October 02, 2010

FEI Equestrian World Games

Today Dazzle and I went to Lexington to enjoy the great weather and a once in a lifetime event. Actually, if you look at the date, it was Friday the 1st.  I missed getting this posted on the correct date by 1 minute !  

This is the first time the FEI World Games has ever been held in the U.S. and it was only 2 hours away at the Lexington Horse Park!  It was an amazing day and I took lots of photos.

I only got a "grounds pass" because that's all I could afford.  I also opted to park and ride because the on-site parking was $20 and the parking was about 1/2 mile or more from the main event! The premium parking (closer to the event) was $100 per day!   The bus was $1 each way and dropped you at the door. No brainer! We took the bus!

While waiting at the bus stop, 2 over crowded buses passes the bus stop before a third almost full bus stopped. Dazzle did great on the VERY crowded bus on the way to the event. 

On the way into the event, each person's bag, purse and/or jacket was searched for any of the prohibited items. I had read the web, so I was ready and didn't have anything I shouldn't have :-)

This was the entrance check point which actually moved pretty quick:

For those that have been to the horse park, below is the view of the main parking lot from the gates to the visitor's center. Quite a different view.

There were some AMAZING sculptures! Some that live there and some I have only seen on this visit. Like this life sized horse decorated ONLY with shells! Even the mane/tail are shells. 

 This is a permanant sculpture, but I think it's really beautiful

This is one I hadn't seen before.  I had to wait several minutes to get a shot without a bunch of people in the background.  This was the best I could do.

This is a pemanent sculpture of Secretariat near the welcome center

 I think this one is adorable!  It's called "the wrecking crew" :-) A corgi running with the lead of a filly.
 Just in case you want to buy one of the above sculptures, I thought you might be interested in the price!

I also LOVE this piece! It is about 7' tall! It was for sale, so I don't think it will be a permanant piece, unfortunately. Maybe the horse park will buy one!

There were also breathtakingly beautiful pieces of wall art like this glass mosaic piece.
$4,500 and it's yours! I didn't get photos of most of the art or the incredible jewlery.

I did get a photo of this stunning piece hanging in one of the specialty areas. It has lots of glass in multiple colors and just sparkled!

 This was a very cool display, but photographing it was a real challenge!  It is only falling water lit by colored lights!! It looked better in person than in photos, but you can get the idea. I had to wait till we were on our way out so I could get some shots without a bunch of kids playing in the water.

This is the bottom of the full size horse I just couldn't capture in the frame :-) 
 There were also words
 And the FEI logo I tried multiple times to get a good photo of:

There were also several new things I had not seen before like this rig that uses NASA technology to be used for horses with neurological issues or various diseases or injuries

 Here's the info about it

I thought this was a very cool horse transport! It can carry two horses loaded through the side and has a tack area in the rear. I didn't look in the cab, so I don't know if you can see the horses directly from the cab, but I would guess that's the case.

Even an adult version of the grocery store horse rides! These were quarter operated and one was a canter, the other was a trot.  Both were Saddlebreds and even had head movement that could be adjusted with the reins to get proper head carriage.  The speed could also be controlled and the person in red was coaching the riders on proper form.
 When they first started moving, it caught Dazzle by surprize and he woofed.  But once he realized it wasn't going to run us over he relaxed.

I had to get a photo of this truth in advertizing! LOL

I also attended several free seminars and shows. This guy from Las Vegas has a very impressive show with draft horses that were HUGE!  He's not a small guy, but the horses make him look tiny.

There was an amazing 12 year old (who's name I didn't get) that hasn't let a missing arm slow her down.  She was doing dressage moves with the rein attached to her arm, but also did some freestyle without a bridle and was jumping without a bridle too! A dynamic and funny presenter!

Her left arm (that is only to the elbow) is behind her in this photo (where the white is):
 She rode two different horses

I was able to attend a session by Clinton Anderson!  He's a really big name in horse training and I found his info facinating! I wish fearful predators (dogs) reacted the same as the fearful prey (horses) he was working with. Fearful horses would not exist if everyone would do his training program.

Here he is doing a demo of how the horse reacts to sudden big movement and odd sound.  The attachment point allows the horse to pull back without much resistance. And once the horse realized he wasn't securely tied and had no resistance to fight he quit backing up and just stood there even though Clinton was still waving his arms and hissing.

 After just a few repetitions, this horse couldn't be spooked with this movement/sound. And didn't back up at all.
 Here he is touching the horse with clippers (something the horse was fearful of just moments before)

 I also got to see Pat Perrelli (another really big name in horse training).  It's so refreshing to see force-free horse training!

The demo horses were all at liberty (free) for most of the demo, but chose to stay with and work with their human.

Here a horse is being saddled while he's free to leave, but he chooses not to go anywhere.

Pat's wife also did a cool demo with an amazing warmblood.  This horse moved as fluidly as water and floated across the ground! Just breathtaking.  Unfortunately, this horse had been so abused in the name of training that he became really dangerous and un-ridable.  He had previously been sold for many thousands of dollars, but the Perelli's got him for a song because he was so damaged mentally. He's doing much better now, but it was still clear when he had a flashback.

She was able to ride him a bit in the ring and he remained relaxed (as long as there wasn't any applause).  A big accomplishment!

While watching the horses in the ring, Dazzle was relaxed and either watched or slept. At one point between shows, I moved to the shade and Dazzle laid down to chew a stick.  While he was doing that, two police officers on horses rode up to the gate and Dazzle barely looked at them.

This is how close we were to the action! He's laying in front of me just watching in this photo.

At one point during the Perelli presentation, the horses were galloping full speed around the ring.
 This was Dazzle's reaction: "What are they doing?"
 Then he went back to ho-hum and then laid his head down for a nap!  I was SO proud of how well he did!
 Dazzle was a great ambassador and I was surprized at how many people knew his breed.  Many people were missing their own dogs they left in other countries or states and most were polite about asking before petting.  He got many compliments on his excellent behavior.

Here we are on the bus on our way back to the van, tired but happy.  My body is really giving me hell for so much walking and time on my feet, but it was totally worth it!
Just before the person taking the photo made a noise to get his attention, he had his eyes closed- napping standing up! He slept the whole way home but now he's ready to play!  He's outside barking at the neighbor as I type.