Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Day at the QH Congress

When I decided to take the job in Columbus, Ohio and move far away from my life in Minnesota, one of the silver linings to that black cloud was the realization that QH Congress and Rod's Western Palace were IN Columbus, and Schnieder's Tack was just up by Cleveland. Ohio has proven to be packed with horses and packed with very high quality Quarter Horses. Even the small open shows I go to have Congress quality teams. Boarding is expensive here compared to back home and horse property? EX. PEN. SIVE. But I'm lucky enough to get to enjoy a trip to Congress each year, and that's one of the small things that keeps me satisfied with living in Ohio.

Today two of my college students and I spent about 9 hours at the Congress. We started off by shopping, of course. There are TONS of vendors. I refrained from any outlandish purchases, but I did manage to find some new show gloves, a big Jolly Ball for only $10, and some new work reins. I went back and forth about reins, almost buying some from Rods but decided to check some other places and ended up with a $20 pair of brass snap-ends from Dee's. They were the cheapest I found and I almost didn't get them because they were 7' I thought my show reins were 9'. Luckily my show reins are only 7' so it's a good thing I didn't get the 9' as I can barely maneuver the 7'! Having the same style of work rein should help me be more comfy with the show reins.

While we were shopping I stopped by the model horse booth and a nice older gentleman introduced himself as Peter Stone. Yes, Mr. Peter Stone himself, there to sign models. Though I like his sculpts a lot, I have stopped spending money on model horses when there's a real one who needs shoes! Mr. Stone was incredibly nice and we talked mostly about how he's gone back to school at Notre Dame for a PhD in Peace Studies and Theology (or something like that!) and how he's actually in the middle of mid-terms right now! He also gave me a pamphlet about their "Design a Horse" when I told him his new foundation Quarter Horse would look just like my Junior if he had the spots.

I also ate a huge plate of "ribbon fries" and a Stromboli, but not at the same time, of course!

We watched lots of Pole Bending and Barrels and all the splits of the Amateur Select Horsemanship. We didn't stay to watch the finals because we felt like we had seen all the outfits already and were a little blinded by the crystals. Some of those ladies were so sparkly they looked like they were covered in those old "twinkle" Christmas lights! I kept thinking that if the point was to sparkle that much putting battery powered LED lights in the blouses wouldn't be so off base! Poles was Novice Youth so the kids were lucky if they got a clean go-round, but the Barrels were really great times so it was exciting to watch, but it was chilly in the Colosseum.

My iPhone was super helpful. I was able to find out when the HMS was starting in the other arena by checking the live video feed. When we were watching the Horsemanship we were debating on who was doing this one part correctly and I was able to go onto to see the actual pattern they were doing.

Then we all became exhausted and I didn't realize until I got home that my feet were freezing! Dry fuzzy socks and being wrapped in a blanket has not broken the chill yet.

I saw a lot of ugly tack, some I drooled over, some show clothes I thought should be banned, and some I recorded into my memory for use in later designs. The funniest thing we saw all day was an advertisement all over the Colosseum. Not only did they get their own phone # wrong and had to fix it, there is a lovely spelling error that makes them look like professionals! I photographed it for your viewing pleasure. I have blackened out the # to protect the stupid.


  1. Sounds like you had a full, productive, and interesting day. I love to go to those kinds of things. Hope your feet are warm and toasty by now.

  2. It sounds like so much fun! I used to go to the Congress every year when I lived in PA for the shopping and the horse fun! I hope that there was still a good turnout and that the vendors did great business. Sounds like you made a good haul of goods.

  3. Sounda like a good time. I have never been to any qh congress shows or anything of that nature. Would be interestering to see how the other half show hahaha. Glad you got some goodies and tack. I have been staying away from temptation lately since money is tight, but I'm hoping to take a trip to Dover this winter, an english tack store about 3 hrs away from us.

  4. Don't forget Equus Now! Even if you don't ride English (I just found your blog and haven't had a chance to read a lot yet) they have a lot of horse/grooming/etc supplies that are great for any horse owner. They're over by Polaris.

  5. I would so wear a showshirt with LED lights!! But then I'd be calling attention to my bad riding....

    I love the word "garunteed".

  6. Sounds like so much fun! I would love to go someday. But for now I need to save my pennies for a new saddle instead ;)

  7. you NEED to use LED lights in your next show shirt.