By Adam Brazeau
MORRISBURG – At the Horse Lovers’ Weekend event, thousands gathered to watch professional riders as stallion, steed and pony enthusiasts jumped in the saddle for a chance to hold the reins.
© Adam Brazeau
Upper Canada Village hosted the Horse Lovers' Weekend event focused on natural horsemanship. Spectators flocked to see professional and amateur riders, a 1860s 'Mock Horse Auction' and tons of other related activities. Pictured (left): three star Parelli instructor and horse specialist Fawn Anderson and Parelli professional horse rider Ron Pyne from the Sky’s the Limit Farm in Elgin, Ontario.
Upper Canada Village held the tree-day event, which featured three star Parelli instructor and horse specialist Fawn Anderson, from Florida, Drogheda Manor Horsemanship’s Garry 'Horsetalker' Meek and his 'Spirits in Unity' demonstration team and Parelli professional horse rider Ron Pyne from the Sky’s the Limit Farm in Elgin, Ontario.
“We’re so proud to be heading up the natural horsemanship fair,” said Anderson. “This is where we get to showcase what we’re all about, which is creating a partnership between humans and horses and showing that special connection and magic is possible.”
The Canadian-born horse rider pointed out the charm of the historical village and how it really added to the atmosphere of the event.
“We’re situated in Upper Canada Village, so we’ve been able to cruise around in parades, watch fields being plowed, hay being cut and cheese being cut. We’ve had such a great time,” she said.
Anderson showcased her bareback and bridle-less riding skills to an eager crowd. Her and Pyne follow a gentle approach to riding and it showed as their horses gracefully listened to their requests.
Anderson said that she had been bullied early on in life and that learning to ride and build a connection with horses gave her confidence and leadership skills.
Meek’s ‘Spirits in Unity’ natural horsemanship demonstration showcased the potential for youth and animals growing together as they performed.
“It’s really important for my kids to have a venue to showcase their horsemanship,” said Meek. “They’re not kicking or hitting the animals, they’re being gentle and getting amazing results.”
Meek said the demand for their free horse rides surpassed well over a 100 on the third day of the event and that the first two days boasted a packed crowd.
For four-year-old Eunice Park, taking her first horse ride was a big thrill. Her father Paul Park, from Ottawa, brought his wife and niece as well to enjoy an up close experience with horses.As she jumped down from the animal, she repeated, “I liked it.”