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Find Your Adventure: Equestfest at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, 2016: It’s Showtime!

20151229_160036 Doors opened to the public at 10 a.m. on the 29th at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.  AERC volunteers had already been busy for hours getting the AERC booths set up in the vendor area and those of us with horses has been busy as well getting stalls cleaned, horses walked and beginning to prepare to ride in Equestfest.

I was feeling a lot more confident now that my horses had more time to settle and had been worked a little and had made it through the group performance the day before in the Equidome.

The show was to be from noon to 2 p.m. and our AERC group was scheduled to go in around the middle of the lineup.  That gave us plenty of time to ride the horses, get the edge off and have them warmed up and ready to go.  Plus, we were able to do some more practicing in the arena and work on our spacing (see video at bottom of page).

connie2Chief and Bo had settled in nicely and were happy to get out of their stalls and get to work.  A couple dozen of us ended up in one of the arenas working on our spacing, and lineup and things were looking really good.

The weather was gorgeous and we were sure enjoying how warm it was compared to home.  I had not clipped my horses so spent some time in the morning getting them cleaned up a bit, at least as much as was practical for horses living in a winter climate.

Photo by Lynda Moulton

Photo by Lynda Moulton

Finally it was time to go into staging and get ready for our group to go into the Equidome.  We worked as much as we could in the area across from the entrance, but since our group had 22 horses and others including stage coaches were in that area we were a bit limited on space.  We still did what we could and besides focusing on my spacing with Chief I kept trying to keep an eye on how Bo was doing since he was spaced so far apart from us.  Every time I caught a glimpse of Bo he seemed to be handling it well, and doing his job.

Soon it was time for us to line up at the entrance and get ready to go into the Equidome.  It was packed with thousands of spectators plus had a stage of sorts set up with announcers, lights and some new things the horses hadn’t seen before.  We were instructed to let the horse in front of us go in, count to four, and then walk a couple of steps before picking up a trot and then follow around the rail spaced 20 feet apart.  I was sure relieved that Chief entered calmly, picked up his trot and was easily rate-able without getting too excited or bothered by all of the cheering from the audience, the loud music or any of the other things going on around us.  In the photo to the left, you can spot Chief in front of the flag carrier – he’s the only grey horse in that photo.

I think we were inside the Equidome for about six minutes alltogether, and it seemed to fly by.  A couple of horses in our group didn’t handle it well and left early.  The rest of the group did great though, and we had a blast getting to wave at everyone especially those that came to watch us – friends and family members.  It was a very memorable experience.  This time Chief totally nailed the spacing on the lineup and stood perfectly until it was time for him to move off back to the rail.  Yeah!

I’ll post some videos below from the Equestfest performance.  One of the videos was taken by my husband, and the other one is from RFD TV and shows the entire Equestfest performance.  I was able to get back inside and film the Budweiser Clydesdale’s and will post the video of their performance as well.

 

20151229_152421_001Before I get to the videos though I want to show why it was so important for us to have our stalls decorated with our horses photos and biographies.

After Equestfest was over, the public was allowed to come over to the barns to visit all of the horses.  Our barn was packed full of people.  Everybody loved our horses and the visitors were nonstop.  Many of them wanted to learn more about the sport of endurance riding.  I think that our horses also enjoyed all of the attention that they were receiving.

Here is a photo of Chief, with one of his young fans that shows how positive this event was for the AERC and our sport.  Everybody loved visiting with our endurance horses, and the riders!

More photos below show how popular our barns were, and then below that you can see the vendor area and some of the videos.  Everybody had a great time and it was fun getting to do something that was so completely different with Chief.  I think he enjoyed it and I know he liked all of the attention afterwards, what a ham.  :)

Next up:  formation practice, final preparations, group bbq, meeting and then driving to the pit where we stayed overnight on I-210 with the horses.

 

20151229_150940 20151229_150952 20151229_151021_002

 

 

 

 

connie5

Photo by Connie Creech

connie4

Photo by Connie Creech

connie3

Photo by Connie Creech

connie1

Photo by Connie Creech

 

 

Warming up before Equestfest:

Equestfest, recorded by my husband:

Equestfest, by RFD TV

Budweiser Clydesdales:

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