Who Said Having Fun Can’t Be Productive?

With all the progress we’ve been doing around the home we decided to make Saturday a “day off.”  The weather was nice and we could have busted our butts but we definitely needed the “downtime.”

Why the quotation marks?

Last month it was announced that there would be a tack swap held in the Catskills.  Part of my plan was to attend this swap in search of barn supplies, attend a large sale at the Farmer’s Exchange on the following Wednesday, and then be nearly finished getting the essentials.

Instead to the hard physical labor on Saturday I met a few barn friends and we went together to this tack swap.  The almost-hour-long drive was beautiful.  We had a sunny (yet chilly) day driving through the mountains.

When we arrived at the Catskill Equestrian Center we were greeted by big Tom Turkey.  He seemed aggressive, showing off his plumage and shaking his tail feathers at us.  He had zero fear of us and kept approaching…stepping closer…and closer…and closer.  I had a frightening experience with a goose when I was 4 so I wasn’t planning on letting him get too close; I don’t trust birds.  He followed us the entire way to the barn and even came into the arena with us where the swap was being held.  The whole time we were there this turkey visited with everyone.  Despite his seemingly aggressive behavior at first he turned out to be docile and friendly.

Within minutes of being at the sale I found some hay nets!  I was amazed by some of the deals that were being offered.  There were some newer items and some very old items.  We noticed that some people didn’t even bother to clean what they brought to sell.  The range varied greatly and it was pretty nice to see.

We passed from booth to booth, chatting and having a great time.  There were saddles, bridles, boots, coats, lead-rope, blankets, all sorts of horse-y related gear.  There was even a grill serving the basic food items…burgers, dogs, chips, etc.

By the time we left I was holding a water bucket, leather lead rope, 2 sets of leather reins, 3 hay nets, and a surcingle….all for a grand total of $68.

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Before we left we searched for a bathroom and walked over to the petting zoo…I guess this part of the property is Bailiwick Animal Park, but it all seemed to be one place.

The animal park is home to some exotic animals.  From what I found on the website there are 40 exhibits that are home to many donated and rescued animals.  They are even home to some Bengal tigers.  The ranch also offers trail rides.  I can only imagine how beautiful these rides must be with the landscape and setting!

I visited with an adorable mini with quite the under bite.  Despite the obvious dental issue he was happy and friendly.  The goats were also very friendly.

We couldn’t help but notice there covered wagons scattered about the grounds.  As we observed closer we noticed they each had a picnic table and campfire.  I imagine they might actually be campsites!?  There are summer camps held here so perhaps these wagons are used when campers come to stay.

Either way you can find information about both places by visiting

Catskill Equestrian Center

Bailiwick Animal Park and Riding Stable

While we were enjoying our day in the Catskills we thought we’d pay a visit to one of our favorite tack shops….Greene County Horseshoe Supply!  They don’t have a website but they do have a Facebook at Greene County Horseshoe.

This tack store is one of the largest and reasonably priced places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.  I purchased my western saddle here last year.  During our visit I picked up a pitchfork head and a western saddle pad that will hopefully work for Blade’s horribly short back.

Funny story about the fork head….I had ordered a handle and 2 replacement heads online because it was actually CHEAPER to do it that way versus buying a whole unit.  To my lack of reading the replacement heads do NOT come with hardware.  The one I picked up at Greene County has hardware and now I’m all set for when the tines inevitably break.

I can’t say enough good things about the store.  The folks who run it are friendly and salt-of-the Earth type people.  “Cash is King” here (although cards are accepted), and they have TONS of tack.  If you trailer in your horse they will even help you find the perfect fit.  There is a separate trailer for clearance, and another large trailer dedicated to cowboy boots.  It’s 100% worth paying them a visit if you live in Upstate NY.

We finished our day by seeing our horses and taking a quick ride while we still had sun.  When the wind would actually die out it felt like spring!  I began by bareback riding Happy, my trainer’s horse.  This was our first time riding outside and she was slightly wild…especially when my “cripple” of a thoroughbred realized I was riding her instead of him and had a tantrum.  His paddock is adjacent to the arena and when I rode by on Happy Blade saw us and reared up, turned around and started bucking.  He and the other thoroughbred started galloping around their paddock enjoying the brisk air.  I could tell he was jealous so after riding I took him out for some liberty work and lunging.  Can’t have a jealous dejected boy!

All in all this “day off” turned out to be quite productive.  I regained some steam and finally got my water bucket, some hay nets, and an assembled pitchfork for when Blade comes home!

How was your weekend?

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