Thursday, August 28, 2014

Percheron Horse Show

During my recent visit to Des Moines Iowa and the State Fair, I got an eye-full of beautiful Percheron horses.

This year our state fair hosted the National Percheron Show.  I am a Percheron horse owner and a big fan of the breed, so it was right up my alley.  I took so many pictures, it may take several blogs to share them all.
Most of the preparations for this event are done way before show week.  All year long horses are on special diets, they are trained, and carefully shod to give them the best chance at success in the show ring.

In fair week, everything goes into beautifying mode.  Manes and tails are braided, coats are sometimes dyed, hooves are perfectly shod and then painted, and everyone gets a good bath.

There are black and dapple-gray Percheron horses. I can't decide which are my favorite but since Coke and Karma are blacks, I'll go with that.

Someone may say, "These aren't Amish horses are they?"  Actually, quite a few of these horses have been raised by Amish families.  You may also be surprised if you knew how many of the big horse hitches are driven by someone who grew up Amish.

Many of these horses have been trained by Amish and ex-Amish handlers.

When I first got interested in draft horses, there were a lot of old-timers around, who grew up farming with horses.  There are a few of those folks still around but most of the people with experience farming with horses, nowadays, grew up Amish.

The gal in the picture above is a horse chiropractor; I watched her work on this horse for a while.  I'm sure the goal was to get all four legs moving freely and ready for the big show ring.

I hope you enjoyed my pictures.  I highly recommend making a trip out to your own state fair, to take in some of these sights for yourself.  These horses are even more impressive in real life.

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