Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, Part 5

One of the delights of this Horse Show was that patrons could wander the grounds and explore whatever tweaked their curiosity. Several times during the day, formal tours of the horse barns were offered — so I set a reminder to join the tour — but meanwhile I explored on my own. Here is another breeder who experienced great competitive success at the show.

And another. Look closely and notice the plaques on the walls — they are also from this year's show. Impressive.

As I mentioned previously, a lot of horse trading takes place at the show. This sales room was too inviting with the "smile" pillow and the cute little doggy.

In fact, I'll bet he was their best sales rep.

Behind the sales rooms are the barns housing the horses that each breeder brought to the show (plus those they bought, less any they sold). The horses seemed as curious about me as I was about them.

Some wore masks. The purpose? My guess was for warmth since it had been a bit cool in Scottsdale at this time. Rather like a human athlete's warm-up suit.

A few of the horses just seemed to enjoy the warmth of the sun.

I really liked this horse's mask. Reminded me of the robes boxers wear when they enter the ring.

In another corner of the grounds, I encountered a blacksmith plying his trade. He travels with a trailer equipped with everything he needs to shoe a horse — including a forge for heating the horseshoes sufficiently to work on his anvil. Looks like hard, back-breaking work but I bet he loves it.

Ah, time for the formal tour — we were lead to the Golden Ridge Farms barn. Note that this horse farm is actually located in north Phoenix. If you have any interest in learning more about such a farm, click here for their website.

Jay Allen, owner of the farm, brought out this mare who was quite docile — which was good because the center of the barn was packed with those of us on the tour. He spoke for a while then entertained questions which resulted in a nice introductory education to the horsey trade.

For instance, how much does a horse like this cost? He had just sold her at the show for $30,000. She had already been bred and produced one colt and was now pregnant again. Curiously, the first sire was in the barn and kept kicking the stall trying to get her attention. She ignored him.

Why does it look like she is wearing eye makeup? This horse has black skin hidden by the thick coat of white hair. They shave the hair above the eyes to reveal the skin then apply horsey Vaseline to make it shiny.

Does she compete? She does as a halter horse — meaning she is lead by a halter along a triangular path for judging. She has never worn a saddle. Jay mentioned that if you put a saddle on a horse and ride it regularly, it will develop different muscles so that the overall shape of the animal changes.

Obviously, there was much more that he told us but I did not record the session and you would probably be bored by it all anyway. But it was quite interesting to me.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com