The first thing I did was wander through the sales areas, just to see what was for sale. One or two things caught my eye!
Yes, really, only $125!
Loved this title.
Then I made it through the vendor area and watched some of the extreme trail challenge. I got there at the very end and only saw three horses go, which was too bad. It was an amazing thing to see.
Riders had to go over, around, and through a variety of scary things and perform tasks like delivering the mail, going through a gate, dragging a tree, etc. There were tarps, water, moving bridges, scattered logs, fans with streamers, and so on. The one that particularly impressed me was a board you can see in the middle of the last picture: a raised platform about 6" wide and 6" tall. Horses had to step up on it and walk down. It was VERY narrow.
Of the three I saw, one emerged as clearly superior: a young woman and a Quarter Pony that she used for gymkhana. Pony entered the ring like GAME ON. He cantered through nearly everything without batting an eye and even wanted to go faster. In fact, the rider's only error was in trying to move too fast: the saddle bags holding the mail slipped off her saddle at one point.
The two remaining weren't as spot-on but they were still fascinating to watch. Both were excellent displays of horsemanship: the riders were encouraging, soft, gentle, thoughtful, and knew when to call it quits. The audience clearly appreciated a well-done round just as much as a round that struggled but still displayed good horsemanship. It was really mesmerizing and terrific to watch. The only other time I'd seen one of these events, at an Equine Affaire many years ago, it was a ridiculous disaster and I was bored after 10 minutes. This, I could've watched all day.
When it ended, I did some shopping. I got some leather conditioner from my saddle fitter, and picked up a pair of my favorite Devon Aire Polartec winter breeches for $25. I got a horse lead to use as a backup leash for the puppy, and grabbed her a toy as well. I also fell a little bit in love with this Kerrits top for $25.
In all, a productive and fun morning!