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Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Equiros 2016. The horse is back

Some hundred years ago a car was something exotic while horses were carrying the entire burden of transportation. But as the world grows rapidly, today the four-legged helpers are truly sought, only in the most wild and distant corners of the world where, due to a lack of need, the road network fails to reach.

However, equestrian sport remains an elegant and reliable retreat for the horses in the civilized world. Thanks to it horse breeding and selection programmes continue to develop, harness maker and blacksmith jobs are still in demand. In addition, the beauty, might, and grace of the noble animals keep bringing joy and excitement to those who watch them.

But it seems the governmental policy in regards to drivers may create an historical turn and give horses a new opportunity for use in transportion. Absolute control and thoughtless restrictions that increasingly plague the lives of vehicle owners, may lead to a massive shift from four wheels to four legs. Compared to a car in today's environment, the horse appears to have many advantages.

Firstly, no driving licence is required, meaning you can't lose it to some violation of traffic rules.

Secondly, no plates render traffic cameras useless.

Thirdly, a horse can be parked at any location regardless of any signs or lawns.

Fourthly, a properly trained horse will not allow itself to be towed away easily, but even in if the tow truck operators succeed, they will inadvertantly lose an animal abuse case.

Fifthly, the riders are not threatened by any environmental standards restrictions – as the horses do not pollute, their waste products are deemed useful fertilizer.

And sixthly, no horse requires any costly spare parts, while veterinary treatment is far less expensive than any regular maintenance by official dealers. However it seems the government’s suspicion of such a turn of events is growing, and probably is not going to let that happen. Otherwise, it's difficult to understand, why have so many horse farms been ruined or liquidated in the country lately, with many famous horse breeds sitting on the verge of extinction.

But for all that, the traditional autumn international trade fair “Equiros”, which took place in Sokolniki, still demonstrated the equestrian world is capable to resist all ills of life, move forward and improve. This event is, for riders , what the Moscow International Car Show is for drivers.

Achievements benchmark, exhibition of novelties and meeting platform for professionals from various countries, expert conferences and of course an exciting show, exhibition performances by athletes, dynamic demonstrations of rare breeds and rides for children – the equestrian exhibition is no less spectacular than any car show.

One can hardly find premieres of new breeds or futuristic concept horses trying to anticipate the future. So it goes, wise nature that created horses over the course of the evolution, did not need engineers, designers or marketing experts. Continuous and enduring selection work has always been underway to adjust the horses to specific environments or labour, which lead to a multitude of breeds, many of which now boast a long history. However the times when new breeds would appear as frequently as the modern technologies in today's cars evolve, are long gone. Honestly, the equine world has never seen such a pace, as one may imagine how time-consuming the process of creating a new living creature is, being the result of multiple generations. Nevertheless, selection experts go on with their efforts preserving rare breeds and improving sporting qualities of the equine population.

But horse breeding cannot be without oddities, rarities, or unusual achievements, particularly as some strange things may well possess use or appeal. Take the American miniature horse for instance, bred in the middle of the 20th century. Today it is the smallest breed, with some species the size of a large dog. They are not very popular in our country, while in their homeland these good-natured and smart creatures are often used as guide animals or can be involved into some basic rider training for children of over 3 years old.

This breed's booth has proved to be one of the major attractions at “Equiros”. Providing an opportunity to pat the velvety nose of the charming miniature horses, which is as exciting as sitting inside a brand new Bentley.

However not all exhibits were equally happy about such excessive attention. For example, the black Friesian beauties, where approach was prohibited, much less touch. Being naturally skittish, frightened horses, with nowhere to run, the may well bite or kick.

But the horse exhibition was far more than horses only. Manufacturers of all sorts of equestrian products filled the entire exhibit hall. Simply everything was there – saddles, harnesses and its elements, special rider's apparel, scrubbers, brushes and other horse care items, feeds for every occasion, innovative Phyto compositions made of hay and all kinds of treats…

The exhibition also featured special footings for various sports, innovative drainage systems for arenas and even horse sun rooms or exercise machines for animals kept in confined spaces. All in all, the diversity resembled that of spare parts, accessories and tools at “Interavto”.

Incidentally, an intersection with the automobile world was also found at the equestrian exhibition, as horse carriers from various manufacturers were presented to be studied and compared. The horse being a transport in itself, sometimes requires being transported too.

A horse's life involves travelling to events, veterinaries or a new master from time to time. The most frequent travellers are high profile sport stars. Did you know that the horse carrier is not merely a four-wheeled, high-walled cart – it has to be equipped with many stress reducing tools, from comfortable suspension designed specifically for the average weight of the animals to be carried, down to straps and lighting. The most sophisticated models utilized for global championship horses, feature airbags, air conditioning and heating systems.

Just as with automobiles, the equestrian world offers scale models to collect and a large number of collectors. The scale is different though, with standards being 1:9, 1:12, 1:22 and 1:32, and metal is replaced with plastic. A horse miniature may feature various breeds as well as existing or past famous sport champions.

This year's “Equiros” hosted the 3rd Russian festival of horse miniatures. Among the manufacturers of those, one may see large companies with huge runs, such as Breyer that acted as the festival organizer, as well as private animalists. The latter appeared to be the key players of this festival as it consisted of various contests, such as original miniature, remake of factory models, diorama making, best harness or gear etc.

Workshops for children were also held there to draw, paper fold a horse, or paint miniature models…

All in all, the equestrian exhibition featured basically everything a car show could, apart from leggy models posing next to shining hoods. Excepting that, the professionals were communicating in their own jargon, establishing new business contacts and digging for novelties among the large selection of saddlecloths, snaffle bits and lead ropes.

The visitors were eager to see the rare horses and make it on time to see all the shows, which continuously came and went at the arena. Some people were collecting souvenirs, while the others held it their duty to make a selfie with each and every horse. Children eagerly participated in the funny contest at the obstacle course to win souvenirs and gifts.

The number of visitors was a definite statement, saying the four-legged transporters are interesting, popular, and familiar to people, despite the isolation of metropolitan residents from nature and their historic roots.


Last update: Monday, February 06, 2017 2:54:20 PM

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