My first trip to Equine Affaire was in November 2017. Two of my friends were scheduled to ride in clinics and we camped in the trailer’s living quarters. Much like the past few days, that year was frigid. Our water froze and we all began to battle a bad cold.
Camping at Equine Affaire was an experience like no other. I am so blessed that I had that opportunity but truth be told it was just TOO COLD. Still, I got to be there for THREE days! What a fun time and I loved learning new things from the clinics.
Then, in 2018, I went on my own. Just a day trip. I woke up as early as possible and made my way to Springfield, MA to be there as the gates opened. It was a long day but enjoyable all the same.
This year was much different. I have a new schedule that had me working overnights Thursday and Friday into Saturday morning. I also planned to ride in a hunter pace Sunday morning. I didn’t trust myself to work all night and make the drive to and from Equine Affaire on no sleep so I hitched a ride with a friend. We didn’t show up until 1pm but we were there. We walked the booths. I hunted for a few key items….Stabul Nuggets, books, and colorful saddlepads.
I discovered Stabul Nuggets at the 2017 show. I was enticed with the delightful smell and further woo’d by knowing they are nutritionally balanced with no added sugar. That means they are a good treat even for horses with Cushing’s disease. Since first discovering them they have changed their packaging and are now available on shelves at Tractor Supply stores. In the very near future, you will also be able to scoop them up on Chewy.com!
Unfortunately, they no longer offer the large bags that I used to buy but I did grab the sampler pack. One pound each of all six flavors for $18. From left to right: Peanut, Peppermint, Strawberry, Fenugreek, Banana, Pina Colada. My horses love these treats!
I also visited Trafalgar Square books where I received a lovely book called “Healthy Hooves.” I ordered a few books that were not available at the booth and can’t wait to receive them.
I was thrilled to see a booth hosted by the ladies of the Heels Down Happy Hour podcast. In the podcast the women talk horses over drinks. The booth at Equine Affaire featured natural soaps for dirty equestrians. The Barn Drama Detox is my personal favorite by name alone.
I was really disappointed by the Back on Track booth. For one thing, there were no “show specials.” The prices were just the same as on their website…and I’ve seen lower prices on other occasions. Trade shows such as this are sought after for special shopping steals and Back on Track was NOT playing along. I was also disappointed because they had several bins at the Horse Expo in PA with opened discounted items at a bargain price. They told me flat out that they don’t bring those bins to the Equine Affaire. I guess I’ll have to wait for a better deal to come along.
Not too far from the Back on Track booth was the Dark Horse chocolates. This year they were sampling the Peppermint ponies. Though I couldn’t make a purchase I can certainly say their chocolates are exquisite. If you’re looking for a nice treat to spoil someone, check them out (Dark Horse Chocolates by Harbor Sweets).
I briefly had a few moments to catch Jochen Schleese of Schleese Saddelry talk about saddle fitting.
We also made our way to the colloseum to see my trainer’s former student atop her world champion morgan mare, Martha Stewart.
We continued to wander and I found some lovely jump standards. Now that I’m learning to build my own I enjoy looking to these for inspiration.
We made our way to the stables. At the time the draft horses were getting geared up and ready for their Fantasia show. The large Percherons stood at their stalls patiently while the Belgians awaited on crossties.
I don’t care how long you’ve been around horses it is ALWAYS humbling standing next to these giants. Particularly seeing those massive hooves!
Equine Affaire 2019 was a wonderful day (plus I got my long-awaited Gyro!). We got there late but still managed to get some great shopping in as well as catch a couple clinics. When we got home I promptly fed the horses, prepared for the hunter pace, and went to bed!
Until next year, Equine Affaire!