Monday 30 April 2018

My Day at Mane Event

On Friday I went with a couple of friends to Mane Event in Red Deer, Alberta.

It's an annual weekend of horse stuff - clinics to watch, lectures to listen to, and most importantly, a trade show to shop at (and hopefully snag some free stuff).

The clinics are a mix of disciplines - there's always a jumping person, a dressage person, barrel racing person, a driving person, a couple of horsemanship people, and then a couple of other people that show something different. They are usually Big Name Trainers (George Morris was out a few years ago) and you can generally pick up some useful information by sitting on the sidelines.
First time I've seen a European style horse van out here. It cost a mere $129,000. It wasn't that fancy.
Since I was only going down for one day, I had to pick the sessions that I was most interested in. It was pretty slim pickings on Friday - most of the sessions that sounded good were on Saturday or Sunday. I watched a bit of dressage (boring), a lecture on an introduction to Working Equitation, and a demonstration by the driving guy on teaching your horse to stand. I found that session useful and will apply it to Cisco and report on it later.

The seating at the side of the rings is horribly uncomfortable - one ring has metal bench bleachers, and the other has wooden bleachers that have a low back. After about 45 minutes of sitting my back, butt and neck hurt. If I find the session boring, the seating gives me little incentive to stay and watch it all.
My next trailer must have a flip-around TV and fireplace in it. (This one was something like $20K cheaper than the horse van)
So instead I shop!

Well, sort of shop. I need very little so most years I just end up picking up something small. This year I spent my money at the first booth I went to - the booth of the English Tack Shop was mostly 50% off. I looked at breeches - nothing I liked. I'm keeping an eye out for a new girth with elastic for Cisco - didn't have any. I didn't need another bridle. What I did need want that they had was reins - rubber lined with tabs. I've wanted a set of reins like this for years, long before I ever saw them in a store. They were Schockmoehle brand, regular $100, and on sale for $50.
Someone was selling DIY kits to make your own fold-up haynet. I took a picture in case I ever want to make one.
The only other thing I picked up was a container of Urad leather cleaner. I wanted some to use on my poor neglected paddock boots, and this stuff has pigment in it to hopefully make the scuffed areas look a bit better. It wasn't cheap at $30 for the container although it will probably last for a few years. And I'm happy to say it works - my paddock boots look much better. I actually forgot that they have fancy stitching on the toe cap.
The one on the right has been cleaned, the one on the left is how it looked before.
I sat in a few Zaldi saddles and talked with the rep. When I'm ready to get a jumping saddle for Cisco that will likely be where I start my search. They were reasonably priced at around $2700 and are designed to fit PRE horses.

I also tried on the New Back on Track MIPS helmet. Sadly, it won't be a good fit for me. I had a pressure spot on top of my head, and when I took it off after wearing it for only a few minutes it felt like my skull expanded. They looked good though - the brown one was very pretty. And they were flying off the shelf. The price isn't too bad at $350. One of my friends that I went down with picked one up for herself.
The brown helmet was very pretty - it had sparkly copper coloured piping.
I entered a bunch of contests that I didn't win.  Just like every other year.

Freebies are getting scarcer every year. A few years ago we scored two or three rolls of Vetrap a day, and were down for the full three days. Every year I've gotten a chunk of Himalayan rock salt. Not this year - this year they were giving out samples of loose salt or a new product Daily Gold (I think he said it was a month supply).

Most of the other freebies were feed related. A big score was a coupon for a free bag of Purina Equilizer (and a feed scoop cup). Now I just hope that I can manage to find a bag of it before the coupon expires at the end of May.

All in all, it was a good day. Long, tiring, and I was sore by the end of it. One day was enough for me.


  1. Great buy on those reins! 🙂

  2. Oh man I love those euro style horse vans! We have a guy around here who converts old ambulances into those vans but yea they ain’t cheap...

  3. would you say the BOT helmet fit more of a round or oval shaped head? The european horse vans I feel like I could drive with less anxiety than a more traditional rig lol

    1. I definitely have an oval head. The best fitting helmet I've found so far is the CO AYR8. The BOT felt okay around the circumference of my head - a bit snug, but not overly, and no gappy spots on the sides. But there was a pressure point on the front top of my head. So something about the shape on the top doesn't match my head.
      I think they're a little bit bulkier than a regular helmet. Just a bit, not nearly as bad as the old original Lexington ASTM helmets (mushroom head helmets).
      I'm hopefully a couple of years away from needing a new helmet, so I'm hoping that other manufacturers have some other fitting options by that time.