five classes concurrently, changing every hour, for three and a half days. Two huge arenas and a round pen hold the demonstrations that include horses, and two lecture halls are set up for material to be presented, sans horse. It also includes a humongous room full of vendors hawking all kinds of horse stuff and services.
The clinicians are diverse. While I was there, I attended Jimmy Wofford’s lecture on "Sit Right, Ride Right," and then later watched him school five riders through a gymnastics course. It was fantastic! The night before I had been reading one of his articles in Practical Horseman, and the next day I got to watch him teach.
Other highlights for me include a good, basic equitation class from Julie Goodnight, a class on correcting problem behavior from a PA trainer named Suzanne Myers, a horsemanship pattern class by Diane Eppers, a saddle fitting class with Debra Racheter and “Developing a Brave Horse,” which was obstacle training by Craig Cameron. These I really liked and I learned from all. I also watched two poor classes by a couple of yahoos who shall remain nameless.
|PA's Suzanne Myers|
At the same time, my husband hit the lecture halls and heard lectures on composting, weed control in pastures, what to do in emergencies before the vet arrives and horse conditioning and fitness with Jec Aristotle Ballou. The later impressed him so much he bought Ballou’s book for me, called Equine Fitness, and I’m glad he did. I’m several chapters in and it’s a very good read. You may have already seen her previous book, if you ever picked up 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider.
Here’s a link to all the speakers’ bios: http://www.horseworldexpo.com/PAbios.shtml
Although we really like Theatre Equus, we have seen it several times and decided to forego it this trip in order to treat ourselves to a couple of good dinners out, but I heard the show was good this year and included some new acts.
Back home yesterday, all charged up and ready to try some new things with my ponies, only to find icy, 50 mile an hour winds blowing all day and well after we went to bed. What a disappointment!
Oh well, there are clearer days ahead. Watch out, ponies, here I come!