Since this is such a popular time in the Phoenix area we've both had to change sites a few times. It hasn't been a problem because every site has beautiful views and nice privacy. For the past week, however, we've been able to stay in one site and that has allowed us to range further from "home".
We even have our own Saguaro and our bird "spa" here is as busy as it was at the other sites. A pair of pretty quail visit us often.
We found a very small crested Saguaro near one of the trails!
Last Sunday, Valentine's Day, Cindy P, Walter and Geneva came over and we celebrated the day with a wonderful steak dinner and campfire. Eating outside on a warm night is extra special when we realize it is mid February and not everyone is as lucky as we are....
Most of this past week, however, was spent at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. We attend this show whenever we are in the area in February and it didn't disappoint again this year. You know how crazy I am about horses, and this show delivers plenty of them, but I also love the variety of things I see as we walk from ring to ring. Foods not bad either.... We started each day at AJ's Fine Foods for a cup and a bun before finishing the drive to Westworld and the show. Mmmm
Here are some of the things we saw...
As you enter the show you walk through a huge building filled with vendors selling anything even remotely related to horses and riders.
Like this life sized hand chiseled statue - for your foyer perhaps?
Or silver encrusted western saddles?
|she rode this mechanical pony all through the vendors, drumming|
up business for her mother's booth!
|headband and necklace for your horse?|
I admit, I didn't take any photos of the more mundane things horse folk need, nor did I take any shots of some of the really over the top clothing and jewelry offered for sale. Aisles and aisles brimming with bridles, saddles (western, hunt seat, saddle seat, etc.), blankets, boots, hats, belts, decorative items, original artwork, toys, fencing, jewelry, dog supplies, feed and supplements, grooming aides, clothing of every description from utilitarian down vests and breeches to rhinestone encrusted everything.
Dogs were everywhere. Exhibitors and spectators brought their dogs.
|just chillin at his owner's booth|
Almost more golf carts than horses....almost.
But oh, there were horses....lots and lots of horses of all colors ridden many different styles. Some were shown, unridden, to judge their qualities as breeding stock. I overheard a gentleman behind me, an owner, say that these were $100,000 mares....(mare is a female horse over about the age of 3....under that age they are called filly)
This is big business. How do you make a million dollars breeding and selling horses? Start with 2 million.
|we watched horses warming up, blowing off|
a little steam before their classes
|winner's ribbons fluttered in the breeze in front|
of each stable area
|Geneva admires a horse in an Arabian Costume Class|
(and, yes, they do sometimes wear make-up....)
|Yep, that's a camel!|
|banks of cameras|
|side saddle class|
|all kinds of horses|
|even western side saddle classes -|
a first for me
|fluorescent roping practice cow....|
|cutting horse working a real cow.|
Once the rider selects the cow, the horse does all the work on its own.
interesting to watch....
|cowboys waiting for their turn at the cows|
Tuesday was Military Appreciation Day and we were treated to a Freestyle Dressage Demonstration by Olympic hopeful SSG Katie Ferencik of the U.S. Army on her half Arabian half Trakehner gelding Horatio. She was very personable and interesting. She managed to talk to us throughout her entire ride, telling us what she was doing, why, and how Horatio was responding, which is a difficult thing to do. I look forward to watching her equine career develop in the next four years.
And each night we returned to Beluga and a magnificent sunset. Its been a great week.