BY RON ELAND
North Hawaii News
If you’re a horse lover, make sure to mark Aug. 5-7 on your calendar.
Those are the dates set for the fourth annual Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Hawaii Horse Expo which will be held at Anna Ranch in Waimea. Proceeds from the event benefit the Humane Society’s Horse Rescue Fund, which helps abused and abandoned horses on the island.
“I think everything is falling into place,” said Expo producer Nancy Jones. “It’s going to be fabulous having it at Anna Ranch. The setting there is so wonderful. I’m really hoping we’ve found a permanent home.”
The event begins Friday, Aug. 5 with an Equine Medicine Symposium from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Top equine veterinarians — Dr. Robert Miller from California, Dr. Brady Bergin of Waimea and Dr. Mark Fitch from Colorado — will share their experiences so that attendees learn better animal care.
“Once again we have gathered some extremely talented individuals for the Expo,” Jones said. “They are ready and willing to impart their knowledge so that horse owners and horse lovers can learn from them. We’re very fortunate to have these individuals coming to the Big Island and I hope people will take full advantage of their presence.”
In addition to veterinarians Miller, Fitch and Bergin, horseman and trainer Tommy Garland, RFD TV host Rick Lamb, “HorseThink” founder and trainer Scot Hansen, and TTouch founder Linda Tellington-Jones will all be conducting clinics and hands-on demonstrations on Saturday, Aug. 6 and Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Anna Ranch Heritage Center beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.
Jones said they have one main pre-requisite when choosing speakers and clinicians.
“We support natural horsemanship which means the horse is never forced or coerced into submission,” she said. “We don’t invite anyone to participate who doesn’t train using natural horsemanship which eliminates a lot of trainers out there.”
Saturday’s topics include ‘Different Approaches for Different Horses,’ ‘Calm Your Spooky Horse,’ ‘Bucking, Rearing, Running Off,’ ‘Making Your Horse Road Safe,’ ‘Slowing Down the Canter,’ and ‘Self Defense for the Trail Rider.’
Sunday begins with a blessing of the horses. Horse owners are welcome to bring a strand of their horse’s mane or tail for a traditional Hawaiian blessing. Also on Sunday, Hawaii Horse Expo will present the event’s Mana Award to recognize an individual on the Big Island who has inspired and educated the community about horses in line with the goals of Hawaii Horse Expo. The award is sponsored by Veterinary Associates Inc. in Waimea.
Clinics and demonstration topics on Sunday are ‘The Making of a Police Horse,’ ‘Learning to Read Your Horse,’ ‘Transform Your Horse’s Attitude,’ ‘Ground Exercises to Teach Carriage,’ ‘Control, Confidence, and Easier Ways to Achieve Lateral Flexion.’
Throughout Saturday and Sunday the Hawaii Horse Expo vending hall will be open for shopping and a silent auction will benefit Hawaii Island Humane Society.
“As each year has passed it does get easier (to organize) but each year is also a learning process,” Jones said. “We have different topics and clinicians each time. We’ve also had three different venues which means dealing with arena space, parking, bathrooms, food and vendor space. Each venue is a different ballgame.”
The cost of the Equine Medicine Symposium is $50 and is limited to 50 people. Saturday and Sunday clinics and demonstrations at Anna Ranch are $30 for each full day of events. Gold and Platinum benefactor passes are also available.
Information and ticket purchase forms are available at Hawaii Island Humane Society shelters in Kona, Waimea and Keaau or may be downloaded at www.HawaiiHorseExpo.com. Anyone interested in becoming a supporter, vendor or sponsor should contact Jones at 887-2301 or email [email protected].