On Friday November 9 a bunch of us from PHH headed into the big city for the tradition of the Royal Winter Fair. There were many changes and a lot to see and do.
There was also a lot of the same... my annual favourites of the Rossti potato food booth, pumpkin pie fudge from the Nutty Chocolatier, leather cleaner from the bees, Bucas blankets from Picovs, belt buckles, and fun horsey jewellery from Wellingtons.
This year I also picked up a reflective quarter sheer from Pleasant Ridge for safer trail riding, new turquoise gear (polos and boots) and a new fully adjustable Genesis saddle from Wellingtons! Among some other cute things like horsey pajamas and socks.
There is always so much shopping but also a lot to watch and learn. We enjoyed the evening horse show which had some demos for trick riding and Guy McLean which was fun and wet our appetite for more. They also had 2 jumper competitions, indoor eventing and Shetland pony steeple chase!
The event was entertaining but also a bit scary....2 kids fell off in the pony steeple chase and one horse flipped over in the indoor eventing. This begs the question. ...is fun and entertainment worth the risk that speed and jumping can mean?
Although unfortunate for the event rider, it was my first time seeing an inflatable safety vest in action. It was very interesting and looked like a very worthwhile piece of safety equipment since you never know what may happen...her horse willingly jumped the table drop fence but the horse's leg didnt quite clear the top rail so the horse did a somersault. It also is an example that if the jump was made for the top rail to drop, the incident would likely have been averted.
What continues to upset me the most at the Royal is the display of hackney horses/ponies in carts...it in my opinion is so focused on manipulating horses and making them something they aren't rather than a sport like jumping or dressage that emphasizes a skill the horse naturally does... the hackneys are kept with heavy shoes to make them lift their legs high and because of the shoes they cant have turn out so they are mostly stalled and secluded, they crank their heads unnaturally high to the point of straining their backs and they put contraptions on them to lift their tails so they become deformed. I dont understand it and it seems very much like an awful life to live. Can anyone shed something positive on this discipline? Am I misunderstanding something?
Sorry thats my rant....
We didnt have much time to look at the other displays or the animal theatre. ...it just goes to show you that the Royal is a big place where you need lots of time because there is so mich to see!
At the end of the day all people and horses were okay and it was a good late night!
I hope you have a chance to go check out the fun.