Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Massachusetts Equine Affaire 2014

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of attending Equine Affaire! I had only been once before (in 2011), so it's still kind of novel to me. There are some people out there that seem absolutely obsessed with it - going every single year for multiple days of the event. But for me, it's about having a field trip with my barn friends while we browse the trade show and lust after expensive saddles, gawk at the latest and "greatest" new health and training products, enter ALL THE RAFFLEZ, and maybe do a tiny by of shopping ourselves. But it's generally just fun to walk around and be a total horse geek. 

Horse nerds - unite!
Nothing had caught my eye in the trade show yet until I saw THESE: Scratch n All grooming pads. Their booth caught my eye because they had a video screen showing animals scratching themselves on them - including a goat itching his face. That immediately sold me and I bought two on the spot. I've been casually looking for something like this for my goat, Billy Boomer, and my mini, Zipper. I think they're going to love them and I think Maggie would like them too...

Essentially they're large, interlocking curry combs that you can attach to walls, fence posts, etc.
I'm not going to get around to installing them until this weekend, but after I get them installed, stay tuned for a product review!
They can fold 90 degrees so you can fasten them around corners.
On my shopping list for real was a cooler for Maggie. I currently only have a too-big knit one for her that I don't like, because I don't think they wick the moisture as well as fleece ones. Goodness knows she'll need a real one this winter once we really get working again. I have always had my eye on one of the gorgeous Horseware Newmarket coolers (you know, the one with the stripes)...

...so I was on the lookout for one at Equine Affaire - an affordable one - but alas, it was not to be. If I were going to get one it would be the chocolate one, but I didn't find a chocolate one in a 69". Also, there weren't any for less than $130. Holy no. Nuh-uh. Not paying that much.

So $40 off-brand cooler it is! 

Navy blue with tan trim. Looks pretty decent if I do say so myself. And it also has a double layer of fleece which I think is nice.

Fuzzy pony in a fuzzy blanket.
My other purchase was a saddle pad with pockets for the trail. I already have one (which isn't getting any younger) in this style and it's super handy. I got brown with hunter green trim thinking it would look nice on Maggie - and it does - but now I'm kind of wishing I got a louder color like "Don't Shoot Me Orange" or "Don't Run Me Over Green" . That would have been more practical. Eh :/

In addition to the shopping, many people go to attend/ audit the clinics. When I went in 2011, I remember watching a bit of a jumping demo. I honestly don't remember anything about it (no idea who the clinician was or what discipline exactly), but what I do remember was that one of the horses in the clinic was definitely lame and the clinician was definitely still having the rider continue to jump him, which left me definitely unimpressed.This year was different though. This year there was DAVID O'CONNOR. 

Eventing Nation already posted a quick article summarizing his sessions:

I was able to attend the Sunday afternoon session which covered XC exercises you can do in the ring. I'm gonna give you my take from this clinic in another post because 1.) He's DAVID FREAKING O'CONNOR and he deserves him own post, and 2.) I want to keep you hanging ;)


  1. I went to EA when I worked up north. Very fun place! I like all your purchases :)

  2. I go to EA every couple years -- I'm not a die-hard like some. But I love to watch the clinics and the shopping is always fun :D