I’ve taken a bit of a break from riding for while, or at least writing about it. But it’s time, as they say, to get back in the saddle again – figuratively and literally.
I’ll be starting lessons again this fall at a new barn (stay tuned…) and I’m back to writing about great horse related travel adventures.
What better place to start then close to home? Local shows are charming, and accessible.
Saturday, August 4, 2018, I attended the Ontario Saddle Club Youth Team Tournament at the Paris Fairgrounds in Paris, Ontario, Canada. Members of local saddle clubs under the age of 18 trailer their horse to small town Paris (not that one) for the day to compete in both English and Western Pleasure classes, Western barrels and hunter hack.
About 20 clubs large and small attended, including members of the Burford Saddle Club and horses from Ride with the Wind Stables in Brantford (where I happen to be practicing this summer). The English equitation class had so many entrants, it required three groups for judging. Western classes continued on Sunday.
Local equestrian events are the best place to get your weekend horse fix – usually free to spectators (primarily family of participants). An excellent opportunity to get up close and detailed photos of beautifully braided mares and geldings, all personal pets or barn school horses. All are members of volunteer-run regional saddle clubs.
No big money purse here, just horse-themed prizes (which I tried to buy but was told I had to earn). These events are about the love of the sport and the animals. A lot of heart here.
Up Next: From Local to International – a sneak peek at the Tyron Equestrian Park in North Carolina and home to the next FEI international equestrian competition.