We saw things at the Western States Horse Expo that we would not have known were there if we hadn’t poked our noses over stall doors and into obscure corners.
For example, we browsed the Sale Barn and admired a grey mule who was looking out of his stall. A closer look revealed that the mule was not actually for sale. He was there as a companion to the zebra stallion, who was. I didn’t get a good picture of them, but found one on the owner’s website that looks like the same mule, although I’m not sure about the zebra.
For just $2,000, you too can own an exotic equine. I had to google when I got home to confirm that it is legal to own zebras in California and to learn how domesticatable they are. Of course, with a Parelli foundation, probably anything can be tamed, to a point. Especially if imprinted, a la Robert M. Miller, DVM. (Click here to see books by Robert M. Miller, DVM, at Amazon.com.)
We admired the minis in the Breed Walk, where various breed groups did 15-minute demonstrations about their breeds throughout the day. This, plus our concern lately about Salsa’s odd weight loss, inspired me to order Miniature Horses: A Veterinary Guide for Owners & Breeders. I suddenly realized I don’t have any resources specific to miniature horses and just scaling down doses of things based on weight doesn’t necessarily work. Like when you give Previcoxx to a horse to treat arthritis, you give them the Dachsund dose, not the Wolfhound dose.
And now, for scale…
A paint stallion, ready for his spotlight:
Another driving mini:
We also found some cute overalls for Jan, who has worn out her old denim ones in the past 7+ months of ranch work. The new ones are cut for women and have all kinds of extras, like kneepads and zip-off lower legs, and a secret pocket with a zipper. They are from Rosie’s Workwear and we very much enjoyed talking to the ladies in the booth!
We stood on Vibe*Fit exercise machines to experience what it might be like to be a horse on an EquiVibe vibration platform, strengthening bones and massaging muscles. We used Hawaiian Moon Aloe Vera Gel Moisturizer to soothe our wind-burned, sun-exposed skin and ended up buying some in partnership with another horsewoman, to take advantage of some kind of “buy a few, get loaded down with many” show special pricing.
We rode an Equicizer, a mechanical horse that jockeys use to learn, rehab, and stay in shape. It was invented by jockey Frank Lovato, Jr. Therapeutic riding programs also use them to help clients develop physical skills and confidence before riding horses. We were in a Western saddle, so we didn’t get the full race training experience, but we could feel what a great tool this would be for any lesson barn. Like a bouncy horse for adults! Now if they’ll just invent a Big Wheel, we’ll be set.
We bought beautiful ceramic pendants sculpted by Judy Watson of Freelance Design, USA:
I got the best hat I’ve ever had, from the Australian Hat Outlet here in Northern California. Here’s the first picture I’ve taken with it. I’m sure it will be appearing in many, many horse pictures henceforth. It is made of kangaroo hide and is called a Barmah hat.
KANGAROO SUEDE. Traditional Aussie Style higher crown/oval brim, premium kangaroo leather suede, fully foldable into cotton bag (included), lightweight, waterproof, softy sweatband for maximum comfort.
It also comes in green:
We bought pretty t-shirts from Susan Wells of Poni-Girl, who hand-blings them on amazingly soft, wonderfully drapey material. I notice her website barely has any shirts on it at all. She had sold 1/3 of her stock by midafternoon on the first day of the Expo, though, so perhaps she will expand her online section soon.
All in all, it was worth the price of admission, parking, concessions, and getting up early.