Now, I’ve talked about the falconry and birds of prey, but I didn’t mention all the other things at the heavy horse show. Unlike the regular horse shows, this featured draft horses. These animals were built to do heavy work, not for show and display. Yet, the idea was to show that these animals can perform feats of agility and grace as well as doing work. You can see their power and the lack of speed. My girls have always loved horses, so it did not matter that they were draft horses or showier ones.
The first display we witnessed was the dressage. It was quite playful. Then we had the dog and carriage training from the British Carriage Dog Society. These were dalmatians trained to run along behind the carriage with their head under the carriage. They had up to three dogs under the carriage at the end, with a couple running alongside. There were supposed to be some minkhounds but they were suffering from diarrhea, so they did not come. Later, they had the hunting beagles. They were so adorable and my kids went out to play with them when they were invited. One particular beagle was not very well-behaved. We were warned that beagles were easily distracted by food and this one kept running out of the ring looking for food. He was finally sent back to the pen in disgrace. Then there were the competitions. They were timed courses. The first involved different tasks performed by horse and rider. One of the tricks was a jump. I did not see all the competitors, but one horse was obviously too big to jump so he tried to step over, but the sticks were knocked over. The last was the cone driving competition. There were one-horse and two-horse carriages and they had to go between about 10 sets of cones. I also did not get to see all of them. The kids went around to look at displays and spent a lot of time just petting the beagles. The older one experienced driving a draft horse, while the younger one and daddy went on a wagon ride. The line for horse rides was so long that they did not get to do it. We finally left right after the cone competition and just before they were ready for the grand parade because it was getting so drizzly and cold and the girls were sneezing a lot.
All in all, it turned out to be a very interesting day with a lot to see. We were glad we had decided to come at the last minute. And it was much cheaper than a regular horse show.