Sunday 16 September 2018

Fall Fair Adventure

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that my hack to the arena can be anything but straightforward. There's a whole lot to see over a fairly short distance.

I've maybe also mentioned that the arena I frequent is part of a regional equestrian park. Membership is cheap, and there's a small show facility, a huge outdoor arena, plus a 20x40 indoor shared with the local therapeutic riding group.

Riding in the outdoor. $50 annual membership is a steal of a deal. They even have nice jumps to use.

Back in the day, the remaining half of the acreage was used by the local agricultural association. There were some barns on site, some fields, a community garden. In other words, a good fit with the equestrian half of the property.

About 10 or so years ago, it was decided to hold a weekly farmers market on the site in summer. Again, a pretty fantastic and complimentary use of the amenities.

That farmers market has grown hugely, which brings us to this weekend's, I hope successful, Fall Fair that closes out the season. The local horse club was encouraging everyone to bring their horses to the equestrian side of the property as part of a sort of open house. As the owner of a pony who loves children and scratches, I thought nothing of popping on Bridget and taking her the 15 minutes or so down the road.

Normally, our ride down the road looks like this. Yesterday, this was all angle parking, with cars parallel parked on the other side of the road, for about a km!

Until I realized the farmers market and fall fair has drastically grown since the last time I paid attention! Apparently the parking was inadequate. It can get a bit busy on the road on a normal weekend, but there were cars parked on both sides of the road most of the way to where I board. Those cars were full of screaming children, barking dogs, and adults who apparently don't use their mirrors. Oh yeah, and a van with a wheelchair lift the owner thought nothing of using just as Bridget walked by. Let's not talk about the people who thought honking their horns or passing with inches to spare was appropriate.

We got closer, and apparently they hired a rock band? A super loud rock band, playing AC/DC of all things! Not what I picture when I think farmers market, but hey, whatever works!

Oh, and guess what else they had? TRAINS! STEAM TRAINS!With whistles! Right next to the road. Again, when I think agriculture, I think train rides, don't you? And food trucks, because obviously pad Thai, sushi and tacos are farmed locally.

Although, it would be cool to grow a taco tree ;)

Eventually, we made it to safety and rode into the equestrian club grounds, and...nada. Ghost town. No trailers, no horses. Where are all the horses that were coming? Finally, I see a friend way off in the corner of the outdoor stabling. And her horses don't look happy. The closer I get, the more I can hear why. The neighbouring band is LOUD. Like, can't hear yourself talk loud.  Serious props to her for showing up and sticking it out.

I ventured back to the arena and put in a normal flat work ride, made more fun by the band getting ever louder playing 70s and 80s hard rock. I think at 2am on a Saturday pub night they might have sounded not too bad!
I'm not sure, but it sounded like a few people there had a morning rum or ten

 Bridget attracted quite a large crowd of children. Apparently the club had advertised a horse show? LOL, B was the only horse there, but I guess kids don't care, a pony is a pony and one is better than none.
Throwback to when I leant her out for vaulting. She loves kids :)

So, I'm left wondering, did everyone else bail when they saw how crazy the place was? Or did they just not show up at all?

Also, B is the best pony. Rock bands? Loose dogs? Herds of screaming children? TRAINS? Navigating a narrow road full of irate people trying to parallel park? Not the country petting zoo experience I promised her, but she didn't seem to mind.

By the time we headed home and the ambulance with sirens and lights came up behind us, I was pretty much just laughing...seriously how much more ridiculous could it get? I feel like Bridget was pretty much rolling her eyes by that point too, like whatever, stupid ambulance, your siren is very rude.

How far we've strayed from the original small farm market and agricultural club! Also, it's pretty surprising how many people out there are truly clueless about horses, particularly as you'd think farm markets and fall fairs would attract people who are possibly more outdoorsy/farm friendly and they were definitely still breaking pretty much all the common sense rules.

Oh well, I actually think Bridget had fun! It's not too often she gets out to an afternoon rock concert, I guess ;) Still, I think we'll be giving it a hard pass next year, lol.



  1. ha Bridget is such a star - gotta love a horse who can take all that in stride and not blink!

    1. She's so funny. Slightly puzzled by the craziness of everyone, but that's about it :)

  2. That's pretty crazy! Gotta love a mare with a good brain :)

  3. omg Remus would have had a meltdown. Shit I would have ;) Kudos to you and B:)

    1. I was pretty much having a meltdown - so much insanity there! B has a stone bruise otherwise I would have likely snuck off to the trails instead!

  4. What a brave Pony and what a weird experience!

    1. So weird! Glad I opted to leave the Banana pony at home!