Why I won’t go to Equine Affaire

Equine Affaire

Equine Affaire opened today in Massachusetts. For those of you not familiar with the annual event, EA is an exhibition, trade show, breed show extraordinaire. There are clinics and demonstrations. There are presentations and there is tons and tons of shopping. Springfield, where the event is held, is a shade under two hours away from me. Certainly doable.

The last time I went to Equine Affaire was in 2012. Most of my friends came home talking about the bargains they’d gotten shopping, the blankets and buckets of supplements. One person bought a trailer. Many had stayed to see the evening performances or lauded the clinicians they’d watched.

Sheldon enjoying the larger pasture
The last time I went to Equine Affaire, I agreed to take another foster horse for CANTER. Sheldon won more than $100,000 at the track.

I came home with a horse.

Okay, it was only a foster horse from CANTER New England. He needed a place where he could hang out, gain some weight and learn to be a riding horse. But still. I made a resolution right then and there to stop going to the show. It’s dangerous. Temptation is everywhere.

The last thing I need is to shop. What do I need? Another saddle? I’d be better off selling off some of my inventory. And the last thing I need is to come home with another horse!

For all my friends heading out to West Springfield, I caution you. A free horse is an illusion. And just because something’s on sale doesn’t mean you need three of them. I’ll sit safely at home and watch FEI show jumping on the Internet. It’s a whole lot safer.

20 thoughts on “Why I won’t go to Equine Affaire

  1. They stopped hosting the Equine Expo here in Maryland last year. It was usually in January (terrible weather) but was well attended I always thought. I stopped going because the “bargains” were usually an illusion and the clinicians tended towards disciplines I was not as interested in…but it was always fun to look! It is amazing how much horse stuff one can accumulate.

    1. I think if you are willing to go the last day, there are some bargains but you have to be able to deal with the crowds and hope that there’s something you like left over. I have never had a hard time finding something to buy so it’s better not to go somewhere with that as my goal!

  2. I stopped going to the Equine Affaire because I thought the ‘bargains’ weren’t really all that good anymore. Most stuff that was of decent quality was the same price as you find online or in a brick and mortar store. And all the other stuff was poor quality. I’d rather shop the discount section at Smartpak ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Although, come to think of it, if I could come home with a horse, I might change my mind. I’ve been horse shopping since July without any luck.

  3. EEEheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, this is tooooo funny. I read your post aloud to my husband (because it was just so much fun) and he said, don’t you dare go there…;-)

  4. No, not that one. Freedom also came to me as a foster for CANTER and he’s still with me 14 years later. The funny thing is that Zelda used to be the personal horse of the woman who ran the CANTER New England affiliate. I figure any time I need a horse I should tell Ellen to drop one off at my barn because she knows exactly what I like. Of course, when I took Zelda on as a project (Freedom was injured) I told her that no way would I buy this horse because I didn’t like mares, didn’t want a draft x and flat out didn’t need another horse with my second kid going to college. Look how well that worked!

    1. You are such a pushover, Liz. Thank goodness for that…you’ve given your horses a wonderful life.
      funny, I thought I was the only one who would rather not have a mare. I’m sure you’ve heard that old saying: “You tell a gelding, you ask a stallion, you negotiate with a mare”. I think of mares as I do my computer…they’re smarter than I am.

  5. I didn’t know they had foster horses available! I recently took 2 fosters with Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation, my first time as a foster. I went for the first time last year and again this year. Fortunately I am able to exercise self control, coming home with photos, samples, and a whole lot of paper brochures. I love the education involved and seeing the various breeds.

      1. Unfortunately I work Sundays, Last year we camped Thurs-Sat and I became ill. This year I was ill the days following so I only went Friday

    1. I had fostered for CANTER before, so when I stopped by the CANTER booth for a visit, I ended up agreeing to take a horse. I hope you enjoy fostering as much as I did and that you don’t end up with too many permanent residents (I only kept one)!

      1. So far it has been wonderful, The two boys are 20 years old and to see the progress they’ve made is astounding. The three of them all get along well. I chose to take in 2 so I can take one out for play while the others have company. I can’t afford 2 of my own and when I can I’m hoping to have a truck and trailer so I can do all the fun events (my personal horse isn’t sound for jumping and heavy work).

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