I wasn’t much older than my youngest the first time I went to the Maritime Fall Fair. My Poppy was in town visiting us for Mom’s birthday and we took in what would become a wonderful tradition.
The horses were the big draw for Pop… as they were for my girl. Up and down the stable aisles we went, stopping to say hello to each beautiful beast. Complimenting them on their lovely manes. Remarking about their fine coat and markings. Teasing them as they shook their heads and whinnied for attention.
We took a moment to talk to many of the animals in their unfamiliar surroundings… as there’s nothing more comforting than a soothing voice when you’re a little unsure…. their ears turning to the sound of our voices.
As we rounded the corner we heard a commotion… a horse had spooked and jumped backward stepping into a metal pail with a sharp edge… cutting the horse’s hind leg. Most of the handlers were in the show ring but someone grabbed the lead line and was attempting to calm the horse, someone else was trying to keep people back, yet others were running for help.
My Poppy stepped through the crowd.
I watched in awe as this man, a blacksmith and farrier his entire life, went to work. With strong hands and a gentle voice he calmed the beautiful animal, quickly removed the shoe that was coming off and wrapped his leg with the cloth someone had handed him.
Within moments the horse’s owner and a farrier arrived and Pop stepped back for them to finish the job he’d started. He waited, introduced himself and gave the horse a few solid pats telling him him what a great boy he was, before he took my hand and we moved on to enjoy the rest of our day.
We continued up and down the aisles saying hello to each exquisite horse… complimenting them on their beauty. We wandered into the ring and watched a few shows… the fast and funny dogs from Little Moes Paws for Fun, the amazing speed of the Barrel Racing and the beautiful teamed horses in the Clydesdale Light Team and Percheron Heavy Team divisions. We continued on for ice cream and a peruse through the tack shops and displays. We watched the prettiest cows and sheep being judged and we visited the petting zoo… laughing at the greedy little goats!
It was another lovely day at the Maritime Fall Fair with my daughter… and my Pop. My youngest, holding my hand and delighting in everything she saw. My Pop, in my heart… forever in my heart.
We truly enjoyed today’s Barrel Racing as twenty seven horses with names like Gold Digger, Tee Smoky Blackjack, Tailgate Tony, Angels Exist, Katy Twist and Misty Moonbar (my favorite for so many reasons) raced around barrels showing athletic ability and horsemanship as these skilled riders safely maneuvered their horses through three barrels in the main show ring. Congratulations to Joan Grant on Nonstop Bay Boy for an amazing time of 15.324 seconds… but looks like her son is close on her heels and following in mom’s hoof prints!
Also, congratulations to the Jeff and Mona Fiske of Thunder Hill Percherons in Kentville. My daughter could tell right away that your beautiful team would win the first place ribbon… your horses are truly magnificent!
The Maritime Fall Fair continues through to Monday… I understand they have rides as well… we just never made it that far away from the stables.
In 2007, in his 92nd year, my favourite blacksmith passed away. Last month Princess, his beloved pony, went to join him. I continue to be in awe.