Equine Affaire’s Busy Weekend Brings More For Everyone!
By Rachel Beerbower, PleasureHorse.com
Rachel had the pleasure of experience Equine Affaire Ohio after it was in full swing. The weekends are always the busy days, the chance when everyone has off of work and can go shop ‘til they drop and learn ‘til their brain explodes! Not to mention the immense variety of breeds, demonstrations, and anything a horse lover could want. Here is what she experienced in her trip:
Saturday the 15th of Equine Affaire was a great day for clinic lovers and crazy shoppers alike. I had the great opportunity to talk to many retailers about their horse products. This event is such a great experience because so many horse people are ready to share their knowledge with one another. In honor of that, I am going to pass along some of the things I learned. I hope you find them as interesting as I did!
As I was walking past a booth, I was offered a free boot cleaning. Well, I’m sure my boots look like many other equine enthusiast’s footwear… well used! As the man was cleaning, he told me about the product he was using; The Original Australian Leather Seal. It is made with bee’s wax which helps to water proof, condition, and protect your boots. I was amazed, my boots looked great! And to top it off, he sprayed them with water, which was repelled. Let’s just say, I was sold!
While we are on the topic of boots, I had the chance to talk to a Justin Boot representative. My boots wear down quickly, as I use them daily. I found the Rep’s solution was fascinating. He said that when I go to buy boots, I should actually buy two pair. Then I can switch out which boots I wear each day. When we wear boots, we are putting moisture into leather and stretching it. This damages them, and they do not last very long. However, by giving our boots a day off, they can dry out and recover. By having two pairs, I would not have to shop for new footwear as often!
I also had the rare opportunity to shop for a new saddle! Since this does not happen often, I wanted to make it count. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Not only did I pick out a great saddle (the Bar J Stacy Westfall Reiner), but I was able to talk to Stacy herself about her saddle. She told me that she rode in it for 9-12 months before she was willing to endorse it. “I was just mean to that saddle,” she joked. She told me how she laid horses down while saddled, broke out colts, and used it hard every day. In the end, it won her over. In fact, Bar J has asked her to design a new saddle and she just can’t let the old one go! I admit the saddle won me over too.
And last but certainly not least, I was able to talk to Al Dunning. Mr. Dunning has been a clinician many times at Equine Affaire. Because of this, I have talked to him on multiple occasions… he is just so approachable! However, this time I asked him a specific question. What advice would he give to a trainer starting out? I am going to break it down into three steps; keep in mind this is the shortened version.
1. “Get an education!” Mr. Dunning was quite adamant that you need schooling. Whether you go for an animal related degree or not, enhancing your knowledge is so important. Make sure you learn about business and how to run one.
2. Work for a great trainer. “I have guys that work for me for a few years and then go out on their own.” Mr. Dunning was very excited about how well his past employees have done with their own businesses.
3. Invest in land. “It is so important to have something to invest in and build your business on.” He stated. “Find an area that you would want to live, work and raise a family in.” Mr. Dunning explained that he has an employee who has just purchased some land and is starting to build. He says that one day he will have his own facility there.
For horse lovers, Equine Affaire is four days of heaven. It’s the great vendors, knowledgeable clinicians, and of course, the vast array of horses! I had a fantastic experience, and like everyone else there… I’m already excited for next year!
Thanks to Rachel and to Krissy for sharing their Equine Affaire experiences with all of our readers. Click here for photos, video and more about Equine Affaire! And feel free to share your experiences with us at PleasureHorse.com, be it photos or quotes, you name it! If you travel to any other major equine events, let us know!