Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rocky Mountain Horse Expo

If you're looking for the real life counterpart to a model horse show, you might want to attend a Horse Expo.
There is no better place to see all sorts of horses in one location.  Regan and I spent Friday morning at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo at the National Western Stock Show Complex in Denver, Colorado.  In addition to the usual breeds like Arabians and Quarter Horses, we saw Iberian horses,
Gypsy Vanners, 
Tennesse Walking Horses,
Icelandic ponies,
Norwegian Fjords, 
Peruvian Pasos,
miniature horses,
and draft horses.
Additionally, all sorts of disciplines were represented including vaulting, 
and Western dressage.
Oh yeah...  There were lots of saddles, too!
I added a lot of pictures to my Portuguese and Peruvian saddle reference folders...
And if you ask me nicely, I just might share!


  1. You did more than we did on Saturday - couldn't stay long the event arena/barn area as the smell killed Jase's sinuses. :(

    However, he proclaimed to like the Vanner he saw. It was the hair I think.

  2. Kudos to Jase for going at all. I didn't notice the barn smell as much this time. The weather was so nice (in the SEVENTIES) that there were a lot of open doors and I think that helped. Usually I come home with a headache and a sore throat!

  3. Just sticking this out there :)

    Only Americans think there's any value in the "uber special Gypsy Vanner" horses.

    They're Irish horses.

    And in Ireland, they're as common as Quarter Horses in the US.

    So shouldn't we call them by their IRISH name?

    In Ireland they don't even call them Gypsy Vanners. In Ireland they call them colored cobs.

    I learned all of this on my horse forum from someone who is Irish and she thinks it's ridiculously sad that us Americans blow colored cobs so out of proportion when they're a dime a dozen over in Ireland, and we're spending $121959159 on a horse that you can get for about 500 (insert Irish form of money here, I forget what it is) over in Ireland.

    Just putting that out there :)

  4. Oh, I totally hear you! Most of the real horse people I know view the whole Gypsy Vanner thing as a kind of joke. They're great if all you want is big hair and spots. Someone looking for more than that probably won't be as impressed.

  5. Hee hee! That's how I feel about people dumping thousands of dollars to ship a basic Quarter Horse to Europe ;). They're all over this area, nice ones too, but they are selling at canner prices.

  6. Teresa's husband is about as non-horsey as you can get. I'm sure that he simply liked the fact that they have that drafty build because men seem to like drafts when they know nothing about or don't like horses. He may have admired the amazing amounts of hair protruding from them.

    The group they were with calls them GVs--so that's what Teresa called them. Even though many of them have spots, I guarantee she isn't interested in one, no matter what you call it!

    Nice picture of Jalapeno E at the top. Did you get pictures of the mares with the roaching?

  7. Looks like fun! But you better start calling them Icelandic Horses before an Icelander hears you... ;)

  8. A beg to differ that not all coloured cobs are a dime to a dozen. I regularly ride two (Rodney and Tilda), who are both very well schooled, both carry a side-saddle and work in very good outlines. They are worth about £8000 each (about $14k). Tilda has won dressage comps too. I just wish that Americans bought on the basis of these types of qualities rather than just the amount of feather and pretty colours. So you can find 'more than that' if you're looking for the right thing.

  9. Hey, that spotted butt belongs to a horse who was doing dressage??? Cool!

  10. Regan is right. I don't care how colored it is, I am NOT getting something with that much hair. NO way and NO how. You can't give me enough free clipper blades and servicing. (Cuz that hair would be the first to GO GO GO.)

    And Jennifer - that might be the last time I get him to do that. *sigh* I am SO TIRED of going to motorcycle shops and what not with him.

  11. Hey Braymere -- love your Peruvian posts! We really appreciate the shout-out, and I love the shot of my gelding on here. :) Hope you make it to next year's Expo and come find us. We'll put you on a Pervian!



  12. You know if there's even a tiny little chance that I could sit on a Peruvian Paso I would attend every single day of the 2012 Horse Expo. Seriously! I've been fortunate enough to have ridden a lot of different horses in my life, but my experience with gaited breeds is sadly lacking. I would love, love, LOVE to fill in those blanks!

  13. Come ride one! just let me know. You did great photos of my saddle at the 2010 Expo by the way!!

  14. And if you want to see our Peruvians playing again, we will be riding at the Fiesta Day Parade this Sunday at the Colorado State Fair. Parade starts at 10am!

  15. Thanks for posting the picture of my Vanner Kewpie Doll!

    Just to clear up a little confusion about Vanners; it's true that coloured cobs are bred throughout Europe (not just Ireland), but a Vanner is not just a coloured cob. In Europe, about 80% of such horses are bred for the meat market, just like we would breed cattle. The remaining 20% are selectively bred horses that embody all the cultural pride of the Gypsy people and are status symbols that command high prices in private sales. The bloodlines of such horses are carefully tracked with the goal being to breed the perfect horse to pull the caravans so unique to the Gypsies.

    Horses that have the best breeding, the best conformation, and the best temperment are said to be "true Vanners" thus the origin of their name.

    And if you're looking for something more than big hair and spots, a Vanner stallion by the name of Lake Ridge British Sterling just passed his Level 4 dressage test. :)

  16. I'm kind of overwhelmed by how much traffic this *old* post has received this week!

    twhmama12--I wish I could make it to Pueblo this weekend. I haven't been to the Colorado State Fair in more than twenty years!

    DragonCliffStables--Thanks for the additional information. I have NO hands on experiences with Gypsy Vanners so I really do appreciate the input. Most of what I know about the breed comes from the internet and we all know how accurate that can be! I googled Lake Ridge British Sterling and came up with dozens of references. He does indeed look to be an impressive horse, but WOW that's a lot of hair!