Club Show for great and small
On a sunny Sunday morning I was at Makarewa, 11 km north of Invercargill. Historically, Makarewa was a junction of railway line branches, where the forked line for Nightcaps and Waihoaka left the Invercargill-Kingston line. But these days the area is predominately lifestyle blocks and farms. Beside the Makarewa School is a community domain and it was here that I was blissfully surrounded by horses great and small, and every size in between. Deep South Hooves & Harness Club held one of their club shows on Sunday November 13th, 2016, and we went along for the morning to check things out. The weather was pleasant and the atmosphere relaxed, at least from where I was standing watching the action around me. I always try to blend seamlessly into the background so I can soak up the sights and sounds and witness the ‘real deal’, I like being behind the scenes, and capturing the unexpected – usually those that have little or nothing to do with the ‘main event’. To me that is the real story, the bit of real life. They are snippets of time that are normally not seen by anyone and I always feel privileged to have witnessed them. On this particular morning I was able to breathe in the love for horses and remember why I spend a large chunk of my life surrounded and living with these magnificent animals. I haven’t had my own horse for about 7 years, and my life went into a different direction, but the respect, love and fascination doesn’t just disappear overnight. As I watched some young handlers in the ring with their ponies and miniature horses I knew I was witnessing the next generation that will carry the torch of horse lovers in years to come. I was reminded of the strong bond that can develop between handler and equine (of any size), and the fun that can be had from being around horses for young and more mature (no, I will not say old!). The show had something for everyone, for all types of horses; in-hand horses & ponies (not ridden but the handler leads the horse or pony around the ring); led-reign, for the youngest riders who still need the comfort and guidance of an adult to help keep their mounts on task; and harness, ridden and long-reigned classes which we were not present for unfortunately.
The Miniature Horses are particularly cute, they are simply gorgeous but shouldn’t be mistaken for being ponies. Miniature horses are just that, they have horse features and personalities but are miniature. They come in a variety of colours and are categorised according to their size. Category A must be no higher than 34 inches or 86.3 centimetres and the Category B must be between 34 and 38 inches (86.5 and 96.5 centimetres). We had a Category B miniature, as well as an assortment of regular size horses while I was growing up, so I know how precious they all are. While the Miniatures were a draw card for me on Sunday morning I could not fail to see horses and other ponies waiting patiently for the Harness section to start and size aside, they all had one thing in common; they were all clearly the apple of their owners eyes. Yes it was show day and it is competitive, but the amount of smiling faces, laughter and chatter I could hear & see all around, both in and out of the ring, reminded me that horses have brought people together for millennia, and it would seem in Southland at least, they will continue to do so for generations to come.
If you’d like to join Deep South Hooves & Harness Club or would like more information on Miniature horses, check out the links below:
Deep South Hooves & Harness Club facebook group