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By Maddy B. Gray
Horse expos are always fun for us horse fanatics. And they seem even more appealing when they’re inside a toasty, warm building and the weather outside is hovering just above zero. It's a day of virtual horsing around, when doing it for real just ain’t do-able for most of us.
Yup, the promise of horse stuff and warmth galore brought us to the Augusta Civic Center to check out the
Northeast Horsemen’s Conference and Trade Show
It got me fired up alright. I skipped the valuable seminars (shame on me) and just visited the trade show. There, even a few hours of vendor visits left me excited for the year ahead. Heck, I’m even psyched to reseed my pasture!
It doesn’t hold a candle to the
. But then again, it’s not trying to. The Maine horse world is a small world and it’s easy to find someone you know, admire, or have an opinion about. And unlike the massive Affaire, the Northeast Horsemen is relaxed and homey.
My friends and I managed to check out all the vendors and then make another tour to revisit bargains and soak up a some more minutes of schmoozing and warmth before heading back home to our frozen turds and hungry horses.
Here are some folks I managed to visit and their links. My apologies for not including you all! (And my apologies for the lack of photos, the camera went with my son to Washington D.C. for the inauguration). If any vendors would like to submit photos, please contact us at info@NickerNews.net
Emerald Valley Equine
has a beet pulp product called Speedi-Beet that soaks in 10 minutes or less. Wow.
The Maine Equine Trails Alliance
displayed a horse-proof bridge made of thick, pressure-treated pine boards. The group is working with other trail groups like snowmobilers and ATV users to keep trails accessible to horses, too. That means installing beefy bridges like the one on display instead of a few used pallets (clearly horrendous for horses).
Peter Armstrong and I talked trailers at his sizable trailer display. He owns
On the Road
trailers in Warren and carries Featherlite, a brand I like.
Memory Lane Vacations
in Andover you can bring your own horse and ride. They have box stalls for 10 bucks a night and miles and miles of trails.
Mountain Equine Rescue, Rehabiliation and Retirement
in Union had a nice display of their 30-some horses for adoption.
Maine Cowboy Mounted Shooters
booth, we saw great videos of their competitions and drills. I’ve seen them at the Equine Affaire and even on Bill Greene’s Maine on Channel 6. A fun, enthusiastic group.
I picked up two packs of extremely affordable shipping boots from
Saddle Brook Tack
of West Chesterfield, New Hampshire.
of Fort Fairfield had many buckets of forage on display and for samples to take home. I have used their products for hard keepers and my clients do, too. Great products, friendly Maine business.
Sometime after lunch, several girls skirted across the stage for the Fashion Show. Ok, we’re not talking haute couture here! It was a fashion show as only the horsey girls of Maine could do it. Let’s just say they looked like they would much rather be riding!
There was a wonderful photo contest...
We talked with the Mid Maine Equestrian Search and Rescue Unit, based in Litchfield. If you have any emergency response training and a trail-savvy horse, this could be a great fit for you.
Ellis River Riders
, based in Andover, offers something for everyone. Looking at their yearly schedule, I see what they mean: Gymkhana, English and Western competitions, and Games.
Mike Lutz advised me on the best seed to use when reseeding my paddock this year. He’s the Farm Seed Division Manager for
View Reader Comments:
Pat in Massachusetts
Hey! You toatlly missed the Richard Shrake booth and his seminars!!! I was helping Jen Zendzien man his booth, so you missed meeting me a well as the seminars!! Oh, well. Richard will have a clinic in Augusta, June 1-4 at the farm who had a nice booth at this trade show--and my brain fade has set in I doin't recall the name (sorry, call me Idiot). We had fun. You need to mention that the food concession was most excellent-- good food cheap! I stiffled my spending, only getting a pair of gloves and joining Maine Equestrian Trails Allaince (META) to support their good work replacing pallet "bridge" on snowmobile trails with horse-safe construction. The Augusta area dining was fab. I love to eat out. We found a most excellent Italian restaurnt in the neighboring village beginning with "H" whose name escapes me at this very moment (another brain fade). I'd come to Augusta again for sure.
Oh no, I just clicked on the NHCTS link and saw that they are not going to be in Augusta, ME this year! Bummer! I always look forward to going there...it's the chance to do some "horsing" around in the midst of winter. That really makes me sad that they won't be here this year...guess I'll just have to check out the Double G Ranch and visit my pals at Hemphills :o)
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"It is the hardest pill for all of us would-be horsemen to swallow, but it is absolutely true - if the horse is not responding properly, we are doing something wrong" - Mary Twelveponies
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