ERIN – When fair attendees wander to the back of the Erin Fall Fair on Thanksgiving weekend, they may hear nickering sounds from the Equine Tent.
Volunteers bring 16 prized horses to the tent to show them off to passersby and share information and stories about their particular breed.
From ponies to drafts, there are equines of all sizes for people to meet.
There are also education booths in the tent where people can learn about a range of equine-related topics.
Erin Agricultural Society associate director Bridget Ryan has volunteered with the Erin Fall Fair Equine Tent for 13 years.
On Oct. 7, Ryan said the focus is on heritage draft horses.
On Oct. 8, children will be able to combine art with equine by painting white ponies with animal-safe paint.
On Oct. 9 the focus is “pretty ponies,” Ryan said, where the audience will watch horses and riders perform liberty tricks.
Ron Marino, president of the Upper Canada District Canadian Horse Breeders, will show off some liberty work with his Canadian gelding Pax and share information about the breed.
Fergus farrier and owner of the Horseshoeing School of Canada Paul Fishbach will put on a “huge shoeing demonstration,” Ryan said.
There is also an open horse show all day on Oct. 9, managed by Erin Agricultural Society director Merissa Nallais.
There is also a pony show and a heavy horse draft show.
Ryan said the Equine Tent is an important aspect of an important tradition.
“People get teary eyed when they talk about the Erin Fall Fair,” she said. “It’s been going since 1850 and has a long history of bringing community together and showcasing rural lifestyles.”