I Made It To Equine Affaire

It only took me twenty years to finally attend an Equine Affaire! I previously went to smaller expos but never this particular large, long-standing horse event. Thanks to the generosity of a couple of horse friends, I enjoyed a fun getaway by attending the first two days of the 2023 Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio.

I definitely have a special fondness for equine expos. Before I had horses as an adult, I went to a local equine fair on a whim. That experience reignited my childhood fascination with horses. Within three years of attending that event, I went from restarting riding lessons to keeping a horse in my backyard.

As with past expos, I mostly just walked around the Equine Affaire, gawking at everything. I viewed a handful of clinics/demos and went by a lot of product booths.

In between ducking in and out of buildings, I enjoyed sitting outside, basking in the fantastic weather. On the first day there was not a cloud in the sky. It was fun to watch all different types of horses being led, ridden, ponied and driven around the fairgrounds.

I also got to meet a couple of horsewomen I admire. Women I had only previously “met” on the internet but had never seen in person.

Carol J. Walker, the Mustang advocate and photographer, was signing books. And Olivia Dixon, trainer and rescue/adoption horse advocate with the Kentucky Humane Society and of “A Pony Named Satan” fame, was cleaning stalls in the adoption horse row when I ran into her. Both Olivia and Carol were very friendly. I enjoyed our brief chats.

For those interested, I learned that Carol Walker has a new podcast “Freedom for Wild Horses.” The podcast just launched last month. The podcast flyer she gave me states “If you want to learn more about why wild horses deserve a place on our public lands, why we need the tonic of their wildness in our lives, the threats they are facing from the agency that manages them, and what you can do to help, this show is for you.” I know I’ll be tuning in soon!

Probably the thing that I enjoyed most about the fair was seeing the showcase of horses available for adoption. The ASPCA’s The Right Horse Initiative featured a number of their partner organizations who brought horses ready to be adopted. I thought it was a great way to remind all of us horse folks about the adoption option.

Speaking of buying, there were lots of businesses vying for your cash. It was fun to look around. But besides buying lunch, I only spent my money on one thing- a collapsible bottle holder to help organize my barn.

I did come home with lots of free stuff though. I visited booth after booth and collected things like coupons, samples, magazines and useful merch like pens.

Moving from the practical to the impractical, I did have a couple of fantasy moments. Like when I came across the DP Saddlery booth and got to see my dream saddle in person. Considering how pricey they are, I did not come home with one.

Something else I saw and coveted but didn’t come home with is this little Icelandic trail gelding who is for sale. While I am technically thinking about getting a miniature driving horse, and not a riding horse, I was so taken with this cutie after seeing him in a demo.

I have a thing for short, gaited, pinto horses and have long wanted to have an Icelandic. I was already envisioning how amazing he would look in my backyard. I even saw myself taking him out for our first trail ride together.

Unfortunately, that dream came to a full stop when I was able to make contact with his owner and find out his price is $15,000. If any of you more well-to-do blog readers end up buying him, you gotta promise to invite me over for a guest ride!

Soon after meeting the Icelandic, I ran across this photo booth. It then occurred to me that it was likely the closest thing I will ever get to actually riding an Icelandic. So while my friends were elsewhere, I accosted a stranger who kindly agreed to snap my photo. Ha!

Finally, I will wind down this post with a plug for the Equine Affaire Marketplace. It is essentially a pop-up consignment shop where fair attendees can bring all their unwanted horse stuff to sell.

I brought nine items that I wasn’t going to use anymore. Everything sold in less than 24 hours except one piece of tack (which I later walked over to one of the horse adoption booths and donated).

After The Marketplace commission and fees were taken out, I made $86. It helped offset the cost of event tickets and the outrageously priced fair food ($16 bought me a bottle of water and a veggie Gyro- tasty but pricey!).

Many thanks to my husband who babysat Shiloh and Piper while I was away. He even texted me “proof of care” photos.

For anyone reading who hasn’t yet attended and is interested in a future Equine Affair, the next one will take place in the Fall in Massachusetts. Check out their website for more information and make plans for your own trip!

6 thoughts on “I Made It To Equine Affaire

  1. I always wanted to see the Ohio Equine Affaire, I’ve gone to the Massachusetts one on and off for the past 10 years and wondered about the Ohio one. A friend of mine took her mustang to the versatility competition there this year and got 11th place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is cool, Anna. I was wondering about the Massachusetts Affaire myself. You know, how it compares to the Ohio event. Always curious. I saw a couple of the versatility runs in that competition you referenced. Those were really challenging obstacles inside a charged and intimidating atmosphere. Sounds like your friend did well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll have to do a write up if I attend this year. I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been the same since about 2017- not as many vendors go, especially after 2020. Maybe this year I’ll make the trip up. Yes she did! 11/25 which is pretty awesome for them, I think she’ll be doing it again this fall.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would definitely be interested in reading your write up if you choose to go! I know several folks made a similar comment about the Ohio event being smaller than it was pre-covid. I can’t compare, but I felt like there was plenty to do and see over the two days I was there at least. I also say that 11 out of 25 IS awesome. It was a crazy atmosphere with tricky obstacles. I felt very nervous just watching from the stands!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s