Vendors were busy setting up their displays Friday in preparation for thousands of horse lovers expected to attend Everything Equine Saturday and Sunday.
"We are a huge part of the equine community, especially in Chittenden and Franklin counties," says Kate Tank-Day with Guys Farm & Yard. "A lot of people come to this show and to see us here just reinforces the fact that this is such a huge industry in our state."
How huge? There are an estimated 25,000 horses in Vermont, having a multimillion-dollar impact on the economy. And while vendors hope to sell everything from treats to trailers at the heart of Everything Equine is education.
"That's pretty important to me," says Betsy Greene, an equine specialist for the University of Vermont Extension.
Betsy Greene is one of the original partners who started this event ten years ago.
"Everybody brings some valuable piece to the equation which makes it a hugely successful and well rounded event," she says.
Along with seminars on riding, horse health and nutrition and industry updates, there are lots of demonstrations.
The headliner at this year's event is Dan James from Australia, with Double Dan Horsemanship. He is the 2012 Road to the Horse World Champion.
A horse trainer who demonstrates techniques to gain a better working relationship with the horse, both on the ground and under saddle.
"It is so important for our horses to be brave to the whip and not scared of it," James says. "The whips are used to help direct and cue the horses, but it is used in a fashion that they still have that confidence and not being scared or worried about it."
While Dan put his horses through their paces, we asked Greene about the future of Everything Equine. She says there is always something new to learn about horses and horse ownership.
"As people have been moved farther and farther away from agriculture in their daily lives, we have a lot more education we need to do to get them caught up with doing the right thing for themselves, their land and their horses," Greene says.
Everything Equine takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Champlain Valley Expo. Tickets are available at the door and you can find a link here.
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