Tuesday, May 3, 2016

At the Horse Show

The past two weekends I was at the Senator Bob Martin Ag Center in Williamston, NC for horse shows as a vendor, selling and signing books. These events were especially fun as I am originally from Plymouth, just a hop and skip from Williamston. I saw some old friends, some former riding students who have grown up and have children of their own riding and loving horses. It was a home-coming.
NENC District 4-H Horse Show

I hadn’t been to a horse show in several years, but once I was there it felt just like old times – parents and trainers on the rail watching the young riders and their horses. The announcer calling out instructions, the clunk, clunk of boots on the concrete floor of the walk-way. Horses whinnying, and the smell of leather from the tack vendor’s booth. I know if a rider is posting on the correct diagonal in a equitation class and that the horses are cantering on the correct leads. I stifled the urge to comment when a rider was too far forward or didn’t have their legs under them. I didn’t say a word about western horses going at a four-beat lope and carrying their heads with the polls lower than their withers. It was reassuring to know I haven’t gotten so old, or been away from the business so long that I didn’t notice these things. 
Makayla showing me her favorite horse.

Jessica, my grand daughter, was my last kid to show her horse. She joined me with her husband and two little ones at the show two weekends ago. Her little girl, Makayla, who is four, was on the edge of her seat watching the horses go around. Maybe I'll be on the rail again one day watching her ride in the horse show.

Donkey Day

I had a blast writing The Book of Donkeys. It is because of the folks I met in the process who helped me with their knowledge, their contacts, interviews, and photo shoots. They gave of their time generously to help me gather the stories, the facts, and the pictures which have finally become The Book of Donkeys.

The fun didn’t stop when I finished writing. Thanks to Shannon Hoffman who hosted Donkey Day and my official book launch the fun got even more fun. Someone recommended Shannon to me as when I first began work on The Book of Mules as the go-to expert on mules in our region. I am so glad I followed up on that tip. Shannon Hoffman has been much more than a resource person, she has become a friend. Not only has she allowed me to take up her time visiting at her St. Clair Red Mule Farm, answering my questions and letting me photograph her critters, she has introduced me to many more mule and donkey owners. This led to more friends, both two and four legged.

Shannon has also be a valuable help in promoting those two books. She and her cover mule, Sadie Mae, attended many of my book events. Sadie even signed along with me as Shannon had a rubber stamp of a hoof print and Sadie’s name made just so folks could have Sadie’s mark in The Book of Mules.

A class on donkey management
To celebrate The Book of Donkeys’ debut she hosted “Donkey Day”. Audie Murphy, who is the cover donkey and owned by Shannon’s friend Aimee Mitchell, was there basking in his glory as top model, along with other donkeys whose pictures you’ll find in the book. There was be riding demos, a farrier demo, free food, and a coloring contest for the kids and the grownups. We estimate about one hundred people came to Donkey Day and learned all about donkeys. Meanwhile, I had the most fun ever signing books!
Carrot for Jolene

The Book of Donkeys and all of my other books are on Amazon.com. Just
follow this link: amazon.com/author/donnacampbellsmith to find them.