If three days of horses, horse people, horse stuff, horse clinics and two evening extravaganzas sounds like heaven, then I’ve got your Nirvana: The Can-Am All Breeds Equine Expo at the Markham Fairgrounds in Markham, Ontario, Canada, a 30-minute drive from Toronto. Why I haven’t attended before, I don’t know. However, I spent the entire […]
Wild horses couldn’t keep me from buying a LUSH charity pot of lotion. Actually, wild horses were the reason I bought the 240 gram tub of hand and body lotion for $27.95 (CAD) from a retail outlet in Toronto. The photo of horses on the label got my attention. When do images of horses not […]
“The first horse to be tamed changed the world forever.” These are the words written at the entrance of the International Museum of the Horse in the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington, Kentucky. Truer words couldn’t be posted. Civilization owes its existence to horses. No exaggeration. Horses allowed the world to evolve, as we know […]
If you doubt the Kentucky Horse Park’s reverence for all things equine (especially race horses) look up … way up. Near the park’s entrance stands the looming full-size bronze statue of Man O’ War, on a stone base surrounded by a circular garden and narrow water motte. To photograph the statue of this great racer, […]
“Step on the scale,” Pam says to me at the Biltmore Estates House and Garden Equestrian Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Riding publications voted this 8,000-acre private historical property one of the best places to ride in the U.S. – especially if you own your own horse. In North Carolina, that’s more people than you […]
Happy New Year! 2017 marks an important milestone in Canada’s history: it’s the country’s 150th anniversary. And horses (at least for me) are a big part of this celebration. That’s right: the country I call home is younger than most of Europe’s historic hotels (and some stables), but the 1867 establishment of confederation marks Canada’s […]
Pet pics with Santa and horses? How can you resist? If you’re in the Southern Ontario area west of Hamilton head out to Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue in Hagersville, Ontario (near my home) on December 11, 2016 (1 to 4pm). I’ll be heading there with my dog, Victor. In fact, I went out to one […]
If I win big in the lottery, I’m going to fill my new (and larger) house with all the handcrafted artwork I’ve ever admired. It’ll be one heck of a shopping spree, and I’d start at the iconic One-of-a-Kind craft fair in Toronto where I’ve spent upward of six hours a visit mulling over pottery, […]
Equestrian show jumper Ian Millar is one of the greatest under-recognized athletes Canada has ever produced. My opinion was confirmed, once again, Saturday, November 5, 2016, after watching the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships Round Two at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. Sure, he’s been dubbed decades ago ‘Captain Canada’ by Canadian horse […]
Heavy Horse Hitching competitions are something I know nothing about, except that those who participate are dedicated. Really dedicated. You have to love driving a team of draft horse around a ring for about 15 minutes in order to transport several large draft horses and a full sized wagon big enough to move the contents […]
Amy and her father Ian Millar – Captain Canada and equestrian extraordinaire – fielded questions from a packed audience of about 200 horse fans, horse owners and horsey young girls from local barns.
If you’ve been to Medieval Times, the Tournament of Kings is similar – it opens with feast hosted by a king and attended by a wizard who set the story stage. Actors and dancers fill the arena more than horses, and dinner – Cornish Hen or ravioli if you’re vegetarian.
Fall Fairs intended to celebrate the bounty of harvest (even though the food consumed is deep-fried from a truck rather than fresh from the ground), and there are many across the continent.
Most follow the same format: a midway of crazy often over-priced rides, much guilty pleasure unhealthy fried food, barns of competitions for the best cookies, quilting, knitting, wheat … you name it along with competitions for the biggest vegetables grown – one tone or more pumpkins being the most popular.
Hayes grew up ranching and passed on his love of horses to his daughters who “were riding before they could walk”. They now also work at the family-run tour company. Although they do excursions of all kinds, it’s the 90-minute beach tour that is the most popular.
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You haven’t seen precision riding until you’ve seen the 32 riders of Canada’s RCMP Musical Ride. You haven’t seen beautiful Hannoverian/thoroughbred crosses until you’ve seen the 36 horses that travel with the RCMP Musical Ride. And you really can’t call yourself Canadian until you’ve seen … ok, you get the idea. If you’ve seen the […]
It’s busy out here – especially after sunset – but this morning at the crack of dawn when my ride starts, the desert is inhabited by harmless birds of no interest to horses.
Where can you find a life-sized stainless steel horse sculpture? Wait, it’s also complete with moving parts waiting to canter away (almost) at the push of a button. Outside the doors of The Kentucky Horse Park visitor’s centre “The Mechanical Horse” is ready to run – in slow motion. While bronze sculptures of famous horses […]
Get other people hooked on riding? I’m game. Anytime someone who hasn’t ridden horses before (or in a long time) suggests they’re interested in giving it a try, I’m more than happy to sign up a potential new enthusiast. Most of the time, they’re referring to trail riding Western-style rather than an introductory lesson in […]
Belle Meade Plantation features a silver inkwell made from real horse hooves. Yes, that was my reaction, too. But these are not any horse hooves. These earned a special place in former owner General Jackson’s Nashville plantation study. Clearly, a horse-hoof inkwell is not an ideal desk accessory. But this one dates back 100 years […]